Brownies

When you live with two growing boys, brownies at least once a month are essential for domestic happiness.  As much as I love the gooey “chocolate lumps” that my mom and I have been making for years, I wanted to try out something new.  My chocolate-lump-loving brothers were skeptical, but this recipe turned out marvelously and they cleaned the pan at a record speed.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips for melting
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a double boiler over low heat, melt the 8 ounces of chocolate chips with the butter, stirring until smooth.  Allow to cool.  In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Add the sugar and vanilla to the chocolate mixture, then beat in the eggs.  Pour the chocolate mix into the flour mixture and mix with a spatula until well blended.  Stir in the chocolate chips then pour the batter into a buttered 9 by 13 inch pan.  Bake 25 minutes.  Enjoy!

Sunday Brunch at One Twenty Six

Of late my dad has been very busy working with his head chef on a Sunday brunch menu for his French-inspired restaurant,One Twenty Six.  For a while he was quite stressed, but opening day proved that it was all worth it.  The menu is fantastic–frittatas, omlettes, croque madames, even house-made waffles (complete with crème fraiche and a berry compote!)…

This Sunday was opening day, but we were dismayed to see that the temperatures that day were literally below those in the North Pole.  Worried that nobody else would show up, my family and some close friends decided to come and try out the menu.  Amazingly, the restaurant was actually quite busy! I suppose the temptation of fresh waffles was just too much!

  
   
 
  
 

Oven Roasted Potatoes

Potatoes are beautiful things, because they go with practically any dish. And they’re delicious when done the right way (they’re flavorless boiled, but then again, everything is flavorless when boiled).  This super easy side is a staple in the Chackalackal house.  First, peel the potatoes and cut them into long, thin pieces.  Place them in a baking pan and drizzle liberally with olive oil.  Then add salt, pepper and herbs (we ususlly add thyme and oregano).  Turn on the oven to 400 degrees and bake them until they are crisp, taking them out now and then to stir and adding more oil if necessary.  Enjoy!

 

 
Last night we ate these potatoes alongside an Italian chicken dish that my mom made. 

  
  

Gateau Breton

Here it is! My first post of 2016–I wanted to wait and make something special.  If you need to make a dessert that’s pretty, delicious and sophisticated, yet reliable, Gateau Breton is your best bet.  It consistently turns out well, so I often make this buttery French cake for dinner parties.  Served with a dollop of fresh whipped cream and berries it is literally perfection.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups of flour (2 cups if the batter seems watery)
  • 6 egg yolks (I know, that’s a lot.  I sometimes make meringues with the leftover egg whites)
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 beaten egg

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar till fluffy.  Add the vanilla and then the egg yolks, two at a time. Stir in the flour and salt.  Pat the batter, which will be pretty dense, into a 9 inch tart pan, then chill for ten minutes.

 

Beat one egg in a small bowl to create an egg wash.  Remove the batter from the fridge and use a fork to create a crisscross pattern as shown below, then brush the egg wash over the top of the cake (this will give it a beautiful golden color and a nice texture).

Bake 40-50 to minutes (keep an eye on it though; sometimes it only takes 30), until golden-brown.

Just before serving the cake, beat whipping cream and two tablespoons of sugar until stiff peaks form to make whipped cream.  Place a dollop of cream on each slice of cake as well as a spoonful of berries.  Enjoy!


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