Friday, May 24, 2013

I'd read this post with a snack.

This is going to be a lot of food, and I'm sorry. It's just I've been eating and cooking, and baking, and Dessert Day-ing. So grab a snack, buckle in, and let's talk about what's cooking in Deidre's Kitchen: The Good, the bad, and the delicious.

Let's start off with one of my biggest lessons of the week. Sometimes the individual parts are greater than the sum. I've mentioned before that I love cooking magazines, like crazy love. And this recipe for African Stew happened to be in one of my mother in laws cooking magazines, I immediately grabbed it. I liked everything involved.

Carrots - good.
Celery - good.
(If you're not reading this like Joey from the Thanksgiving episode...well hmph!)
Onion - good.
Tomatoes - good!
Coconut milk - good!
Sweet potato - Yes!
Curry powder - Good!

Put it all together, and I hated it. Now, I'm sharing this with you for a couple of reasons. 1. I'm hoping that if I write this down I'll remember that I don't like sweet potatoes in my curry. 2. I think often in blogging we hear about people making mistakes in perfecting a recipe, but we only see the finished product that looks beautiful. And I just want to say, sometimes the finished product ain't great.

Yesterday was dessert day and Kirsti and I had an action packed day planned. We were making these peppermint brownies from How Sweet It Is (modified to be gluten free), gluten free gold fish gold fish crackers, and a gluten free crumpet attempt.

Now I'm going to share this recipe here because we had 2 small alterations to the recipe.

You'll need:

For the brownies:

1/2 cup unsalted melted butter
1 cup white sugar (we used fine/caster sugar)
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup gluten free flour (we used white wings!)
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
a pinch of salt
2/3 cup chocolate chips

For the Peppermint Pattie layer
2 cups powdered sugar (gluten free!)
1.5 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
3 tablespoons evaporated milk
1/4 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
A few drops of green food colouring

For the Ganache

100 grams dark chocolate (we used 75 grams dark chocolate chips and 25 grams milk chocolate)
2.5 tablespoons heavy cream

First, preheat your oven to 350F or 176C. Grease and line a 8inx8in pan.

Then, in a large bowl combine melted butter, sugar, vanilla and whisk until it's nice or smooth (or use Kirsti's fancy pants new stand mixer). Mix in each egg one at a time. Then add flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt - stirring until nice and combined. mix in chocolate chips. Spread the batter in the baking dish back for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove and let it fully cool.

After the brownies are cooled, make the peppermint pattie frosting by adding all the ingredients together and beating with an electric mixer (or again the fancy stand mixer). Spread onto the brownies and let them rest in the fridge for 30 minutes or until the frosting is set.

Then make the ganache, heat the cream until warmed, add the chocolate and stir until smooth. Spread over the top of the frosting. Devour.

We also made attempted crumpets. Don't be fooled by their appearance, they tasted like yeast and chemicals. Delicious. We learned some valuable lessons here, mostly the crumpets need gluten. And if they are to be made gluten free, it will not be by a simple substitute the gluten free flour for the gluten flour but a more serious recipe change.

We also made goldfish crackers (we left out the xantham gum, because eh). Although without a gold fish cookie cutter, we made starfish, heartfish parrot fish, and star-of-david fish. I reccomend you make these immediately. No. right now.

And to top this off, last night I tried a new cheese - gorgonzola piccante instead of gorgonzola dulce. Verdict: Yum.

So, that adds four new recipes to my goal of cooking 100 new foods, 2 things I'll never make again, and one more cheese.

What have you been making lately, and which one of these are you going to try first?


  1. Those brownies look so yummy. I must admit that I have never made stew with potatoes or most of the things in that recipe and I'm African. It'll be interesting to know exactly what country the recipe was adapted from

    Now I think I have to go find me some brownies

    xo Stephanie

    1. Hah! Good to know. Well anyway, I have no idea where it was adapted from.

  2. I'm surprised the stew didn't taste good? I love all those ingr├ędients, too, and I can't imagine they don't mix together to create vegetarian deliciousness??

    But ohmygod those brownies. WANT.

