I had the chance to try a new recipe today. Wednesday are usually busy in the little kitchen where I bust my hump but today was one of those days where I could flex my talents. First, I made a quick dozen of chocolate muffins. They’re richer than cake. Pudding is the secret ingredient and I top them with chocolate chips. Feast your eyes on this photo of a trial batch I made a few weeks ago.
They’re missing the chips, but you can just imagine how wonderful these must be to hypnotize the masses into thinking they’re a breakfast appropriate muffin. In the background is my colleague’s Lemon Pound Cake. She always makes the perfect glaze.
Second! Time to brainstorm a cupcake. In recent weeks, I’ve made both Blueberry Lemon Cupcakes and Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes. Customers lose their minds any time I do a twist icing of two colors or flavors, so I thought maybe I could do a Berry Lemonade. Strawberry plus blueberry icing. Or a berries and cream? One of the berry flavors with cream cheese? Or vanilla. Fuck it, I’ll do the Dirty Chai cupcakes again.
I have good news and bad news. Good news: The Dirty Chai cupcakes were a debut hit and sold quickly. Bad news: I didn’t write down anything I threw in there. So this morning, I get my go-to vanilla cake recipe going and chop up some Fennel seeds into a dust that had the aroma of licorice and school pizza. Next, I add the usual suspects. Cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, more cinnamon, more cloves, more allspice, nutmeg, more cloves. I wrote it all down as I went and eventually the batter tasted like Chai heaven. I pulled them out of the oven just shy of being underbaked and worked up my coffee buttercream. Once the cakes cooled, I drizzled them with a simple Chai glaze and piped the coffee buttercream.
By now, you may be wondering how all this tasted together. I panicked when I got home and remembered that we didn’t have a staff distributed sample! I can honestly say I have no idea what they tasted like. A real calorie saving gamble.
Although the lunch orders began trickling in around 11, I invited chaos and started a sweet pastry dough. I had a cream cheese Danish type of treat in mind. I don’t have the time to ever make croissants or flaky puff pastry, and while I have no problem buying Phyllo dough for my strudels, I have yet to take the easy way out with frozen puff pastry dough. So with lack of time and lack of experience, this loaf I came up with is the closest I got to a Danish treat.
Thin strands of dough woven into a single loaf. It kind of reminded me of the creatures in Prometheus, which was incredible by the way. Egg glazed and sprinkled with raw sugar and cinnamon. Blueberries and cream cheese inside. Cream cheese icing drizzled on top. I hope customers ask for it warmed up and enjoy it as much as we did during our staff sample. There was no way I was going to forget to try that.
In gimmicky, from the box, basically not worth noting ventures, I found a recipe for Diet Coke brownies. Are they suspect? Yes. Am I willing to risk it to save calories? Absolutely. The story goes you can take a box of Low Fat Brownies (Betty Crocker, I think is what I picked up) and a can of Diet Coke.
I didn’t have high expectations for this recipe and I accidentally put nearly all 16 ounces of my bottle in. No one can underestimate gravity like I can. The batter was pure liquid but I put it in the oven anyway and forgot about it for over an hour. What I pulled out was a miracle. A giant 9 x 9 molten lava cake of joy. I have been keeping my portions small and snacking on this for the last few days. I have read that other people have good and bad results, ranging from rubber to never solidifying at all, to not worth it compared to full fat brownies.
Verdict: If you’re weak and unable to combat your hormonal cravings, I say give these a try.
That being said, I probably won’t make them again because the main thing in having the brownies around means I’m getting extra calories I can’t resist. Another diet lesson learned and in the future I need to keep my treats in small portions to begin with and when it’s gone, it’s gone!