Try these S’Mores Brownies Dipped in Chocolate for an over the top treat guaranteed to chase away the winter blues.
Last Tuesday when I set out for my morning walk I noticed a twinge in my heels. This happens from time to time so I didn’t pay much attention to it. I also thought it may be time for some new workout shoes. The next day the twinge moved into an annoying pain. However, I still managed to make it downstairs for my workout. By afternoon I cancelled personal training sessions for the night and took up residence on the corner of the couch. When Thursday morning rolled around I knew that working out in any form wasn’t an option.
I’ve had the heel pain before and was told it was plantar fasciitis. Rest with periodic icing of my heels is about the only thing that helps. This was different. I used some OTC meds and iced it enough where I could get to and from the kitchen. The little voice in my head kept telling me to sit and catch up on my friend’s blogs. The other little voice in my head told me to bake. I had my mind and stomach set on making zucchini bread with avocado. The idea came to being when I had an avocado and banana smoothie the day before. I found the recipe at Cooking on the Weekends. The picture that accompanied the recipe is one of the best I’ve seen and I knew I had to give it a shot. I promised myself that vegging out would be the order for the rest of the day. Since I’d made Chocolate Zucchini Bread before I thought I’d add chocolate to this recipe. It’s also ironic that it was one of my first Foodbuzz posts. Now it’s my last.
There’s much more to come at DailyBuzz Food and I’m all for it. Except for one thing. The heel/twinge/pain situation has gotten much worse. On Friday I knew something was terribly wrong and made an appointment to see my doctor. Unfortunately she’s on vacation but I did get to see someone else in her office. She took one look at my swollen and discolored ankle and told me to get some crutches and she would give me pain meds. I also had x-rays, and blood work to see if I have gout. Stand in doctor says I could have a hairline fracture in my ankle or a partially torn tendon. Oh joy. I’m still waiting on the results of the tests, have ditched the crutches and the pain is still there. Thankfully not as bad as it was but it still hurts like the dickens. Reading food blogs and watching foodie TV only fuels my desire to get up and get back in my kitchen but I know it wouldn’t be wise. My classes start back up in less then a month and I have to be ready. So here I sit and here’s my Chocolate Avocado Zucchini Bread.
Chocolate Avocado Zucchini Bread – Adapted from Cooking on the Weekends
¼ cup, plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup sugar
1 TBS vanilla extract
2/3 cup very ripe, puréed California avocados
2 cups grated zucchini
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 TBS cocoa (my addition)
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 ¼ tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp all spice
Preheat the oven to 350° F, and prepare 2 (approximately 7-inch) loaf pans by brushing them with a thin coat of olive oil. I used one 9-inch. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, sugar, vanilla, and puréed avocado. Use a whisk or a fork to mix it until it’s very smooth. Then add the eggs and mix until they are fully incorporated. Fold in the grated zucchini and combine. Now sift in the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices, and stir just until everything is evenly blended. (Do not over mix!)
Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and bake in the preheated oven until the top is golden brown, and beginning to crack, about 30 minutes. Let the bread cool in the pans for about 5 minutes. Use a dull knife to go around the edges of the bread to ensure it’s loose, and then cool the bread for at least another 20 minutes on a cooling rack. Mine took and hour to bake and I wish I had given it another 10 minutes.
I made a glaze of powdered sugar and water and drizzled over the bread which tastes more like cake. Thumbs up all the way around!!
As parents we pass on some of our traits to our kids. Well mine have inherited my sweet tooth, and luckily the fitness bug also. My youngest daughter has given me several Weight Watchers recipes to try. Last week we made a marble pound cake. A big thumbs down on that one. It was kind of gummy and didn’t rise to the occasion, literally and figuratively. Not to worry, she has a whole database full of sweet treats.