  3. Oh my God those brownies! THOSE BROWNIES! I'm salivating Deirdre, SALIVATING!

  4. The brownies! This is what need in my life at this very moment. That shiny layer of frosting on top is just....yum.

  5. That African Stew sounds pretty yummy to me. I would probably use normal potatoes. And no onions! Onions are my enemies. Haha.

  6.'s just not fair to post pictures of those brownies if they can't be shared!!! I NEED THEM NOW!!!

  7. That is the worst! I hate it when that happens and then you feel like you just wasted all that food:( thank goodness for pizza

  8. seriously, you shouldn't be posting those pictures of that brownie when i'm just about to start my period and i'm craving sweets like nobody's business!!

  9. Ok the brownies look seriously amazing, I'd make those!

  10. Oh wow, these brownies look delicious!! Have a great weekend!

    Jayme & Mendi @ Her Late Night Cravings

  11. haha thank you for beins so blunt with us about the african stew! i've never, ever been a fan of sweet potatoes either- just not my cup of tea. everything else about that sounded yummy, which is surprising why it turned out not tasty!

    xo Marlen
    Messages on a Napkin

  12. Yum. Not the crumpets, but that brownie looks very good. My husband loves watching cooking shows and looking at recipes but we rarely ever follow through on it. Except I do sort of want those brownies now.

  13. Can I come over and eat your food please???!??? :-) The brownie especially looks good!

  14. the brownies look amazing! I thought they were red velvet at first, but peppermint sounds amazing too.

    - Val @

  15. Oh. My. God. Those brownies... I am dying. They look so good!

    XO Lourdes

  16. These all look delish! Great foodie post!!

  17. In the name of food, stop! Those brownies look beyond delicious! I'm not much of a cook, but I totally love baking :)

  18. Oh my! Thanks for your suggestion at the beginning! Yes, NEED to grab a snack to read your post. Otherwise I'll be getting to hungry now when I'm ready to comment. Boy, that lovely and decadent layers brownies....I'm speechless! (probably because I put too much food in my mouth while reading your post! hahahaa....) Have a great weekend.

  19. WOW those brownies look DELICIOUS!! I wish I could find gluten free flour here :/

  20. Oh my goodness I gained five pounds just reading this :)
    Have a fantastic weekend!!

  21. Oh my goodness why must you tempt me!?!

  22. Homemade goldfish?!? Holy. Moly. You are adventurous and determined, and I like that.

    They look awesome. Possibly even better as stars. And those brownies?? ooohhh.

  23. I love that you referenced the Friends Thanksgiving episode! That one was the best!

  24. Man, it's so disappointing when you put all the work into making something and it just doesn't taste good! But all cooking is experimentation--and it seems like you learned a lot this last cooking endeavor.

  25. I am so hungry after reading this!! And I'm glad you posted your "mistake" with the recipe because it happens to all of us. The important thing is to make a note of what happened so next time the recipe will turn out better.

  26. I have to give you credit for even trying some of the gluten free type things! I could never work in a test kitchen, cause I would be bummed too much when things did not work out! Every once in a while I have recipe that turns out like your stew.. it reads great, but is not so great in the execution! But I would never try to make something vegan or gluten free etc, too risky! And the crumpets do look FABULOUS!! Bet they smelled good too, you have most likely proved my theory that you can put yeast in most anything and bake it as it will smell divine! I came up with this theory because of the nasty bread sticks at a restaurant in the hospital where I work! I have been tricked by their smell into trying them twice. They smell fabulous, taste like library paste or some such thing!

    Came to your blog from your comment on mine about my Aussie!

  27. I want a piece of those brownies. Like right now! :) Yum!

  28. My kids LOVE goldfish so I MUST try that recipe. Totally bookmarking and off to poke around here a bit more.

  29. I think everyone's a little overwhelmed with that brown. I'll have to admit! I am too! :p

  30. Dang, too bad the stew didn't turn out (I'm surprised!) but the brownies look amazing... yum. You're right, I should have prepared a snack before reading this post. :-)

    Sarah @ Life As Always

  31. I'm not sure if my last comment went through...but pretty much I'm off to find some cheese and chocolate now...