Friday, February 25, 2011

Valentine's Day, aka I LOVE CHOCOLATE

A few weeks ago I made some impressively messed up muffins. I won't say bad because they were edible, unlike the disastrous cornbread muffins I tried. They were messed up because I just didn't really think about the different types of flour. Those muffins completely failed to rise, resulting in midget muffins that were incredibly dense and had a very strange texture. I ate them for a week or two, and then was sick of having to hide my breakfast in shame each morning.

Notice how you can stack two in a muffin container that's meant for one. Eating just one wasn't filling at all. It just made me hungrier. On Sunday night, I had had enough of them and decided that since I'd be in the kitchen for my Valentine's experiment, I should make proper muffins. And these turned out fantastically, with one~ little problem.

It seems that the heart shaped ones weren't completely done (although I swear I toothpick tested them, I really did). But they still taste delicious so I don't mind. Supposedly they are only 98 calories. I'm not sure I believe that. They don't taste like they're less than a hundred calories. They're deliciously fluffy, even after being frozen. I am tempted to never cook another muffin recipe and try substituting other fruits for the blueberries.

I've already gone through two weeks of them, so I will have to start looking for the next recipe soon. Probably more fruit, as it lets me pretend they're healthy.

Although I can almost fit two muffins in my cupcake holder. I wonder if I just make my muffins too small?

Blueberry Muffins from Chocolatesuze
(Makes 20 mufins, approximately $0.95 per muffin)
  • 1.33 cups sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups blueberries

    1. Preheat oven to 345F.
    2. Mix sour cream, sugar, egg, and vanilla extract together.
    3. Add flour to mixture.
    4. Add the blueberries and stir gently.
    5. Add butter and milk, continuing to stir gently.
    6. Bake for 20 minutes, or longer if not done.
    These also freeze just fine, although they stick to each other when you pull them out if you aren't careful. I've had a few causalities. I'm a good bit late for a Valentine's post, but timeliness isn't really my thing. Boyfriend Bird and I decided we didn't really want to celebrate Valentine's Day, or at least not 'traditionally'. For us, Valentine's comes after a string of birthdays and Christmas and our anniversary, so we're both out of gift ideas. (I say us both, but it's me. He's very good at gifts.) We decided that we wouldn't go out to a fancy dinner or buy each other anything, but just have a quiet night together. And it was wonderful. We went to a local grilled cheese place and then played Minecraft and Black Ops for the night. We're nerdy birds. But of course I couldn't resist trying to make SOMETHING for him. So I bought oreos, chocolate, a candy mold, and had some fun. The one in the top corner was me wondering if I could just dunk them with my hands. No. Chocolate is hot. Do not try that. It will hurt and you will feel dumb. (But if you do, you should probably eat that oreo before anyone else sees it. And then post pictures of it on the internet anyway.) I also decided to be fancy and do some white chocolate too. I melted all this chocolate by using what I have dubbed the 'ghetto boiler,' although I think it's actually a pretty common method. Mama Bird has an impressive collection of pots, so I found two that sit on top of each other, boiled water in the bottom one and then put the chocolate in the top one. So by making my own double boiler. There are plenty of guides on how to do it written by people who actually know what they're doing, if anyone is really curious. Sadly, I only made about seven white chocolate cookies. I've used my ghetto boiler two or three times before, but this was the first time I overheated the chocolate. It was an interesting experience; the chocolate firmed back into a solid. I was confused at first, thinking that the steam must all be escaping and that I needed to turn up the heat, so I only made it worse. But at least a few of them weren't ruined. The milk chocolate ones turned out wonderfully. The candy mold chocolates turned out mostly well too. They tasted wonderful (other than burning it, how can you mess up oreos and chocolate?), but I didn't really have a good strategy for trimming the excess chocolate from the edges of the mold. If/When I attempt this in the future, I will be more mindful of scraping the extra chocolate on the mold, and filling them to the proper point so they sit correctly. Not that Boyfriend Bird minded. I think most of them are gone at this point. We did end up going out for a Valentine's dinner that Friday. We went to a wonderful sushi place, and he got me to try some crazy ones. Boyfriend Bird is much more adventurous than I, he really enjoys going out and ordering food or beer he's never had before. Like duck tongue. We ordered sea urchin, but I wimped out because it looked so strange, but I did eat the salmon roe. And the enormous special we ordered that I could hardly fit in my mouth, and the delicious spicy grilled roll... This post's cooking lesson(s):
    • Pay attention to the type of flour you're supposed to use.
    • Don't overheat chocolate when trying to melt it.
    • Try new foods! (maybe this is more of a life lesson...)
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