Black Bottom Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Pie

IMG_0567

Miss Fats calling it: pie is a breakfast item.

She’s being completely serious.  No eye rolling or outrage.  Pie belongs in the early morning hours.  Fruit pie?  Custard pie?  Cream pie?  Aren’t these all qualifiers associated with breakfast, anyway?  Is a flakey crust and tender fruit filling all that different from your standard danish?  (Well yes.  Miss Fats upholds they are different objects.  However conceptually they are closer than one thinks with regard to food genre.)  But can’t we replace those boring fruit parfaits with a silky banana cream?

The reality is that sweet breakfast treats are almost always glorified dessert items, hiding beneath a whole wheat flour or bran addition.  (Or even just parading its sweet self for all to see.  Miss Fats is talking to you, french toast.)  Miss Fats doesn’t understand why the donut should sit comfortably in the breakfast genre, while pie remains in evening hours.  If anything the deep-fried dough item, perfectly crafted to send you to bed, should be flip-flopped with a bright and tangy slice of fruit pie in early hours.

Why should all the round sliced food objects be confined to the second half one’s day? (Pizza?  Also breakfast.)  Their perfect portability and triangular shape make for an ideal nutrient delivery system during the hours when your brain is still waking up and struggling to organize yourself in the morning rush.  Sure, it’s not the healthiest of breakfasts, but if you’re going to reach for a sweet morning treat, pie at least holds the promise of breakfast flavors.  Plus a pie is almost always waiting for you.  No need to mess with flour or a pesky waffle maker first thing in the morning: a big slice of pie is just sitting there on the counter, waiting to be consumed.  Throw a big dollop of greek yogurt on that apple pie and you’ve basically got a power breakfast.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Look: Miss Fats realizes she probably hasn’t convinced you of breakfast pie yet.  But she’s sure this recipe makes a strong enough case for itself.  Black Bottom Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Pie combines the chewy oatiness of a granola with the flavors of banana bread.  Welcome to layers of flakey pie crust, silky chocolate, gooey banana custard and toasty oatmeal top; a veritable stratum of flavors and textures.  This pie manages to straddle the line between granola bar and pecan pie: teetering deliciously between breakfast and dessert.  Perhaps it’s actually meant to be consumed at the end of a late night around 3 am: right between the two.  Miss Fats can get on board with that.

This pie started as Four and Twenty Blackbird’s Black Bottom Oatmeal Pie.  Blackbird’s “poor-man’s pecan pie,” received rave reviews from a group of Miss Fats’ dear friends.  The crazy-simple recipe made for the perfect game night pie on a Sunday night: no fuss, just good clean fun.  However, always looking to innovate, Miss Fats’ friend I, suggested a banana cream hybrid.  They all agreed the pie had an air of breakfast and would happily begin any day with a big slice and cup of coffee.  But I was interested in producing the ultimate breakfast pie object.  The custard center seemed to be begging to mate with a banana cream friend, so I tasked Miss Fats with the challenge of melding the two.

IMG_0562

Through some simple substitutions and modifications, Miss Fats created a breakfast dessert monster.  She also simplified the whole thing by throwing all the ingredients into a blender and allowing the machine to do all the work for her.  Reducing the sugar and adding bananas makes for a pie that holds all the power of a pie, banana bread, and granola bars. Topped with chocolate. The custard center is the real revelation here.  Miss Fats upped the salt (as she does)  to highlight the creamy, caramel-y flavor fruit to produce a homey richness akin to a beautifully simple slice of moist banana bread.  Pie crust creates a tender base, followed by a bit of bitter chocolate (again, perfectly salted), then comes the smooth banana custard-y center, topped off with a chewy layer of toasted oats.   The ultimate geological formation: the perfect stratification of discrete breakfast treats that come together in pure mouth harmony.  Morning bliss.

Black Bottom Banana Oatmeal Pie:
adapted from Four and Twenty Blackbird’s Black Bottom Oatmeal Pie

1 9-inch single pie crust (Miss Fats prefers this one from Smitten Kitchen)
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
3 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream divided
2 very ripe bananas
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup corn syrup
5 tbs melted butter
4 eggs
2 tbs cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ginger

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Par bake the crust, rolling out the dough, lining a 9 inch pie pan and crimping the sides.  Puncture the bottom to allow air to escape and line the crust with a piece of parchment or foil. Weigh down the center with beans or fancy pie weights, if you have them.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Remove weights and foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the bottom of the crust looks dry.  Set aside to cool. (Can easily be done in advance.)

