Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Chipster-Topped Brownies - Tuesdays with Dorie

chipster brownies topped with ice cream

It was a decadent week for TWD, with Beth of Supplicious choosing Dorie's Chipster-Topped Brownies as the recipe. The brownie layer of these bars was so chocolaty, and the cookie crunch on top gave a nice texture to this yummy dessert.

[chipster-topped brownies recipe]

(Side note to fellow TWD'ers, I am way behind on commenting! As in, ahem, at least a month at this point. If I leave a comment on a really old post, don't be surprised!)

stack of chipster brownies

The recipe wasn't difficult to put together, but since it was kind of two recipes in one, it did call for some time and ingredient organization :)

chipster brownies ingredients

For the brownie layer, the chocolate and butter are melted together and then poured into the pre-beaten mix of the sugar, eggs, salt and vanilla. The flour is added at the end and only just mixed to combine. (You can add the walnuts here, if you like the things ;) ) Then, the batter is poured into the pan (9"x13") and left to sit while the cookie layer is made.

hershey wrapperchocolate for brownie layer
chocolate and butter in bowlbrownie layer in pan

(A. and I went to Hershey Park over the weekend, so I had to include the Hershey unsweetened chocolate in here ;) Actually, it was the only kind of unsweetened chocolate they had at the store, but it still seemed fitting.)

The cookie layer was simple too, just creaming the butter and sugars, adding the eggs and vanilla, and then beating in the mixed dry ingredients. Then the chips are added in. Dorie's "playing around" section suggests some alternatives to the standard chocolate chip, such as butterscotch chips or white chocolate chips, but I stuck to the original:)

cookie batter on paddle
cookie drops on top of brownie layerbars ready to go into the oven

The hardest part was spreading around the cookie dough so that the layers didn't combine too much. I wasn't really able to get it evenly out to the sides, but it didn't really matter...

chipster brownies, fully cooked

..they were still delicious :)

Chipster-Topped Brownies

For the brownie layer:
6 oz (170 g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3 oz (85 g) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 sticks (8 oz, 227 g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
333 g (1 2/3 c) sugar
4 large eggs
1/2 t salt
1/2 t vanilla
125 g (1 c) all-purpose flour
1 c walnuts, chopped (no weight measurement since I didn't put them in!)

For the cookie layer:
156 g (1 1/4 c) all-purpose flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 sticks (12 T, 170 g) unsalted butter, room temp.
164 g (3/4 c packed) light brown sugar
133 g (2/3 c) sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 t vanilla
6 oz (170 g) bitttersweet chocolate, chopped into chunks, or 1 cup store-bought chips

[full recipe instructions on Beth's blog]

Nutrition Facts from NutritionData.com:
per 1/24th of recipe (2"x1" bar)
[click to show or hide]

brownies with piece cut out

Thanks to Beth for picking such a rich and chocolaty dessert :) You can get the recipe on her blog: Supplicious. The rest of the brownies can be found through the links on the TWD blogroll!

group of chipster brownies


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tartest Lemon Tart - Tuesdays with Dorie

tart slice with whole tart in background

Although I have been loving all of the chocolate in our group lately, it was nice to have a bit of sunny citrus for this week's TWD: whole-lemon tart, chosen by Babette!

[tartest lemon tart recipe]

slice of tart with bite on fork

I had a few misgivings about putting the lemon in, rind and all, but it turned out to be really delicious and lemony. I'm also a big fan of Dorie's shortbread crust recipe, and that was as good as always!

dry crust ingredientsbutter cut up in bowl
crust crumbles

I had to use a springform pan because the bottom of my tart pan disappeared, but I thought it still turned out OK looking:)

crust pressed into pan

The filling was pretty simple to make — cut up lemons and sugar blended or processed together (I used the food processor since I already had it out to make the crust), then blended together with the cornstarch, egg, melted butter and heavy cream.

filling ingredients
lemons in food processorlemons and sugar mixed
all ingredients in food processorfilling fully mixed
filling in tart shell ready to be baked

My tart took a while longer than the suggested baking time, almost another 15 minutes. It was really jiggly there for a while, but it turned out just fine.

fully baked tart

It was delicious! Some people commented that it turned out too bitter for them, but it was just perfect for me. Not too sweet, not too sour (although I do like sour types of candy!) Anyway, yea, it comes highly recommended :)

fully baked tart on cake plate

Tartest Lemon Tart

1 9-inch tart shell (I used Dorie's sweet tart dough as suggested)

For the filling:
1 1/2 lemons, scrubbed and dried
300 g (1 1/2 c) sugar
1 large egg, room temp
2 large egg yolks, room temp
1 1/2 T cornstarch
1/2 c heavy cream
4 T butter (1/2 stick), melted and cooled

[full recipe instructions on Babette's blog]

