A breeze to mix up and bake whenever you’re having un p’tit creux for something that screams “Chocolate”, these rocky road brownies should keep you from going insane. Lightly roasted marshmallows, studded with pecan pieces and homemade dark Lindt chocolate chips, on top of a perfect brownie, the recipe is one I copied down ages ago from Hershey’s Kitchens.
As a child I was a devout marshmallow fan and could never get enough of these soft, pillow-shaped pieces of candy, commonly known over here as la gomme. That was until I was to discover that the sweet stuff was gelatin derived. After being marshmallow-deprived for so many years, I was delighted to come across a gelatin-free version somewhere in Port Louis and I can now safely go back to eating them till I complain of tummy ache.
ROCKY ROAD BROWNIES
1-1/4 cups mini marshmallows
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup caster sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp table salt
- Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 9-inch square baking pan. Stir together chocolate chips, marshmallows and nuts.
- Place butter in large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at medium (50%) 1 to 1-1/2 minutes or until melted.
- Add sugar, eggs and vanilla; beat until well blended. Add flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; stir until well blended.
- Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake 22 minutes. Sprinkle chocolate chip mixture over top.
- Continue baking 5 minutes or until marshmallows have softened and puffed slightly.
- Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Using wet knife, cut into squares. About 20 brownies.
Whenever I have time and energy for it, I like to prove and bake my own bread. These dinner rolls are among the best I have made at home with a soft crust and a moist, tender interior. Their flavor is pleasantly mild and slightly buttery; it must be the potato flakes that gives them this amazing texture. This recipe, from King Arthur’s Flour, is gonna be my new standard for dinner rolls as from now.
KING ARTHUR’S SOFT WHITE ROLLS
1 packet “highly active” active dry yeast; or 2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast; or 2 1/2 tsp instant yeast
7/8 to 1 1/8 cups lukewarm water*
3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
1/2 cup instant mashed potato flakes
- If you’re using active dry yeast, dissolve it with a pinch of sugar in 2 tablespoons of the lukewarm water.
- Let the yeast and water sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, until the mixture has bubbled and expanded.
- If you’re using instant yeast, you can skip this step. Combine the yeast with the remainder of the ingredients.
- Mix and knead everything together—by hand, mixer or bread machine on the dough cycle – till you’ve made a smooth dough.
- If you’re kneading in a stand mixer, it should take 5 to 7 minutes at second speed, and the dough should barely clean the sides of the bowl, perhaps sticking a bit at the bottom. In a bread machine (or by hand), it should form a smooth ball.
- Place dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise, at room temperature, until nearly doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
- Rising may take longer, especially if you’ve kneaded by hand. Give it enough time to become quite puffy.
- While the dough is rising, lightly grease two 9″ round cake pans, or a 9″ x 13″ pan.
- Gently deflate dough, and transfer to a lightly greased work surface. Divide into 16 pieces. Shape each piece into a rough ball.
- Pull the dough into a very small knot at the bottom, then roll it under the palm of your hand into a smooth ball.
- Place 8 rolls in each of the round cake pans (or all 16 in the 9″ x 13″ pan), spacing them evenly; they won’t touch one another.
- Cover the pan(s) with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the rolls to rise till they’re very puffy, and have reached out and touched one another, about 1 hour. While the rolls are rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Bake the rolls until they’re a deep golden brown on top, and lighter on the sides, about 25 minutes.
- Remove the rolls from the oven, and after 2 or 3 minutes, carefully transfer them to a rack.
- They’ll be hot and delicate, so be careful. Serve warm, or at room temperature. Brush hot-from-the-oven rolls with melted butter, if desired, for a soft, buttery crust. For snowflake rolls, gently shake flour from a sieve atop the warm rolls.
* Use the lesser amount in summer (or in a humid environment), the greater amount in winter (or in a dry climate), and somewhere in between the rest of the year, or if your house is climate controlled.
** When making yeast rolls or bread, let the dough rise to the point the recipe says it should, e.g., “Let the dough rise till it’s doubled in bulk.” Rising times are only a guide; there are so many variables in yeast baking that it’s impossible to say that bread dough will always double in bulk in a specific amount of time.