Posts Tagged ‘brownies’

For a change, I made a microwave brownie “serving” in a square plastic container, about 6 inches square. It didn’t puff up much, and didn’t taste quite the same. Not bad, but it reminded me of something else. Then it hit me what that was. Pancakes. The more I thought, the more I realized that oil and flour are the basics for pancake batter.

So I made another “serving”, but this time doubling the recipe. I only added about a tablespoon of sugar, and no cocoa powder. Also I added some melted margarine. I cooked it for twice as long, flipping it semi-accidentally about half way through. It was so-so. The bottom was moist and a bit slimy. I think some of the oil settled to the bottom and didn’t fully incorporate.

Looking through pancake recipes, I also see a key ingredient is eggs. So I’ll try it again with an egg, and see what happens. I like pancakes, and haven’t had them in quite a while. If this works, it’ll give me another quick and easy breakfast option. The only down side is only being able to make one at a time.

Though as I’m thinking about it, maybe I can put some sort of divider in-between to make several at a time. Maybe parchment paper? Something that won’t burn. I suppose I could do several small bowls at once that would fit inside, and make something like silver dollar pancakes. I do know at the rate I’m going, I’m going to have to buy another bag of flour. Which is weird, ’cause I hardly ever use flour. When I make my brownies normally, I use boxed mix. It’ll be interesting what I can come up with, and what other tangents may result. Stay tuned!

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OK, after more experimentation, I got it to where I’m happy. Well, as happy as I ever get, with cooking. Like when I travel, I don’t like going the same way twice. When making food, I don’t like using the exact same recipe twice. I’ll almost always fiddle around with them. ‘Cause you never know when you might come up with an even better version.

So I’ll give you the basics, then some variations I like.

  • 4 tbsps sugar (powdered)
  • 4 tbsps flour
  • 2 tbsps unsweet cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 8 tbsp water

Add the dry ingredients to a glass (I use a 8-oz measuring cup). Mix them up so they’re well distributed. Then add the liquid ingredients. Mix some more until smooth and there aren’t any dry bits. Stick in the microwave and cook on high for a minute and a half. Take out, let it cool, eat.

Adding the extra water seems to help make it puffier, yet more cakey, which is how I like it.

Optional additions I’ve used:

Other additions I’ve not tried, at least in the microwave version:

I think you get the idea. Don’t be afraid to experiment, though. The way I like it mayn’t be how you prefer. Since this is so simple to make, and relatively inexpensive, even the mistakes are pretty edible. Enjoy!

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More brownies

Did some more searching, and found this video. I made two attempts, doubling the recipe both times. I used an oblong 20 oz tupperware-type container. The main difference was I used an egg in one. The video above doesn’t include that as an ingredient, but most recipes I’ve seen do. The one with the egg was better. I cooked them for about 3 minutes, since I doubled the quantity, and it originally called for a minute and a half. I think it needs a bit more than three minutes. Or maybe a touch less water. Another recommmendation, sift the dry ingredients. The powdered sugar and the cocoa I used was a bit clumpy, and sifting really helped.

Not ideal results, but getting there. I’m going to wait at least until tomorrow to try again. He’s right, though, it is amazingly easy to make. And you could get real fat real fast. May toy with substituting some of the sugar for Sweet’n Low, which I believe I mentioned last time. Still, think I’ve found a new snack. Be afraid, be very afraid.

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Brownies, old and new

I’ve made brownies twice recently, in two different fashions. I’m going to compare and contrast.

Firstly, I made some the way I normally do. Out of a box. I’ve always done it that way, since I figured making from scratch would be too much work. Followed the box directions, but added some spices like I usually do (dried mint, cinnamon and cardamom). Not much, mind you, only a few sprinkles of each. Then a tablespoon or two of liqueur (nutty or fruity, or a bit of both).

I had some reduced sugar frosting that Mom got ages ago, and used some of that. The brownies came out very nicely. Spongey, not too moist or dry.

The more recent effort was in the microwave. I know. It always felt like such a waste to use the entire oven to only make one batch of brownies. So I decided to look around to see if there were any decent microwave brownie recipes. I bought a microwave lava cake a while back, and that turned out well, so it’s an option. So I found this recipe.

Looked doable, and I had the ingredients on hand. I decided to do a half-recipe, for testing. Put the vanilla extract and egg into one of Mom’s cardinal coffee cups.

Then added some spices.

Added some brown sugar, a teaspoon of Sweet’n Low, and oil instead of butter. That’s how I’ve always made it out of the box. Added some Frangelico. Mixed that up with a fork until well blended.

But before I did that, I’d put the cocoa powder and flour in one of my well-used plastic microwave containers. Added a pinch or two of sea salt, as I heard that was a good thing. Then I poured in the liquid elements and stirred until well blended. The consistency was just like it was at this stage when I make it out of the box. Tasted what was on the fork, and it seemed pretty good. Then I stuck it in the microwave and nuked for 2-1/2 minutes. Since the full recipe called for 4-5 minutes, I cut the time about in half too.

The results, admittedly, looked so-so. But that didn’t surprise me, since microwaving tends to cook the center more, probably due to the way the waves focus.

How did it taste? Mediocre. Not hideously bad, not fantastically delicious. I had cut the sugar by about half, since it seemed excessive. Possibly mistake, as it was more bitter than sweet. I still had some of the frosting, and eating it with the brownies helped. For a first effort, it wasn’t bad. And it was incredibly easy, so I can easily experiment more. I think I’ll try adding more sugar (or Sweet’n Low), and less cocoa, and some water, to moisten them up some next time. I’ll report the results when it meets my exacting standards. Such as they are.

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