Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Critic Goes Chef

This Wasn't Covered in the Diet Plan

I'm not the sort of person who has a major sweet tooth....ish, years of being the "fat" child in school lead me to loose weight (in a healthy manner through regular exercise and healthy eating and all that before someone accuses me of promoting eating disorders. C'mon, this is a food blog!) ANYWAY, I lost weight and recently after a traumatic struggle with a dress that now has a ripped zip, I have realised that I have an increasing waistline.....YAY! I've also realised that there are certain reasons why this is despite my healthy eating habits.....excluding pizzas and general food binges with certain friends.

I have narrowed down two of the main reasons for the sudden increase in indulgent foods.

  1. I have discovered that baking is a great stress reliever so when stress arises the baking trays and mixing bowls come out.
  2. The winter months evoke this primal urge to snuggle up beside a fire and eat something either indulgent or comforting....or both!
Today however, reason two came into play. Harsh, icy cold, windsswept me into the kitchen to bake my little heart out with cookies and muffins.

Chocolatey Chocolate Cookies
(try saying it really fast!)

125g Dark Chocolate (70%cocoa at least)
150g Plain Flour
30g Cocoa Powder
1Tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
1/2 Tsp Salt
125g Soft Butter
75g Light Brown Sugar
50g White Sugar
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Cold Egg
2 Bags of Dark Chocolate Chips

First things first, as always preheat your oven to 170C or 325F and line a baking tray with grease proof paper.

  1. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pot of simmering water. Make sure that the water isn't touching the bottom of the bowl or the chocolate will go grainy, this is very important! Make sure to keep stirring and keep an eye on it whilst doing the other bits.
  2. Sift the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl cream the butter and sugar together, personally I'd use a hand mixer or if you are lucky enough to own one, a free standing Kitchen Aid (those of you that have one.....I dislike you.. those of you that L O V E M E....send me one please and I will send you baked goods.) If you don't have a mixer then do it by hand, this is a suitable cardio work out if you put enough effort in.
  4. Add the melted chocolate and mix together (you may dip your finger into the sugary chocolate goodness in a bowl....just to sample it of course.)
  5. Add the vanilla and the egg and beat together then slowly, piece by piece add in the flour and mix together. Make sure that all the flour mixture is all blended in,next tip in ALL of the chocolate chips. The mixture at this stage should be hard to mix.
  6. On the tray split the mixture into 12 lumps carefully spaced apart then place in the oven.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Skewer with cake tester or what I do, a wooden skewer for kebabs, if it comes out clean then the cookies are good to go.
  8. Place them on a cooling rack.
  9. Dig in
  10. Curl up beside the fire/boyfriend/girlfriend/partner/pet and watch the wind shake the trees/people/barley and enjoy.

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