Archive | July, 2012

Pork Free Post: The BEST Brownies, ever

17 Jul

As promised in my comeback post, I’m going to start adding more non-pork recipes, the first of which is a brownie recipe. The almond coconut brownies I posted a while ago are tremendous, but these are crazy good.

Dark chocolate is one of the greatest things on the planet – that super bitterness mixed with a touch of sweet is fabulous. When I was younger, I used to love Hershey’s Dark Chocolate bars. I thought it was soooo fancy. That was before I knew what real dark chocolate was all about. Now, that Hershey’s stuff is nasty sweet, and totally unappealing. Another great thing about dark chocolate? It is filled with healthy antioxidants, giving me more reason to eat it.

So the brownies. I came across these on the Baking Bites site, so I can’t claim them as my own. The relatively minimal amount of “flour” (actually, there is zero flour in here) makes them super dense and rich, almost like eating a chocolate truffle or piece of fudge. For the melted chocolate content, I used 1 oz of 100% dark chocolate and 1 oz of 85% dark chocolate, both high quality, and the chocolate chips were 85% dark chocolate. I did throw in some walnuts, but contemplated mixing a bunch of nuts – cashews, walnuts and almonds. Next time, right?

Also, the original recipe uses a microwave to melt the chocolate and butter. I do not own a microwave, so I used the double-boiler recipe. If you want to use a microwave, follow the original recipe which is linked below.

Fudgy GF Dark Chocolate Brownies

(Adapted from Baking Bites)

  • 1/2 cup butter (or coconut oil)
  • 2 oz dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup (or more!) of nuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 baking dish with foil and spray with nonstick spray (FYI – I didn’t do this, and they didn’t stick at all).

In a small saucepan, bring some water to a simmer. Place a metal bowl over the saucepan (without letting the bowl touch the water); add the chopped chocolate and butter. Using a silicone spatula, stir until completely melted. 

In another bowl, whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder and cornstarch. Add in the butter / chocolate mixture and stir to combine. Whisk in vanilla and salt, then add the eggs one at a time, stirring to incorporate. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.

Pour the mixture into the pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until brownie edges are set. Cool completely before slicing (this is really hard to do!). 

The original recipe says 25 small bites or 16 larger brownies, but those must have been pretty darn small. I got about 16 small brownies out of the recipe, which were about 2″x2″. Clearly my “small” brownies are equivalent to other people’s “normal” or “larger” size brownies. Oh well…..


Where Have I Been?!

12 Jul

I feel like a flake. Has it really been SEVEN months since the last post….which wasn’t even about pork?! Apparently so. I’m horrified.

This year has been kooky, per usual. I actually do have reasoning behind not posting – I haven’t been cooking pork shoulder very much. Without getting into specifics, I was diagnosed with a “syndrome” that now requires me to take some diabetes medicine (I don’t have diabetes though, thankfully!). My brother and I couldn’t help but joke about the whole situation, which of course was in an exaggerated Paula Deen voice with a little Wilford Brimley in there, and as such I made this beautiful collage for him:


Anyway, back to the main point. The side effects of the medicine are worse when you eat fattier meats, so I’ve been trying to comply with that. However, there is a bright side. The side effects are only in the beginning, and lucky for me, haven’t lasted that long. In fact, they were actually very mild. I read some awful stories that freaked me out, but I guess I was one of the lucky ones. I have my reasons as to why, mostly that despite loving pork shoulder, I eat a pretty damn healthy diet. What does this all mean? I’m promising to myself that I’m back on the pork shoulder wagon.

A few months ago I started ordering meats from a local “meat buyers club”. It sounds so weird, but it is amazing. All of the meats are local and raised with sustainable practices (is this Portlandia?! Did I eat Colin?!), and you can definitely taste it. The meats are so.freaking.good. We’ve had eggs, lamb, chicken, beef and pork. Guess which meat we find to be the best? Pork, of course. The pork chops are out of this world. I’ve yet to order a shoulder, but this is marked on the order form that will be faxed in tomorrow. I was actually overwhelmed when figuring out what to order – they have Boston Butt roast, shoulder roast boneless and shoulder roast bone-in…..and each as choices from three different farms. Oh my, the stress involved!

Anyhoots, in summary, I’m healthier now that I’ve figured out why I’ve had some various issues, and I’m ready to eat tons of pork again. Keep an eye out in the near future for the next recipe! We’re undergoing a kitchen renovation at the moment, which has rendered me kitchenless to some degree, so either this next post will involve a grill in the next 3 weeks or it will be appearing in the first week of August. Either way, I’m exciting to figure out my next pork concoction.

I’ll also add here, briefly, that I am going to start to add more non-pork recipes. I’ve been experimenting a lot more lately and have made some recipes I feel are worth sharing (like super rich dark chocolate gluten-free brownies). 

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