Saturday, 27 September 2008

Chocolate Cake...

...or, to be more accurate, chocolate chip cookies.
"Satan's Own Cookies", in fact, to give them their proper title - named by one of the "Friday toddler group" members, clutching what was probably her third - ah, come on, we weren't going to waste them on the kids, now were we? That'd be daft)
So, since they seemed to be well received, and nobody ended-up in hospital, I thought I'd go for a complete departure from this blog's usual fare, and post the recipe (complete with small annotations for those who are clueless about baking -like me!) for these cocoa-laden dollops of anti-dieting evil.

Now, before we go any further, I'd better make a couple of things very clear. Firstly, this is a highly-modified version of the basic chocolate-chip cookie recipe from that publication of unrivalled splendour, "The Be-Ro Book" - no "kitchen numptie" (again, like me) should be without one. Secondly, all the cookies pictured are the genuine finished article. Whether the also-pictured "Gods of Rock" are actually eating them or not, I'll leave up to your critical faculties to determine. (If you are, however, quite that gullible, you'd best steer well clear of the Cruisefarians and their little "make you feel like a complete failure", so-called "personality assessment" sessions).


150g (6 oz) Butter (not margarine. Nae trans-fats here!)
112g (4+1/2 oz) "Soft light brown sugar" (except I only had really dark sugar, so I used a 2-parts dark stuff-to-one part granulated, which worked fine. Fairtrade "wholemeal" sugar, too, ideally. Mine was, but telling you that makes me look horribly self-righteous, doesn't it?)
3 tablespoons (45 ml) Maple Syrup (I use Canadian - sorry Vermonters, but them's the breaks...and yes, it does taste slightly different)
220g (er...8 oz?? sorry, but I'm going by the book's slightly 'odd' conversions) Wholemeal Flour
45g (2 oz) 'Green & Black's' Cocoa Powder (in other words, "power cocoa". These have to be "none more chocolate", as Nigel Tufnell might have put it if he'd been eating them in 'Spinal Tap'...which, er, he wasn't.)
100g (4 oz) Plain Chocolate Chips (you could always put in a few more if you want...and again, the darker the better)
3 tablespoons (45ml) Milk
3 teaspoons (15 ml) Baking Powder
(apparently size does matter)


1. Heat oven to 180C, 350F, 'Gas Mark 4' - in other words, keep the mini-primates out of the sodding way. Oh, and you're going to need an oven mitt, unless you're particularly partial to the smell of your own flesh charring. Grease 2 baking trays. Or just one, if that's all you have. (Don't worry, nobody round here's judging you. Well...maybe only a few of them. You know, the ones who host dinner parties for more than 6 people, and know how to make 3 different types of pastry...them.)

2. "Beat the butter until soft" (much easier if it's been sitting out a while beforehand - if you've only just hoiked it out of the fridge, then a brief low-power blast in the microwave (NB Kitchen numpties - not still in its wrapper!) will work wonders. Add the sugar and "cream together until light and fluffy". I'm sorry, but I made these entirely by hand, and "light and fluffy" was never on the agenda. School Home Economics teachers must have had the power of cement mixers in their forearms, because there's no way me and a wooden spoon are going to achieve "fluffiness". I'd settle for what looks like "thoroughly mixed"...they still came out ok...

3. "Stir in the syrup, flour, chocolate chips and milk and mix well". Not forgetting the cocoa powder & baking powder, of course. And as for the stirring and mixing, yeah, it's likely to induce hand pain & sweating (as per step 2). But don't give up now - you've almost made it to the eating stage! Just a brief interlude of applied heat to go!

4. "Place spoonfuls of the mixture on the prepared trays and bake for 8-10 minutes". Hmmm. I was using a wee fan-assisted oven, and 8 minutes was absolutely all they needed. Any longer and they burn on t'bottom, which is never recommended. Erring on the side of caution, (and sensible usage of the appropriate protection), is always advisable...and also gives you a greater-than-98% chance of avoiding pregnancy - always a bonus. "Remove from the tray immediately and place on a wire rack to cool".

Oh, yeah, should have said - get one of those wire cooling rack things ready before you start, because if, (like me), you completely forget about it, you might end up scrabbling around in a cupboard for one, while trying to hold a (hot) tray of still-slightly-soft cookies perfectly flat in the other hand. Add to this state of unpreparedness and minor panic a very saggy, almost grip-free oven glove, and you just know there are going to be cookie casualties. Which is extremely vexatious after all the effort you went to in steps 1 to 3.

(Mr. Blackmore here is giving a fine demonstration of precisely how annoying dropping freshly-made cookies on the floor can be, even though somebody's given him a clean one to nibble. There's no pleasing some folk...)

And that's it! Let them cool sufficiently to 'solidify' fully, of course, and then...well...they're all yours. All yours. Nobody else's. Yours! Mwahahahahahahahahahha!!!

Hope that works - oh, and one final thing, since there's no eggs in the recipe, mini-primates can happily indulge in a vicious battle for the "scrapings".

"Vaguely music-related ramblings" will return next week. Possibly. Unless global capitalism has collapsed in on itself by then, and I'm too busy looting.


Martin Lennon said...

Actually, I've been reasonably reliably informed that you CAN, in fact, put metal into Microwaves, so long as it NEVER touches the sides - otherwise, you have a little ball of plastic, metal and whatever was inside the microwave all smouldering and smelling utterly of the afore-mentioned molten globs of plastic, as will your kitchen for 14 years afterwards.

I, however, ain't trying it.

Andy Gilmour said...

Heh! I went and did some research, and it seems that yes, you can put various bits of metal in microwaves "safely", (e.g. aluminium foil dishes! BUT butter in its wrapper isn't one of them!

The outer foil here is incredibly thin, so heats up very quickly, which has a tendency to set the inner lining on fire...and will butter burn?? :-)