Sunday, December 4, 2011

Of Muffins, Hot Fudge Cake and Jingle Bells

Have I really never immortalized Cranberry Oatmeal Muffins from here on my blog? (Actually, yes I have. If you don't have it yet, buy the cookbook Hungry for Comfort. You won't be sorry.) I made a batch of these for breakfast this morning and they were divine. Later in the day I finally got to use my cover-worthy ramekins to make Hot Chocolate Fudge Cake. The entire time I was in the kitchen (all day) I played Christmas songs. Every once in a while Patrick would sneak in and say "Are you ready to sing a little jingle bells Mummy?". We are digging the new Michael Buble Christmas album. Maybe a little too much...

Cranberry Oatmeal Muffins from Hungry for Comfort

3/4 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup milk
1 egg
2 cups coarsely chopped cranberries (I use frozen. Don't thaw.)
4 tsp grated lemon zest

4 tsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

In food processor or blender grind rolled oats until powdered; transfer to a large bowl. Stir in flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder and salt; cut in butter until crumbly.

Whisk together milk and egg; pour over dry ingredients. Sprinkle with cranberries and lemon zest; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Spoon into large greased or paper-lined muffin cups, filling three-quarters full.

Topping: combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over batter. Bake in 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.

As for Hot Chocolate Fudge Cakes, why did I wait so long to make these? The recipe was featured in Cooking Light in December 2008, appearing on the cover. And while the recipe sounded like a knock-out, what actually caught my attention was the ramekin holding the Hot Chocolate Fudge Cake. I coveted those ramekins for a year and finally found them at Crate and Barrel - the Stockholm. David bought me six for my birthday in 2009. And while I've used them plenty since then they have yet to fulfill their destiny of hot chocolate fudge goodness. Until today.

I didn't dust our Hot Chocolate Fudge Cakes with icing sugar because I thought David might keel over if he had to wash one more kitchen implement. This was a big baking / cooking day for me. (Making up for the last few weeks of inactivity in the kitchen, I guess.) I made the aforementioned muffins, Roasted Parsnip Soup, Soft Ginger Cookies, Beef Carbonnade, Cheddar Quick Bread and Hot Chocolate Fudge Cakes. More on some of these recipes this week, if I have time to immortalize them.

Hot Chocolate Fudge Cakes from Cooking Light

3 2/5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 3/4 cup)
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
5 teaspoons instant espresso powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened 
2/3 cup granulated sugar 
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup egg substitute 
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
1 (2.6-ounce) bar dark (71% cocoa) chocolate (such as Valrhona Le Noir Amer), finely chopped 
2 tablespoons powdered sugar

1. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Sift together flour, cocoa, espresso powder, baking powder, and salt.

2. Place butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed 1 minute. Add granulated and brown sugars, beating until well blended (about 5 minutes). Add egg substitute and vanilla, beating until well blended. Fold flour mixture into sugar mixture; fold in chocolate. Divide batter evenly among 10 (4-ounce) ramekins; arrange ramekins on a jelly-roll pan. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours or up to 2 days.

3. Preheat oven to 350°.

4. Let ramekins stand at room temperature 10 minutes. Uncover and bake at 350° for 21 minutes or until cakes are puffy and slightly crusty on top. Sprinkle evenly with powdered sugar; serve immediately.

I halved the recipe (we didn't need 10 of these for the 4 of us!) and it turned out just fine. I also made it ahead as suggested and it turned out perfectly.

A busy but tasty day in the kitchen today. I'll finish with another gem on our Christmas song play list, It Snowed, by Meaghan Smith. It hasn't actually snowed yet, but this is the (almost) one year anniversary of when snowmaggedon hit us last year. "The road is buried four feet high..." ah, the memories! (Truth be told, I wouldn't mind a little snow right now. Just a smidgen. A festive flake or two.)

No comments:

Post a Comment