Next up, Upside Down German Chocolate Cake. I really didn’t want to like this cake, and not because I’d be tempted to over indulge. Truthfully, I really don’t know why, but it is really good. And it’s five points. I don’t follow Weight Watchers and I’m not familiar with the whole points thing, but she says that’s not too bad. This is one of those recipe makeovers that uses unsweetened applesauce in place of oil. I’ve never had luck with those before, maybe that’s why I wasn’t immediately drawn to it. The only thing missing was something on top of the cake. All the gooey coconut pecan stuff is on the bottom. It’s an upside down cake, baked in a 9×13 pan. The directions didn’t say to flip it, which would have been tricky with that kind of pan anyway. So to me, the top was a tad dry. One more thing; the ingredients call for “light butter”. Come on now, light butter? I don’t know if baby girl noticed this but I used regular butter. Even though it tastes pretty good it’s the kind of cake I can have lots of restraint with. Bake one and tell me what you think.
Weight Watcher’s Upside Down German Chocolate Cake
- 1 spray cooking spray
- 2 TBS light butter
- ¾ cup water
- 2/3 cup unpacked brown sugar
- ¾ cup packaged shredded coconut
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- 5 large egg whites
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ½ cup fat-free sour cream
- 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 box, 18 ½ oz German chocolate cake mix
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat a 9- x 13-inch nonstick baking pan with cooking spray.
In a small saucepan over low heat, melt butter with water. Stir in brown sugar until smooth; pour evenly into baking pan. Sprinkle coconut and pecans evenly over melted sugar mixture. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer set on high speed, beat egg whites for 30 seconds. Beat in buttermilk, sour cream and applesauce. Add cake mix and beat on low speed until moistened, about 30 seconds. Beat for an additional 2 minutes; pour into pan. Bake for 40 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack. Cut into 16 pieces and serve.
A while back I was on a liqueur/alcohol kick with my cakes. Prior to this the only cake I’d ever made with alcohol was a rum cake. You know the one that starts with a boxed mix and then you add extra eggs, etc.? Christmas was the only time of year I’d make it, and I was pretty much the only one that would it eat it. That was a long time ago and now you wouldn’t believe the new liqueur enhanced recipes I’ve found.
My mission is to revamp these recipes and make them as “heart friendly” as possible while maintaining the richness and all of the taste, and still include alcohol. And there is no need to worry too much about the alcohol, most of it cooks away and all you’re left with is the flavor. This time I decided to bake the original. So off to the liquor store I went. No need to buy big bottles of anything so I grabbed a bunch of the 50ml ones which hold about ¼ cup. First up, Irish Cream Pound cake. I had such high hopes for this cake. In my excitement I neglected to take off about 15 minutes of baking time to allow for the dark pan I used, and my sometimes too hot oven. I’ve really got to get that checked. This cake definitely over baked. I didn’t use all the batter, so what was left I baked in my mini bundt pans, also dark but I reduced the baking time.
There wasn’t enough batter to fill all of them so I used a box of white cake mix I had in the cabinet and marbled it. I am soooo not into boxed mixes these days and I felt I did myself a disservice by using it. Oh well can’t cry over it now. What I really wanted was a chance to see what the Irish Cream/Kahlua mix was like when baked properly; and it was alright. Not wanting to waste a whole cake I decided to soak the over baked cake in about 1 cup of vodka and let it cure, so to speak. Ye old cake soaked four days not the original week to ten days I‘d originally planned. Again, it was just alright. It didn‘t even warrant a picture.
One day I’ll try it again; applying all the lessons I learned the first time. Now, if you’re feeling adventurous and want to give it a try, I’m including the recipe. Let me know how it comes out and put a slice in the freezer for me.
Irish Cream Pound Cake
- 1 ½ cups butter, room temperature
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 6 large eggs
- 1 ½ TBS instant coffee granules
- ¼ cup boiling water
- ½ cup Irish Cream liqueur
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp almond extract
Heat oven to 300°. Grease and flour a tube pan. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until soft and creamy. Gradually add sugar at medium speed for 5-7 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until the yellow has disappeared. Dissolve coffee granules in boiling water, then stir in liqueur.
Add flour to butter mixture alternately with coffee mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Mix at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in flavorings. Pour batter into a greased and floured tube pan. Bake for 1 hour and 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Mix confectioners’ sugar and liqueur until a thick syrup is formed. Drizzle over the cake while it‘s still warm.