I feel guilty for not spending more time with the oven lately. Blame it on my work (heehee, that’s a joke, of course) and my other interests. Anyway, we had a potluck last week and I volunteered to bring the dessert. Since it’s the season to be jolly and even jollier, and eat more, here’s this easy fudge brownie recipe for you.
You will need:
1 cup butter
4 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs if you like it fudgy and chewy (or 3 eggs if you want it to be cake-like)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 inch baking pan (or other pan size, in this case, I toyed and opted to use a heartshaped pan. In 3-quart saucepan over very low heat, melt butter or margarine and chocolate, stirring the mixture constantly. Remove from heat, and stir the sugar into the chocolate. Allow the mixture to cool slightly. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour and salt; stir into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the walnuts. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake in oven for 30 minutes. Brownies are done when toothpick inserted into center come out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack.
To add some colors, I put the same kind of sprinkles I used for the Disney princesses cupcakes. On to a geek cum childlike mode, I used Albert Einstein‘s and one of Strawberry Shortcake’s friends’ figures as toppers.
On a happy note, a friend is on her first trimester of pregnancy and was craving for the same brownie. I willingly whipped an extra share for her. I hope the baby’s complexion will not be brownie-like, but that he or she will get the sweetness and cheerful spread a brownie can exude. ? ? ?
I recently had another of those “if you cannot buy it, cook it” days. While buttered shrimps, garlic shrimps, spicy shrimps and the like are easy, but if you happened to have dined in dampa (I’ve been only to Seaside Macapagal Boulevard), you will definitely crave for their buttered shrimps one day. But for someone like me who is miles away, I cannot go in any seafood restaurant in the UAE and request the wonderful people there to cook it “dampa syle”. The challenge(s) of living away from home is either you enhance your self-contentment for whatever edible is available and/or you learn to recreate or replicate the dishes back home – no matter what it takes.
I really appreciate the fact that the seafoods are reasonably priced in this part of the globe; probably due to generous supply considering UAE’s proximity to Arabian Gulf. While the main ingredient is very feasible, the problem is that dampa’s recipes are not published anywhere. Options left are to ask around or use the imagination (trying it most of the time). Of course, I did not get it the first time. I am not saying that they prepare it in this manner in dampa. But after trying the other possible secret ingredients, this was the closest I got. Onto my copycat buttered shrimps I just had to have the following:
a kilo of shrimps
1/2 cup of butter
6 cloves of garlic, minced
a little amount of salt
and….. 2 cups of Mirinda (that’s the orange juice-like bottle in the photo with Arabic label)
a little amount of cornstarch (optional)
In a wok, boil the shrimps, salt and soda together in medium heat for 8 minutes. Remove the shrimps from the wok. Set aside the shrimp broth (with soda). On a separate wok, saute the garlic in butter. The smell it produces is always appetizing. After 2 minutes, pour in the remains of the broth (not all) until desired consistency is achieved. Optionally, you may put the cornstarch for thickened sauce. Pour over the cooked shrimps.
Make sure your steamed rice is ready, then you’re all set and may opt to eat kamayan style (eat with hands).