Cake Flour Brownies

It’s official. I don’t have any sugar of any kind left in my stock. I don’t count the sweetener packets for my tea as sugar, either, or else I’d have plenty! I used the last of my granulated and brown sugar in these brownies from Cookie Madness, and even then I almost didn’t have enough.

I can’t wait till I have my own kitchen and supplies again, because this whole being in transition thing is doing a number on me. I’m so excited to start moving into my first apartment this week and to have multiple people to bake for again. Just need to restock a few things . . . or everything! I expect I’ll be back to my regular self soon enough.

Thankfully I had some cake flour to use as a vehicle for chocolate delivery. I enjoyed these brownies, but I have to say I’m definitely a fudgey brownie person. Cakey brownies are good and all, but they’re not my first dessert choice.

The unsweetened chocolate, paired with the dark brown sugar I used, made for a rich chocolate flavor. I totally would have made a buttercream frosting to accompany these if I could have. Then I bet this treat would be just perfect!

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The Infamous Birthday Ice Cream Bomb

My suitemate has a very soft spot for ice cream. We were talking about what type of birthday cake she wanted, and she asked if I could make an ice cream cake. Of course, I replied, do you want something like Carvel’s? What’s Carvel’s, she asked. Oh dear. My heart stopped at that response and I had no idea what to say. How could she have never heard of a Carvel ice cream cake? Fudgie the Whale? I guess it’s not as prominent on the West Coast.

After this complete shock, I asked if she might like an ice cream bomb. I wasn’t as shocked that she’d never heard of this, so I tried to explain the concept. You layer ice cream and cake and anything you want in a bowl, and then you turn the giant frozen mound out onto a plate. This description resulted in her mouth hanging open in amazement because this proposed bomb was the perfect dessert for her. In the days leading up to its creation, she still didn’t completely understand what I was going to make, but she didn’t care as long as it had ice cream. I thought about what flavors to use, and settled on Half Baked, Starbuck’s Signature Hot Chocolate, and Trader Joe’s Mint Chocolate Chip. I also included a brownie base and fudge sauce between each layer of ice cream. It was going to be epic!

Building the bomb went fine, but freezing it was another matter entirely. My other suitemate and I had gone to Trader Joe’s earlier in the day, and because she and my roommate don’t really cook, the freezer was full to capacity. So much so that we had a hard time keeping the door closed because it would always pop open when we closed the fridge. I thought we had shifted things around well enough to get the bomb to fit, but at the unveiling I realized I was wrong. Evidently the door was left popped open, so the bomb had been slowly melting all day, but I didn’t find out until I tried to turn it out onto the plate. Complete disaster. It was fine for a second, but then I swear time slowed down as we just watched it collapse into itself. Cue four freaking out girls and a rush to throw everything out of the freezer to shove the exploded bomb back in.

In the brief time is was out of the freezer and then on the plate, it had melted all over the place and lost any shape it may have had. We were scared to open the freezer to check on it, in case it had spilled over even more. We had another problem because we had a ton of frozen items just sitting on our couch. Thankfully our RAs are fantastic and one of them let us put our things in her freezer.

We let the bomb stay in the freezer for the rest of the night and vowed to try again the next day. I managed to coerce it back into the bowl and into a semi-dome shape, but by then the different ice cream flavors had sort of mixed, so the layer effect was lost. We sang Happy Birthday and got ready to eat, but we found that the brownie had also frozen rock hard, so I could barely cut through it. Not to be deterred, the four of us cast aside our bowls and dug right in with our spoons. It was delicious!

We also made a birthday dinner, which consisted of: Butternut Squash Ravioli, Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli, Parmesan and Arugula Ravioli, a vegetable mix, artichoke hearts, and my creamy garlic bread. Despite how good dinner was, dessert definitely out shined it. You just can’t compete with five pints of ice cream and a giant brownie!

I’ve Created a MONSTER!

Biscoff Spread has been making its rounds in baking blogs over the past few months, and I have been dying to get my hands on a jar. I knew that Trader Joe’s sold a version of it as Speculoos Cookie Spread, but I hadn’t been able to find it because I always seemed to go there at the busiest times possible and preservation of my sanity didn’t allow for browsing.

Everything changed on Thursday, though. It was February vacation for the public schools, which meant no work for me. I used my free morning to go grocery shopping, because I hadn’t gone since my birthday, which was two weeks before. Can I just say, a calm and empty Trader Joe’s is even worse than a jam-packed Trader Joe’s. It was amazing to actually be able to walk calmly down the tiny aisles and actually LOOK at the products. I usually go in with my list and a plan of attack and leave hating everyone and everything because there were so many people inside. Thursday was the exact opposite, and it was heaven. But not for my poor wallet. It was totally worth it, though, because I finally found the coveted Speculoos Cookie Spread.