2. Toast the oats by spreading them evenly on a lined sheet pan and baking for 10-12 minutes.  Toss every few minutes.  Set aside to cool.  Reduce oven to 325 degrees.

3. Heat 1/4 cup of the heavy cream in the microwave for about 2 minutes or until scalded.  Pour the cream over the chocolate chips and throw in a big pinch of salt. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.  Whisk the chocolate and cream until smooth.  Pour into the bottom of the pie crust and spread evenly.  Allow to cool in the freezer while you prepare the filling.

4.  In a blender, throw in all the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.   Stir in the oats with a spoon.  Pour into the prepared pie crust.

5. Bake the pie for 1 hour, rotating once approximately 30 minutes into baking.  The pie is done when the edged have browned a bit and the center is set.  The center should be completely set but have a little give: imagine gently poking a fluffy cake.  Allow to cool fully: about 2-3 hours, or leave that guy sitting out over night to chow down on in the morning.

Miss Fats highly recommends consuming a big slice of this pie with a fresh cup of coffee.  She’s pretty sure a big dollop of full fat yogurt (or whipped cream.  She doesn’t judge early hour whipped cream consumption) would send this over the edge.  Waking up to a slice of this pie just might make you a morning person.  Watch out.

Advertisements

grumpy cat crack cake attack

IMG_7733

Miss Fats is mid birthday rush this week.  She has two “high seasons” for birthday cake baking–May and November–when she’s convinced a ton of parents got together and conspired to breed an entire generation of children born in the same week, spaced perfectly six months apart. 20-30 years later, Miss Fats is busy crafting three cakes in one week to celebrate all that Valentine love (gross) that bred an entire generation of pod people. ( i.e. her near and dear friends.)

Now, she began #birthdayweek (if it’s a conspiracy, it may as well have its own hashtag), with a classic birthday cake (a rare request!), but she’s going to save that post for later; because she is damn excited about the craziest of 30th birthdays “cakes” she put together this past weekend for her friend E’s bash.  Meet the Wacky Crack Attack.

IMG_7736

Miss Fats loves to bake for any crowd, however she has a couple of favorite individuals who she’s always eager to feed and please with decadent desserts.  E is right at the top of the list thanks to his insatiable sweet tooth and affinity for seconds (that’s appreciation, people).  She knew there was no way to get any specific flavor requests from him for the big day (he will eat anything and loves all things sweet), so Miss Fats just decided to dream up the most insane cake monster she could think of.  Initially, she was gravitating toward an ice cream concoction, since he and Miss Fats have been known to venture far across the city in search of giant creamy cones.  However there were already plans for frozen custard on the night of the celebration (double dessert. duh.); And she knew any old chocolate layer cake thing wouldn’t do.  Not to mention it was E’s 30th and therefore required Miss Fats to kill him via sugar object.  As you know, Miss Fats has got pie on the brain, and she had a recent conversation about the Momofuko Crack Pie that had been nagging at the back of her head for a couple of weeks now.  That was it.  Crack pie.  The name and object were ideal for E: done and done.

IMG_7735

But this is a birthday, people.  And a big one.  For an important friend.  So Miss Fats could hardly stop there.  So what does crack need?  More crack, apparently.  Something she adores about Momofuko’s pie is it’s complete and total acceptance of ugly.  None of that prissy, fancy pants dessert garbage (all prim and proper: boo), but  instead a total embrace of disgusting deliciousness: truly privileging taste over aesthetics.  Naturally this meant Miss Fats wanted to extend this aesthetic to the cake (pie) topper.  She decided to make excessive clusters of salty sweet goodness to mound on top of the ugly monster pie base to create a Frankensteinian sugar object capable of catapulting insulin levels and destroying any pancreas in its way.  You can’t even imagine how excited she was.

IMG_7731

This was Miss Fats first Momofuko recipe attempt and she knew they were notorious for being somewhat finicky and required great attention to detail.  Therefore for the actual pie, she stuck straight to it and executed the body of the beast step for step, to the t.   It was really that crack topping where she got to work on her salty-sweet craft, improvise and (literally) sculpt the perfect collection of morsels.  So what goes into wacky crack, you ask?  Well the short answer is: whatever the hell you want.  This is really more of a method (methodology?) than a recipe.  Miss Fats is going to share her mixture for you all, but she encourages you to get down and dirty with it: be creative: be cavalier.

