Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cake

There are plenty of things in life that are easy.  Those that are easier for some than others.  I find it easy to talk to strangers, learn languages, laugh, knit, cook and maybe some other domestic things.

But, there are also those things in life that are hard.  What may be easier for you may be harder for me and vice-versa.  I, for example, have a hard time with taxes, keeping my money in my pocket, not biting my cuticles (which I was just doing…) and saying good-bye.

Good-byes suck.  I hardly find it easy to say good-bye if I don’t know when I’ll see the person next.  And then there’s the awkward… do I hug, shake hands, kiss?!  And then you end up doing all three and you walk away thinking… what a great last impression.

Well, I’m pretty sure that a guarantee cure for good-bye sadness is a block of chocolate chip cookie dough!  So, that’s why for my friend’s going away party I made Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cake.  Have you never heard of it before?  Neither had I.  I made it up.

DSC_0461-1

I’m pretty sure this cake could cure anyone’s blues.  In particular, I have two good-byes coming up.  One, if my friend Micah who is leaving Puno to go live with his parents in Arequipa.  So, it will only be a 6 hour drive to see him, but it still is sad.  The other, is my dog Roxy.  She is 14 this year, I think, and she has just been diagnosed with congestive heart failure… my parents are giving her medicine hopefully so that she’ll hold on until I come home in July.  It will be hard loosing her.  She’s been a good dog.

So, really!  Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cake?  How could this not help?!  Or even this guy:

DSC_0052 (2)

Yea, Rocky… you pee in my house still, but I love you.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cake

Cookie Dough via Joy the Baker

2 sticks (1 cup or 8 ounces) unsalted butter at room temperature
2 1/4 cups tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda (i know we’re not baking them, it’s for flavor)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup Greek yogurt or applesauce or peanut butter
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

I doubled this recipe from Joy’s original.  This is the base, as you can see from the picture above.  Put butter and the sugars in a mixing bowl and cream until fluffy.  Should take around three minutes with a machine.  Then, beat in your applesauce/yogurt/peanut butter along with the vanilla.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.  Once whisked together well, add to the butter mixture all at once and mix until well incorporated.  Then, fold in the chocolate chips.

Grease and flour a 9×13 pan and then spread the chocolate chip cookie dough into the bottom.  My dough turned out rather soft, but I also didn’t use real butter.  So, if you feel your dough is also on the runny side, put it in the freezer, if your dough is fine just put it in the fridge until your ready for the next step

Chocolate Mousse Layer
via Alton Brown

1 3/4 cups whipping cream
12 ounces quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 ounces espresso or strong coffee
1 tablespoon dark rum (if you do not want to use rum you can just leave it out)
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon flavorless, granulated gelatin

Chill 1 1/2 cups whipping cream in refrigerator. Chill metal mixing bowl and mixer beaters in freezer.

In top of a double boiler, combine chocolate chips, coffee, rum and butter. Melt over barely simmering water, stirring constantly. Remove from heat while a couple of chunks are still visible. Cool, stirring occasionally to just above body temperature.

Pour remaining 1/4 cup whipping cream into a metal measuring cup and sprinkle in the gelatin. Allow gelatin to “bloom” for 10 minutes. Then carefully heat by swirling the measuring cup over a low gas flame or candle. Do not boil or gelatin will be damaged. Stir mixture into the cooled chocolate and set aside.

In the chilled mixing bowl, beat cream to medium peaks. Stir 1/4 of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Fold in the remaining whipped cream in two doses. There may be streaks of whipped cream in the chocolate and that is fine. Do not over work the mousse.

Put it all together

Take the chocolate chip layer out of the fridge or freezer or wherever you put it and pour the mousse over and spread evenly into all the corners.  Then, you can make your own whipped cream, or you can use Cool-Whip.  I had to use Chantilly that comes in a powder form and I beat that with milk.  That’s also what I had to replace the heavy whipping cream with that you put in the mousse as well.  Oh my kitchen…

But, voila!  Mira!  Look at this piece of heaven.  I’m so happy my food creation worked.  Whew.

DSC_0415-1

What do you eat when you are down and out?  Do you fetch a bowl of ice cream?  Or even the whole pint?  Or do you dive into your jar of pickles… hmm for me that ties with the cookie dough!

Advertisements

Dulce de Leche Brownies

Today was kind of a bummer day.  It’s just one thing that can put the bushel over your candle and snuff out what bit of positive light was left fizzling on the wick.  It wasn’t particularly a productive day, other than the house got really clean and the fridge thawed… which I hope is never as hard to do again as it was today.

