Brownie Batter: Decadent, Shameful
Jan 24th, 2011 by plumpdumpling

On my last night of Christmas vacation in Ohio, my best friend, Tracey, and I invited my cousin Bethany and our friend Michelle over to her house for cards, videogames, boytalk, and other things girls in Ohio do. Tracey and I decided to make brownies for the occasion, and by that I mean we poured a box mix into a big bowl and added an egg.

Tracey kind of hinted that she wasn’t entirely interested in actually cooking the brownies, because like cookie dough and oysters, brownie batter is best eaten raw. I said, “Well, maybe we can separate half the batter and only cook a small batch.” And she said, “. . . or we could not cook it at all.”

And so we didn’t. We scooped the batter into sundae glasses, put them in the refrigerator to chill, and decided not to tell Bethany and Michelle what it was until they’d taken a bite, lest they think us gluttonous freaks and not give it a chance. Of course we got too excited in the end and had to tell them it was brownie fetus, and they reacted to it quite well, considering. We all sat around Tracey’s kitchen table for hours, playing Euchre and watching the batter stick to our upside-down spoons.

Referring to it as “pudding” made three of us feel much better, but Tracey had no shame, and neither does Faith of An Edible Mosaic, who shares her recipe here.

Photo by An Edible Mosaic

The Pop-Tart Ice Cream Sandwich
Aug 31st, 2010 by plumpdumpling

In honor of the opening of Pop-Tarts World–mass market pastry retail heaven for those of us who were under the impression that only four or five flavors of Pop-Tarts existed–in Times Square this month, my officemates and I decided to make the mythical Pop-Tart Ice Cream Sandwich.

Thanks to Fresh Direct, we had the followed delivered to our office last Friday morning:

• Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tarts
• Frosted Strawberry with Sprinkles Pop-Tarts
• Edy’s Grand Vanilla Bean ice cream
• Edy’s Grand Chocolate ice cream
• Edy’s Cookies ‘N Cream ice cream
• Edy’s Grand Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream
• Edy’s Slow-Churned French Silk ice cream (possibly my favourite storeice cream in the world)
• Ben & Jerry’s Karamel Sutra ice cream

And with those ingredients, we made these:

strawberry with vanilla ice cream

brown sugar cinnamon with French Silk ice cream

The impending glee was too much for Chantee to handle,

but our notoriously non-gluttonous German interns Sven and Christoph surprisingly dove right in:

And speaking of diving right in, if you accidentally drop Pop-Tart down your bra, expect this from me:

Rating One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

This is one of those instances where once you have it, you can’t not have it. Like mixing heavy cream into iced coffee, spooning jelly into the center of a zeppole, or deep-frying a Snickers bar, I will forever be disappointed when there’s not a Pop-Tart in my dish of ice cream. The synthetic sugariness of it appeals so much to the truly indulgent part of me, and the lack of utensils needed to eat it appeals to my raised-in-a-barn-ness.

Recipe: Low-Carb Hostess Chocolate Cupcakes
Aug 4th, 2010 by plumpdumpling

I was in Ohio last weekend and spent much of it with my best friend, who–like me–finds lots of excuses to “cheat” on her low-carb diet. Meaning that whenever I’m in town, we go crazy and eat whatever we want, which is everything from Dairy Queen to Pizza Hut to McDonald’s with a couple of local joints thrown in as long as they’re all as unhealthy as possible. We’ve said 100 times in the past year that we’d love to try “being good” one time when I come home for a visit, but this time we actually meant it.

As luck would have it, the lovely Maria Emmerich posted a recipe for a low-carb version of the famed Hostess Little Debbie Chocolate Cupcake in her blog the very day I came home, and you know we went to town on those things. Here’s our take on her recipe:

1/2 cup of blanched almond flour
3 eggs, separated
1/4 teaspoon of iodized sea salt
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of vanilla
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
1/2 cup of Splenda
4 tablespoons of melted butter

Whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Combine the yolks, sweetener, and butter and whisk until well-blended. Combine all of the dry ingredients and blend well. Gently fold the wet ingredients into the whipped whites, then slowly fold in the dry mixture and blend well. Fill the cupcake pan 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 15-18 minutes at 350 degrees F or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Creamy Filling:
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup Splenda

Whip the cream until light and fluffy and add in the sweetener. Place filling in sandwich baggie with one corner snipped off. Scoop a dime-sized hole out of the top of each cupcake, push the snipped corner of the baggie into the hole, and squeeze until the filling rises to the top of the cupcake. (Maria injected hers into side of the cupcakes, so feel free to try both ways and see which gets more filling in.)

50g low-carb chocolate (we used a Lindt 85% Cocoa Bar, but Maria’s, made with a ChocoPerfection bar, turned out much shinier, like the Hostess version)
1 tablespoon heavy cream

Melt the chocolate bar in 10-second intervals in the microwave and add in whipping cream. Once the cupcake is cooled, dip the top of each one in melted chocolate.

Swirly White Topping:
Cream cheese

Add a small amount of cream cheese to another baggie, cut another tiny piece of the corner off, and swirl it onto each cupcake.

Nutritional Info:
297 calories, 6g carbs, 3.5g fiber, 2.5g net carbs
Makes 6 cakes

a cross-sectional view shows how much creamy filling was waiting inside for us

a cup of heavy cream makes a LOT of creamy filling, and you can guess where all of the leftovers went

Rating One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne-Half Star

Tracey and I loved these. A lot of low-carb swaps for common sugary foods are sad approximations that leave you wishing for the real thing, but we didn’t feel a sense of loss while eating these at all. The only problem we had was convincing ourselves not to eat all six in one sitting, and we were rewarded for that the next day with a deliciously hardened chocolate top on the two we saved. If you can double the recipe, I recommend it.

(Cross-posted to UNBREADED)

Office S’Mores
Dec 8th, 2009 by plumpdumpling

Fun things to do after hours at the office when you’re hungry:

1) Grab two space heaters and place them on the floor, facing one another.

2) Find a random metal rod on a nearby desk that may or may not be used to itch someone’s butt.

3) Procure leftover ghost-shaped Halloween marshmallows from the candy bowl at the reception desk. (Note that though marshmallows are orange and brown and may appear to be flavored, they are, in fact, just like white marshmallows.)

4) Stab the leftover ghost-shaped Halloween marshmallows with the random metal rod.

5) Hold the marshmallows between the opposing heaters for ten minutes.

6) Grow anxious and pop the metal grate off of one heater so as to get the marshmallows closer to the heat source.

7) Rejoice as the marshmallows actually brown within moments.

8.) Steal a package of totally-savory-and-not-at-all-appropriate-for-s’mores Melba toast off of a co-worker’s desk in the absence of graham crackers.

9) Melt a Tootsie Roll in the microwave in the absence of a chocolate bar.

10) Top Melta toast with Tootsie Roll and heater-browned marshmallow.

11) Savor your fake s’more like nobody’s ever savored a fake s’more before.

12) Feel a little bit bad about yourself for being pathetic.

13) But mostly just feel awesome.

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