wacky crack clusters:
makes about 2 cups of clusters

3 crunchy chocolate chip cookies (Miss Fats used Trader Joe’s Chocolate Chip Dunkers, but Chips Ahoy would also be good here)
3 peanut butter sandwich cookies (Nutter Butters)
1/4 cup honey roasted peanuts
1/2 cup pretzels (broken up a bit)
1 chopped candy bar (Miss Fats used a mini M&Ms bar she had on hand)
1/4 cup peanut butter chips
1/4 cup melted chocolate chips
1/4 cup melted peanut butter chips
sea salt

salted caramel:
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbs water
2 tbs butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp salt (to taste)

1. Make the caramel sauce: in a small sauce pan, heat the sugar and water over medium, carefully stirring until the sugar dissolves.  Once dissolved, turn the heat to medium high and DO NOT stir or take your eyes off it.  Allow the sugar to caramelize and turn a deep amber (about 5-8 minutes), swirling the pan by the handle every so often.  Once the caramel has deepened in color, remove from the heat and add the butter and cream (be careful: it will bubble rapidly).  Stir until completely smooth.  If it seizes up, return to medium low heat, and stir constantly until smooth.  Add salt to taste.  Set aside to cool slightly.

2. Cluster assembly: line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (makes for easy clean up).  Throw down all of the dry cluster ingredients and roughly mix.  Drizzle the caramel, chocolate and peanut butter over top.  Toss together and roughly pat into a single layer of goodness.  Drizzle another layer of caramel and chocolate over top and sprinkle with salt to make it nice and pretty.  Allow to cool completely by either leaving it to harden on the counter, or sticking in the fridge for about an hour.

3.  Once cool, break into large chunks and enjoy.

To top the pie, mound the clusters into any monstrous form you’d like.  Donezo. Miss Fats’ wonderful roommates also created the perfect topper using some creative pen work and some printed off images of Grumpy Cat.  Since E looks like grumpy cat with a mustache, it was the ideal expression of birthday affect for an aggressive dessert.

IMG_7760

In the end, her pie wasn’t perfect (but should it be?).  Her oven had some hot spots that caused the custard to bake slightly unevenly, and the crust baked a little more than she would have liked.  However, anyone who’s executed this pie knows, the whole thing isn’t really meant to be eaten like a pie.  Instead, the crack pie creates a salty sweet object that is to be scraped from the pan and consumed in a messy pile of all that is good in life.  Yes people” the crust sticks to the pan.  It sticks real bad.  And she’s sure that one could do some serious greasing and throw down some parchment.  But that would probably ruin part of the joy of crack pie: this is as much of an aesthetic–tactile–experience as it is about taste: embrace ugly. The crack clusters added a crazy crunchy layer to the chewy, creamy pie custard and cookie crust to make for a mouthful of all things good.  This is some serious mouth porn.  Pure dessert filth.  She highly recommends it.

IMG_7781

Between eight people, they only managed to get through half of the pie.  It’s fucking intense.  The rest was sent home in a glorious pile to be eaten while standing over the kitchen counter with a fork in hand.  Probably in your underwear, at 3 am.  Crack pie will definitely make it into Miss Fats’ recipe arsenal, but clearly must be accompanied by some sort of chocolate pretzel object. ( She feels no need to explain this.  It’s self-evident that chocolate and pretzels make everything better.)  She hopes E is enjoying his leftovers and that Wacky Crack Attack was all he could have dreamed of for his big birthday celebration.  Or she hopes he’s dead of diabetic shock from pie overload.  Either or.

recipe review: salted chocolate pecan pie

IMG_7626Miss Fats is going to share one of her biggest fears with you: pie.  Clearly she has a bit of a bias toward fluffy cake objects and their bready relatives, but this mainly stems from her crippling fear of pastry.  The simplicity and precision required to execute even the simplest of pastries requires a restraint and attention that Miss Fats rarely has.  She needs a bit more wiggle room.  Because she’s lazy.  And hates measuring.  As a result, she stays away pastry, hiding behind a defensive layer of language that suggests it’s “too fancy” or “fussy” for her taste.  This is a load of crap.  The reality is that Miss Fats just hasn’t been practicing and fears the perpetual disappointment that it can often create.  She hates nothing more than when a carefully labored pie crust, chilled and minimally handled, winds up too chewy or dense.  This may be because she believes that in order to be a truly great baker, one should have a grasp on a standard crust.  And when it comes down to it, Miss Fats just doesn’t.  And thanks to grad school logic: thus she is not a real baker.