Nutrition Facts from NutritionData.com:
per 1/8th of recipe
[click to show or hide]

slice of tart

Thanks, Babette, for choosing this tangy and delicious tart! Get the recipe on her blog: Babette Feasts. Don't forget to check out the rest of the tarts on the TWD blogroll too :)

half eaten slice of tart


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Marinated Pan-Roasted Steak

steak sliced on cutting board

I know my blog has been pretty much 99% desserts so far, so I just wanted to change it up a bit with a big steak ;) Seriously, unless you don't eat red meat, you should find an excuse to make this steak ASAP. It is amazing! (So amazing that I didn't get a chance to do a real photo shoot... we gobbled it up too fast:) )

[skip to recipe]

steak sliced on cutting board

I'd just like to state that I had never cooked a steak before attempting this, and it still came out beautifully. The salting and marination do most of the work, so if you do those properly, you can cook it however you like and I'm sure it will be great. Since I live in an apartment with no outside to grill, I pan-seared the steak and then roasted it in the oven. It doesn't have to be a wonderful cut to turn out great — I used a bottom sirloin, and it was like butter.

Here is the glorious bottom sirloin:

raw steak

I don't know all that much about cuts of meat, but according to Wikipedia, this cut is more tough than top sirloin (and a heck of a lot less expensive).

After buying your steak and all necessary supplies for the marinade, start to whip up the marinade. You can use your favorite marinade recipe; I went with a garlic, ginger and scallion marinade from Cooks Illustrated.

You don't have to go too crazy chopping all of this up, because it's going to go into the food processor after this :)

garlic - wholegarlic - minced
scallions - cut upscallions - minced
ginger - wholeginger - minced

Dump into food processor, add sesame oil & olive oil, and process.

garlic, ginger, scallions in food processor

sesame oilolive oil

finished marinade

Marinade complete :)

Now, take your steak, and salt it LIBERALLY on both sides.

salted steak

Then smear all of the marinade on top of the salt on both sides. Wrap well in plastic wrap and let sit for at least an hour, and up to 24 hours.

marinated steak

When you're ready to start cooking, preheat the oven to 450° F. Take the steak out of the plastic and wipe off most of the salt/marinade paste. Heat some vegetable oil in a skillet (the skillet should be ovenproof, preferably cast iron) until it smokes, and then place the steak into the hot skillet.

steak in skillet

SIZZLE! Did I mention you need to turn on the exhaust fan? Yea, do that :)

Sear 3-4 minutes on the first side. Turn the steak over with tongs and sear 3-4 minutes on the other side.

steak in skillet

Place the entire skillet into the hot oven and roast — 4-5 minutes will get you to medium-rare. I used a probe thermometer stuck into the thickest part of the meat to be really sure. You should cook until it is slightly less done than desired, because it will continue cooking a bit after it's out of the oven.

Next is the hardest part. You need to let the steak REST under an aluminum foil tent for 5-10 minutes after it's out of the oven. I know, I know. Just do it! In the words of Alton Brown, your patience will be rewarded.

cooked steak on cutting board

Marinated Pan-Roasted Steak
Adapted from Cooks Illustrated (link is members-only)

4 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 medium cloves of garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
2 medium scallions, minced (about 3 tablespoons)
3" piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced (about 3 tablespoons)

1 steak, 2 pounds (almost 1kg), patted dry with paper towels
enough kosher salt to crust the meat
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (optional)

To make the marinade:
Put all ingredients into food processor and process until smooth. You can make this ahead and refrigerate until you're ready to use it.

To prepare the steak:
Poke the steak with a fork about 20 times per side. Liberally salt both sides of the steak to create a crust. Then coat both sides of the steak with marinade. Wrap well in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour, or up to 24 hours.

To cook the steak:
Heat the oven to 450° F (230° C, gas mark 8). Heat the vegetable oil in a 12" ovenproof skillet until the oil smokes. Wipe the marinade and salt off of the steak, and if you like, season with the black pepper. Put the steak into the hot skillet (stand back a bit in case the oil splatters).

Sear the steak until browned, 3-4 minutes. Flip with tongs and sear for another 3-4 minutes on the other side. If you have a probe thermometer, stick it into the thickest part of the meat. Place the entire skillet into the oven and roast until slightly less done than you like it. A final result of medium rare will require 4-5 minutes in the oven.

Remove the hot skillet from the oven and transfer the steak to a cutting board. Place a tent of aluminum foil over the steak and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Nutrition Facts from NutritionData.com:
per 1/4 of steak (1/2 pound raw)
[click to show or hide]

I heartily recommend this marinade and pan-roasting method! It's also endorsed by my husband A., who was originally scared that I would ruin a good steak ;) Wrong! We loved it. Let me know if you've ever cooked a steak this way, or if you have any marinade recommendations! :)