Tuesday, February 9, 2010

TWD: It Takes a Village to Bake a Brownie

One of my favorite things about being a part of the Tuesdays with Dorie baking community is the weekly P & Q. It's an opportunity to eavesdrop (or participate, if you dare) on a conversation about the week's project. My fellow bakers are so interesting; they substitute ingredients and pans, chatter about technique and baking times, and troubleshoot the tricky recipes.

You wouldn't think that a brownie recipe would cause much of a stir with a group of accomplished bakers, but Rick Katz's Brownies for Julia (Child, that is) yielded no fewer than 47 comments. This validates a lot of my experiences in the kitchen; even with great recipes and the freshest ingredients the process for a home cook is probably going to be much different than the recipe implies. In this case, the key to success was a much larger pan than Dorie recommended (9 x 13 instead of 8 x8), a strip of parchment paper, and about 5 extra minutes in the oven.

The coolest part of this recipe was splitting the egg and sugar mixture, incorporating half of it into the melted chocolate, then whisking the other half in a stand mixer until it tripled in volume. I wouldn't call them weeknight brownies because of that step and the number of bowls and pans involved, but they are by far the best brownies I have ever made.

Since my friend Scott was turning 29 (for the first time - how nice!) I let him choose the addition of peanut butter chips. Bay-bee!

Thanks to Tanya of Chocolatechic for choosing this week's confection. Check out the recipe and her blog here.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Snow Day

It's not often that the Wine Guy has a snow day, but on Saturday Moore Brothers was closed and Paolo De Marchi's much anticipated visit was canceled because of the storm. We dug out, we puttered around in our comfy clothes, and of course, we ate.

The back of Madison Court blanketed in snow.

4th Street from our front door.

The historical marker in front of our house should say, "Most cookies consumed in any location in Philadelphia."

Finally roasted the turkey bones and made soup.

Eggs for lunch!

Goldilocks called; she wants the bears' chairs back.

Choosing the day's projects.

Trash can snowball.

French TV snacks - salty, sweet hazelnut goodness.

Roast chicken - the perfect ending to a beautiful day together.