Red Velvet Buttermilk Brownies with Chocolate Chunks

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Diamonds are said to be a girl’s best friend. They are said to put a twinkle in any girl’s eye.

Perhaps that is true for most, but not for me they’re not. Cold stones do nothing for me. Sure they might be pretty and shiny but that’s all it is good for – sparkle. Pfft.

Give me brownies over bling any time of the day. Brownies. Oh how they make my heart flutter. I’ve been baking brownies since I started this blog and every time I bite into a warm piece, I feel that all is right in the world.

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Brownies, especially fudgey ones, are very uplifting. The same way a mother bakes cookies and serves it with milk to their children, the way a brownie crumbles in my mouth after going past my lips is absolutely comforting and ethereal. A good rocking brownie can turn any dull day bright.

I’m constantly trying to find a brownie that I can live with for the rest of my life. I’ve come close, but the search continues. My next venture is to try new fangled brownies.

Last Sunday I started with Red Velvet Buttermilk Brownies. My itchy fingers swapped the white sugar for dark brown sugar, and I added chocolate chunks. I also halved the sugar and red colouring. Because I didn’t use the frosting, I should not have reduced the sugar. But my chocolate chunks balanced it off pretty well. Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chunks are pretty sweet anyway so the balance was there.

Texture-wise, I felt these were rather fudgey. I expected moist crumbs since I was using buttermilk. Perhaps I did something wrong. These were not my favourite brownies, but they were rather novel. Mahogany-hued, and rich, they were just what I needed on a Sunday afternoon.

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What respite it brings me, carrying out pans of baked goods like brownies out of the oven on a perfectly relaxing day. I really wouldn’t mind doing it for a living. It’s been my dream for a long long while.

My zest for whipping up more glorious bakes has amplified. My mind (and hands) is itching to do something about it. I want to do a project. Something is up my sleeves I’m telling you that. You will know in due time.

Meanwhile, have a brownie instead of a diamond today ūüėČ

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Red Velvet Buttermilk Brownies

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk or sour milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 ounce bottle red food coloring (2 tablespoons)

(*My modifications: 1tbsp red food colouring and 1cup dark brown sugar, 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chunks)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 15x10x1-inch baking pan; set aside. In a large bowl stir together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a medium saucepan combine butter, cocoa powder, and 1 cup water. Bring mixture just to boiling, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add the cocoa mixture to flour mixture; beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until thoroughly combined. Add eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, and red food coloring. Beat for 1 minute (batter will be thin). Pour batter into the prepared pan.

Bake about 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

Posted on 11th Mar 2014 in baking, brownies, cakes, cocoa  |  6 comments

Happy Brownie New Year!

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Hershey’s Quick & Easy Fudgey Brownies – my first bake of 2013!

The dust that has settled on this site of mine is now mountain-high. After a year of ‘no-show’, (no thanks to my decision to pour myself into work, happily of course!), it is time this ‘now-rusty-baker-who-cooks-occasionally’ pulls up her socks and conjures up some magic on this domain again.

My elusiveness has probably driven many readers away from here. To them, I say, it’s time to give me a second chance aye! This being a new year, the year I turn 29 (yea I’m that old. but it’s ok, i’m proud of my age), I would like to achieve new goals. Baking and cooking at least once a month (or forthnightly if possible) and try to revive my Cocoa & Butterscotch business. My home kitchen has expanded, plenty thanks to my dad – I now have a lovely engine-red KitchenAid, two Happycall pans, several Neoflam skillets, frying pans and Eco-cook pans, on top of our current sets of WMF saucepans and then some. So I’ve run out of excuses.

On the verge of sounding ultra-cliche, I have to say this – I’m back with a vengence! A delicious one of course. Nothing evil, unless you count food porn as temptation for you to break that diet. To this I say, live life, embrace all the butter, pasta, chocolate & cheese that surrounds you! Just exercise regularly (I’m very satisfied with my current exercise regime, the Insanity Workout program, which I will share more about in another post) and those hips will still be able to bring all the boys to your …yard… dancefloor, whatever!

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To kick things off 2013, here is one super simple brownie recipe you can follow even with your eyes closed. Of course I tweaked the sugar portion as usual. Used brown sugar instead and only 1.5 cups even though I doubled the recipe. We were going to have the brownies with ice-cream and I am not a fan of that cloyingly sweet aftertaste most store-bought brownies have. These were just right. You can call them ‘dark chocolate’ brownies if you will. They soaked up the melty ice-cream like a sponge and was a perfect end to a home-cooked dinner my friends and I had at their place yesterday.

This brownie really came to be because of a¬†spontaneous¬†Whatsapp message. Within the hour, we had gotten the ingredients, and I started baking. I used Hershey’s unsweetened baking chocolate bars to whip these mocha coloured babies. And despite the fact that I was cooking in a new kitchen (my friend’s place), I thought these brownies turned out rather well.

The many left-overs (we had a huge 3-course home-cooked meal prior: Port Salut cheese wrapped with smoked salmon & ham, Spicy grilled tumeric chicken with onion, chilli padi and caramelised onion topping, and Feta cheese salad topped with tomatoes, white button mushrooms and baby corn) were packed and fed to my dearest colleagues on Friday. Was relieved that they liked it. Phew, I still got some baking magic in me yet!

I’ve tried many brownie recipes and still, I always return to Hershey’s simple techniques of brownie ‘construction’. Because it is so dead easy, you can involve your kids. All you really need is a BIG mixing bowl and a wooden spoon. I didn’t even use a mixer for this.

To bake these, download the recipe from Hershey’s at this link:¬†Quick & Easy Fudgey Hershey Brownies

If you have a party for 10 to 15, then double the recipe like I did and reduce the amount of sugar according to personal sugar tolerance.

Before I sign-off, I would like to wish each of you a very Happy New Year and may you have a fulfilling, adventure (both in and out of the kitchen) filled new year with your loved ones.

Love,
Cheryl
xo

Posted on 4th Jan 2013 in brownies, New Year  |  7 comments

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