I came home and almost immediately opened the jar and stuck a spoon in it. Heaven. In. A. Jar. That is all I have to say. My suitemates weren’t much more articulate when I gave them a taste. I’m absolutely going back next week and getting another jar or two because Trader Joe’s is notorious for discontinuing items, and I don’t want to lose my heaven unexpectedly.

After tasting I started looking for all the recipes involving Biscoff that I saw and bookmarked for making once I got my hands on a jar. Unfortunately I didn’t have all the ingredients called for in a lot of them, but I finally found the perfect first recipe. It required no baking at all, but it let the Biscoff flavor SHINE. What could it be, you ask?

BISCOFF FUDGE!

I found the recipe on Sugarcrafter, and it actually wasn’t one the first recipes I had in mind. But it was perfect.

I was slightly skeptical about it at first, because it didn’t call for the normal fudge ingredients, or at least it didn’t call for what I normally think of as being in a fudge recipe. But come on, it had Biscoff, butter, and powdered sugar, so even if it didn’t turn out like fudge it would still be amazing.

The final product didn’t even come close to disappointing. It was amazing. So amazing that my roommate demolished it all by early the next afternoon. I didn’t even get a chance to take pictures. My fault for only making half a batch, though.

Some comments: eyes popping out of heads, silence, “OMG, it’s better than SEX!”, “You’re making more. What do you need for it?!?!”, and frequent trips to the fridge for “breakfast”. I’d say it was a success.

After the fudge, I made another Biscoff recipe. Biscoff Swirl Brownies from Bake at 350. No words.  Except that they definitely get better after sitting for the night. The brownie was slightly undercooked, so it’s a deep dark chocolate batter with Biscoff swirled in. I know I’m comparing this spread to heaven with a bit too much frequency, but that’s really the only way to describe it.

Two of my suitemates just tried them a few minutes ago, and I wish I could have taken a picture of one of their reactions. One is the same one that made the mountain comment about my birthday cake, and she always has the most priceless reactions to my creations. I love her, haha.

I kindly requested that the 9″x13″ pan of brownies last AT LEAST the night so I can take some to my friends in class tomorrow, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it actually happens, especially with three sugar/chocolate/biscoff addicts in the same room.

I’m not counting on it, though. I might have to make more fudge in order to preserve the brownies from their Biscoff-covered fingers. It’s so addicting, so I don’t blame them. Instead, I blame myself for introducing it to them in the first place. I’m SUCH a bad influence.

Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

Whenever I run low on groceries (ie real food with actual nutrients), I always manage to have just enough supplies left to bake something that goes against everything healthy I *should* eat. It might take a bit of searching and tweaking of recipes, but I always come up with something.

However, I’m now starting to run low on baking supplies.  Unbelievable right? I’m down to my last bit of flour, granulated sugar, and brown sugar. And I have absolutely NO MILK or chocolate. The current state of my cabinets really puts a kink in any baking desires I might have. But you know what doesn’t require much flour or any chocolate? Brownies!

I can never go wrong with my alterations to Best Cocoa Brownies from Une Gamine dans la Cuisine. And who would say no to a cheesecake mixture swirled into them? Not me, that’s for sure. While the original recipe for the Cheesecake Brownies from Buns in my Oven was still amazing when I made them a couple months ago, this combination is truly a winner.

These brownies became infinitely fudgier overnight. When I first cut into them a couple hours after they came out of the oven, they seemed cakier than I wanted. However, after sitting for the night they transformed into brownie bliss. I wouldn’t say no to more of the cream cheese mixture (perhaps I’ll swirl less next time), but other wise I’m in love, and I think my friends will be too.

While I would love if I could survive on these, it might be a good idea to drag myself away from the pan long enough to go up to Trader Joe’s so I can get some real food.

The Post of Chocolate DEATH!

During my time away from the blog I made a couple of things that, if made repeatedly, could result in a death by chocolate. They were too delicious and absolutely to die for!

These Cheesecake Brownies from Buns in my Oven were fantastic. I made them for dessert for dinner at a friend’s apartment. We each made something, and it was all really good. We gorged ourselves on pulled brisket, mashed potatoes, potato rolls, and my brownies–a good old homemade, stick to your ribs dinner that we were all seriously craving by the end of the semester.

Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures of them before we dug in, but that just means I’ll have to make them again sometime.

My next dessert of death consisted of my go-to brownies with homemade ice cream.

The brownies were so moist and gooey that I hope I can replicate this same effect in the future. Rather than use semi-sweet chocolate chips like I usually use, I had a giant bar of dark chocolate from Trader Joe’s that I chopped up and melted into the batter, and then I added more chunks before baking.

YUM!

For the ice cream, I found this super easy recipe on kevinandamanda.com. It didn’t even require an ice cream maker, rock salt, or any of that stuff! Color me a happy camper. I’m definitely going to be making this over and over and adding in tons of mix-ins. I should start thinking of combinations right now.

Doesn’t it look like pure FUDGE? Delicious death in a bowl, that’s all I have to say.