Ok enough self-loathing and indulgent nonsense.  She knows the only way to really get past this hang up is to approach it like every other pastry novice: practice, practice, practice.  So in the spirit of the season, Miss Fats is taking pie on for reals this time.

Her resistance to pie primarily stems from not only this fear of pastry, but the number of flubbubs that can occur with any pie production.  Is the fruit too sweet?  Too moist?  Did I add enough flour this time?  Is it going to boil over and make a big sticky mess at the bottom of my oven?  Will my crust shrink in the pan?  Or will it absorb my filling and turn into a soggy mess? Ugh I cannot roll out pie dough.  Why is it so ugly? See: so many anxieties go into a pie.  Miss Fats is a such a coward.  Get over it.

So in order to ease her way into the pie game, she decided to go for a single crust, non-fruit pie in an attempt to eliminate as many potential problems as possible.  Since Thanksgiving is fast approaching and she loves herself some pecans, Miss Fats settled on a classic pecan pie: only naturally, this required the addition of chocolate and salt.  Duh.  The final pie ended up being a hybrid of Smitten Kitchen’s Foolproof Pie Dough and David Lebovitz’s Chocolate Pecan Pie for the filling.

IMG_7622

She ultimately stuck pretty close to the original recipes, particularly with the dough.  Miss Fats anxiously measured, pulsed that food processor exactly the right number of times, and carefully added the freezing cold liquids to the batch.  Reluctantly to even touch the dough with her hands, she scraped it into the plastic wrap, played a bit of hot potato with the disk and threw it in the fridge.  Miss Fats was pleasantly surprised to find that the dough rolled out with ease and didn’t crack or she wasn’t forced to stretch her gummy over-mixed mess like in past pie experiences.  Her pie vanity issues were rendered null thanks to her roommate’s beautiful pie pan complete with a wavy mold, that she gently pressed the dough into.  For the filling, she omitted the bourbon (only because she didn’t have any on hand), upped the salt content to a full teaspoon, and went with semi sweet chocolate chunks instead of chips.  She decided not to pre-bake the crust (out of laziness and lack of baking beans), and simply allowed the filling to fuse with buttery crust.  The finishing touch was brushing the crust with a little egg wash and sprinkling it with some raw sugar crystals before baking.  Then obviously, after cooling the topping got a heathy sprinkle of sea salt to add those perfect bites to cut the gooey sweetness of the pie filling.

The pie was a freaking miracle.  Somehow the damn thing turned out and it looked good.  Miss Fats couldn’t have dreamt of a better outcome given her inexperience.  The crust’s mixture of butter and shortening gave it both a chewy and flakey texture.  It remained crisp on the bottom but managed to soak up some of that caramel-y filling, creating a nice contrast with the decadent insides.  Next time Miss Fats makes this pie, however, she’ll be using bittersweet chunks instead of semi-sweet.  She actually found it to be just every-so-slightly too sweet for her taste: she’s pretty sure a hit of darker, bitter chocolate is just what this pie needs to send it over the edge.  Overall the pie was not perfect, but well beyond expectations and enough to keep Miss Fats’ hopes up and baking until Thanksgiving.  She feels restored and ready to take on these scary dessert objects.  Just you wait: soon cake pans may be exchanged for rolling pins… though who is she kidding?  Probably not.  (There’s just more options for peanut butter with cake…though maybe not?)

peanut butter chocolate cake and fancy fails

IMG_3889This might be the best damn looking cake Miss Fats has ever made.  It’s also probably why it ended up being one of the most disappointing.  She’s  going to refer to this cake as a “fancy fail” from now on (notice it’s similarity to Fancy Feast).  Now this is being incredibly over dramatic and a bit self wallowing, but come on! Look at that thing.  It’s promising nothing but decadent flavor on par with its aesthetic level.  However this was not the case.  Spoiler alert: this is not a love story.

Ok Miss Fats will stop being a bummer to talk a little more about what’s going on with this beauty.  Since she’s fundamentally incapable of attending just about any event without a sweet treat in hand, Miss Fats’ recent invite to a belated wedding reception/joint birthday celebration was no exception.  This event boasted a wedding and two birthdays and therefore required her to impose a cake upon everyone.  Hell, Miss Fats wasn’t even really invited to this thing but you better damn well believe she was bringing a big ass cake in celebration.

