Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

I am on a quest.
One of my housemates asked me to make red velvet cupcakes. I love making people happy with my baking, and never like to disappoint, so I have been on the hunt for distilled white vinegar for the last week. After going to NINE grocery stores (no exaggeration), I have come to the conclusion that distilled white vinegar does not exist in London; if it does, it is VERY hard to find.
Last night, after going to my ninth store, I decided to call it quits on the quest (for now). I found a delightful-sounding recipe for red velvet brownies that does not call for white vinegar (or buttermilk), and I made those instead.

I think they turned out pretty nicely. And my housemate? I won't reveal how many of these she's eaten but she was very pleased.
I don't have a square pan so I made it in a circular cake pan. Since I only have two and a half weeks left at the program (*sobs*), I figured I might as well make do with what I have.
As a bonus, I was able to use up the leftover Cream Cheese Frosting from the carrot cakes. And I found some snazzy red, white and blue sprinkles at a shop in Bath.
I'm not sure how we're going to celebrate Independence Day tomorrow. We're assuming the Brits aren't big on celebrating the day we dipped out on their empire, so I think we'll keep it pretty low key.
Red Velvet Brownie Cake
Courtesy of What Megan's Making
Note: I doubled the recipe but made two separate batches (previous bad experiences taught me not to multiply recipe amounts unless absolutely necessary). This is the original recipe, but I put the doubled amounts in parentheses.
Unsalted butter- 1/2 c (1 c)
Bittersweet chocolate- 3 oz (6), chopped
Sugar- 1 1/2 c (3)
Eggs- 3 (6), large
Vanilla- 1 tsp (2)
Salt- 1/4 tsp (1/2)
Liquid red food coloring- 1 oz (2)
Flour- 1 c (2)
Baking powder- 1/2 tsp (1)
1. Heat butter and chocolate in a large saucepan over low heat, stirring until chocolate is melted.
2. Remove pan from heat and whisk in the sugar and eggs. Stir in the vanilla, salt and food coloring.
3. Sift flour and baking powder and add to mixture. Stir to blend well.
4. Line a 9x9 baking pan with aluminum foil- leave an overhang so you can easily lift the brownies out when they're done. Spray foil with nonstick spray, then pour batter into prepared pan.
5. Bake at 325 degrees F for 35-40 minutes (I checked at 20), or until the top springs back when touched and the tester comes out with moist crumbs.
6. After cooling for 10 minutes on counter, remove brownies from pan, lifting the aluminum overhang. Place in refrigerator for 1 hour, frost with cream cheese frosting, then return to fridge for 1-2 hours. Trust me, these bad boys are good when they're warm but incredible when they're cold.

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