We were supposed to meet with Leonor, this woman we met months ago.  It has been a long time since we’ve been able to sit down with her and do a Bible study, and that time has been extended even more.  She wasn’t home.

I’m glad that I had my friend Kristen there with me, yet I felt bad.  I drug Franci and Kristen out there with me so Leonor could meet some of the girls on our team, and it was a fluke.  So, we prayed and came back home.

It’s funny the things that can bring us back from a sour mood.  This is why I was glad Kristen came along tonight.  She was talking about how much she falls down, this amused me.  So, when I got home I ran to the computer with a grilled cheese sandwich and invited Kristen to join me in watching some America’s Funniest Home Videos on YouTube… specifically people falling.

I love watching people fall down!  Am I a masochist?  No… well, maybe.  There’s just something about watching people bodies flopping about.  I think that’s the concept that really makes me laugh… flopping.  If they had really been hurt I don’t think they would have sent their videos in to be laughed at… right?

So, now I’m listening to John Mayer… oh heavenly voices of heaven.  And I have this guy in my lap:

DSC_0080

Oh, Rocky.  You have helped soothe my soul.

And then, the reason you’re here of course, I made these last night:

DSC_0332-1

and I had a piece when I got home… I think this really topped it off.  In fact, I took just a few bites from the piece and hid the rest in my armoire because Micah’s in the living room and I’d have to share if he saw me here gnawing on heaven.  I’m just not ready for that.

Rocky just snotted on my wrist… yuck.  But, I’m sure it was loving snot… I’ll take that.

You have two questions to answer; What’s your favorite John Mayer song?  Mine is Stop this Train.  If you don’t have one… I am ashamed.  The other, what is your pet’s name and, well, what is it?!

Dolce de Leche Brownies
as adapted from David Lebovitz (my new muse)

Brownie Mix
1/2 cup salted or unsalted butter, cut into pieces
6 ounces (170g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup  unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
optional: 1 cup toasted pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped (yuck)

Dulce de Leche
1 can condensed milk…
1 pinch salt
(yea that’s it!)

DSC_0374
The best thing about these brownies is that there is no leavening product to be seen in the ingredients.  This makes these brownies the perfect candidate for anyone living at high altitudes.  The only thing you have to worry about is not over-whipping your eggs!

You’ll first want to work on the dulce de leche.  I found this nifty way of making it, Make Dulce de Leche but since our boiling point is at a lower heat it was not working as it should.  Plus, the man in the video knows nothing about Spanish… don’t pay him any attention.  Six hours later I decided to do it my way.

Much like brigadeiro (a brazilian chocolate truffle, which I should do a segment on soon) you cook down the condensed milk in a pan over low heat, with continuous movement.  So, I just dumped the condensed milk in a pan with a pinch of salt and over low heat let it simmer while stirring non-stop.  The milk turned into a beautiful bronze dolce de leche in 15 minutes.  You can do it which ever way you decided.  Set to the side.

Grease an 8×8 pan and dust with flour and preheat the oven for 350 degrees F.  Set the pan to the side.

Then, melt the butter in a medium cooking pot over low heat.  Then, break the chocolate into pieces (or chop it into pieces) and stir constantly.  Once all the chocolate is melted remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth.  Add in the eggs one at a time (if you’re at high altitude add 1 more tablespoon egg… so the white, if you’re in Puno at 12,000 ft add the whole egg).  Then, stir in the sugar, vanilla and flour (I always add 2 or 3 tbsps of flour at high altitude, it gives the cake mixture more structure and strength while it bakes).  Mix in the nuts if you’re going to ruin your brownies.

Pour half the batter into your pre-greased pan, spreading it evenly over the surface.  Then, plop, drip, drizzle, spread, whichever method you want to employ, just get half of the dulce de leche in there.  Use a knife or something to swirl it around so everyone gets an even bite of it.  Otherwise, your kids are going to be freaking out about who gets the piece with more dulce.  I’m just thinking of you!  Then, pour the rest of the batter over and spread evenly.  Then repeat above dolce de leche application.

Bake in preheated oven for 35-45 minutes.  Now, bake it until it’s firm in the middle.  Meaning, you can poke a toothpick in the center and it can come out still a tad goopy.  If you press the center of the brownie and it’s rather firm to the touch, it’s done.  Take it out and let cool.  Baking it like this will give you that nice gooey center everyone loves brownies for.  If you want to bake it more… I guess that’s your prerogative, but I’m going to label you as strange, and I hate labels so don’t make me do that.