Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Number One.

So tomorrow is my fantastic coworker's birthday celebration. I say that it's the celebration because of course his birthday was last weekend, so I forgot about it, and also tomorrow because we all come together for a every-other-week rant staff meeting... and that means birthday! Usually I run to Wally World ten minutes before our meeting and buy a crappy cake that has been sitting in a cooler for a week. But no! Not this birthday! This birthday I am making the treat! That means everyone I work with will be eating these. Please, please.... PLEASE don't let me give everyone food poisoning.

Nothing like being judged by a large group of people who I have to face every day for my first challenge. 

At least with a blog I have a little anonymity. Right?

In any case, he said he wanted cheesecake. But, cheesecake? Really. Cheesecake. I am NOT up for cheesecake, nor do I have the ten million years it takes to make a cheesecake. (ok not really ten million years, but who's counting? really?)

In any case. I asked him if he'd settle for cupcakes. He said yes. So I've been dreaming of fancy decorated cupcakes ALL day long. But now I'm home, and cupcakes seem so... simple. And if I'm ANYTHING I am not simple. I'm a domestic GENIUS/GODDESS. So how about...

Cheesecake Chocolate Brownies.

Now we're talking. What? You want more?

Cheesecake Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes.

That's more like it. Why not REALLY push myself. Oh yeah, had I mentioned as of 8:30pm I hadn't gone shopping for supplies yet? Well it's a good thing there's a Fred Meyer's right around the corner.

So the first thing I did was look at the Food Network's website at their AMAZING looking (probably photoshopped) recipe. It looks fantastic, however, the stinking ingredients would have cost me an arm and a leg. And as much as I really like Shawn as a person, I had a $10 limit. So then I found THIS absolutely scrumptious (really kind of easy looking) recipe from All Recipes. I was sold. It had TONS of reviews, which I learned at Christmas was the true indication of how good a recipe was, and I had almost all the ingredients at home.

That was when I was stuck on traditional brownie/cheesecake combos. Then I started thinking about the cupcakes again and how they would have been SO easy to serve. And then it occurred to me:

Why can't I make brownies in a cupcake?
Seriously? Why can't I? Cakes don't know what they're being baked in. So why not separate them out?

So this I found THIS amazing breakdown of exactly what I wanted. This was the site that really gave me the confidence I needed to take the leap.

Now. Let me announce one thing before we go any farther. I have NEVER made a brownie that didn't come pre-mixed in a  box.

(And I even screw the ones in a box up. I've screwed them up a lot.)

So I decided I'd make ONE and see if it was the worst thing I'd ever tried. I burnt it, just a teensie, tinsie bit. when I poked it with a skewer (apparently I don't own toothpicks, better put it on the shopping list) thick, liquidy chocolate kept coming out! I was so confused as to WHY the dough wasn't cooking-- and then it occured to me: duh- you're poking through a chocolate chip. But even burnt, lemme tell you.

It was freaking fantastic.

So I kept going. And I took photos so you could experience this amazing first step into domestication with me.

I toyed with not adding the chocolate chips to the cheesecake because I felt like I really wanted a distinction between the chocolate and the cheesecake. But I couldn't get the cheesecake dough (is that what you call it?) to be smooth and it was bothering me. Adding the chocolate chips made it look chunky so my OCD was satiated. (Apparently me and my Wally World mixer were not good enough for this dough to behave for)

This is my VERY sophisticated double boiler system. I was super confused about whether I could take the brownie dough OFF the double boiler as soon as it was all melted or if I needed to keep going. I kept it on until I mixed the flour, only because I had attempted to burn myself several times and figured my fingers were the most important thing to keep working. In hindsight I bet I could have taken it off as soon as I started mixing in the dry ingredients.

 A full tray of yumminess.


I chose to make mine with the brownie on the bottom and the cheesecake on the top. The recipe called for brownie/cheesecake/brownie... but it was just too pretty like this! Plus I was worried that you wouldn't be able to tell there was cheesecake in the center because of the cup cake sleeves.... in any case! I'll stop rambling about it. I tried to mix up the top layer(s) a little so that the mottled effect would come about.

So tomorrow they will go to work. I briefly attempted to make little chocolate motorcycles to decorate the tops but they came out looking like bassinets, so I think I'll skip that this time. We'll see what the coworkers think about them. They are VERY rich. I have major chocolate addictions and ONE is enough for me (even though I've already eaten three. Shhh! Don't tell! I was taste testing!).

So week one is DOWN! I can't believe that I picked something totally random and it worked on the first try!!! Maybe I'll try a bonus domestication step this week-- since I'm all motivated and lucky and stuff. OR maybe I will just attempt to clean my house, but where's the fun in that?

P.S. No idea why half this post is double spaced, especially because I can't find ANYWHERE on the toolbar a place to mess with the spacing. Oh well! It's too late to really care!

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