IMG_3884She asked for her usual flavor request to help send her in a general direction; “chocolate?” was all she got.  Now this was the second chocolate cake of the week for Miss Fats (she had just gone to cacao town with D’s birthday cake earlier in the week).  Since Chicago weather had been crap, she didn’t even feel obligated to work with a cake that celebrated the sunshine and flavors of the summer (because let’s get real, summer literally just started in Chicago).  So shit was about to get real.  IE Miss Fats was going to lay down her favorite flavor combination of all time: peanut butter chocolate.

She knew there would be another cake at the party, so she felt less obligated to craft a cake that perfectly encompassed the couple (a task that Miss Fats’ has actually never even tried.  Though she can’t wait for a Frankenstein cake soon).  Instead, she was hoping to simply highlight the importance of celebration, decadence and excess.  This party was a fun and simple backyard affair, so the peanut butter seemed to be an appropriate way to dial back the ‘smance in favor of some childhood ooey gooey peanutty business.

IMG_3859

She knew that this type of celebration definitely required an actual cake: three celebrations can’t quite be encompassed in a little cupcake object.  However she’d been struggling with the humidity over the last week and was seriously worried about her super-moist chocolate cake recipe not holding up for this thing.  With D’s cake days before, the wet air wreaked havoc on the removing-cake-from-pan process and she thought it might be a good idea to go with a butter-based cake instead.  She’s a big fan of Bakers Royale and has a good deal of success with many of her recipe components, so when she found her Best Chocolate Cake Recipe it seemed like the natural choice.  It followed many of Miss Fats’ baking rules: minimal bowl action, no cake flour, and no butter creaming (these are not steadfast rules: just wonderfully attractive features that she often looks for).  It essentially resembled Miss Fats’ oil-based chocolate cake, but used melted butter instead.  She ended up using milk instead of the cassis because: a) Miss Fats really has no fucking idea what cassis is anyway and b) she’s a grad student not going to buy a bottle of that fancy liquor for one cake.  Given that the recipe produced two 8 inch cakes, Miss Fats ended up multiplying the recipe by 1.5 to get three 9 inch layers.  The cakes cooked beautifully and easily held up despite the wet wet air.

Now came the filling.  Miss Fats has been trying to think through the ultimate peanut butter filling for quite some time now.  Peanut butter is not just some creaming thing you can slap in between cake layers.  It’s a sticky-salty spread that should be celebrated flavor-wise, but requires a bit more work to transform it into a perfectly crafted cake filling that works with the textures of the cake and frosting.  She liked the idea of something between a buttercream/mousse: she wanted the intense flavors of a Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup, but a lightness that wouldn’t overpower the fluffy crumb of the cake.

She ended up going with Bakers Royale’s Peanut Butter Frosting, that boasted intense peanut flavor in the form of a buttercream.  She was a little worried about how much frosting this recipe produced and the intensity of the peanut flavor, so Miss  Fats made a couple of variations that she’s sharing with you here:

Peanut Butter Filling:
makes about 3 cups of filling
adapted from Bakers Royale’s Peanut Butter Frosting

1 stick of butter, softened
1 cup creamy, all natural peanut butter
1 cup to 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (dependent upon how sweet your peanut butter is)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt + more to taste
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1. Whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form.  Set aside in the fridge.

2. Beat the butter and peanut butter on medium high until light and fluffy.  Add the vanilla and salt and mix until fully combined.  Sift in the powdered sugar and beat until combined.  Adjust salt based on your own preferences (Miss Fats obviously added more).

3. Fold the frosting into the heavy whipping cream.

IMG_3887

Since she was diggin’ on the look and feel of D’s chocolate cake from earlier in the week, she ended up going with the easy, spreadable chocolate ganache frosting.  Fully riding the salt-sweet train at this point, Miss Fats needed to jazz this thing up to keep it on par with the celebration level of the party.  She figured in-line with the backyard, slightly nostalgic feel of the event, a chocolate-covered pretzel would be the ideal object of decoration.  What says salt-sweet tasty town more than a chocolate covered pretzel?  However to keep it elegant (and photographable), she needed a bit of color contrast, so she ended up deciding to do both chocolate and peanut butter-dipped treats.  Miss Fats isn’t going to give you a recipe for these, since all she did was melt down about a cup of chocolate chips and a cup of peanut butter chips and dunked those suckers in.  To make them all pretty, she made a mess of herself and kitchen by using a fork to whip lines of peanut butter and chocolate across them. The only trick of these pretzels is not eating them all before they make it on to the cake (so so hard). Let them firm up in the fridge and stack them in a circle.  Boom. So pretty, yet to easy.

So what’s the problem, you ask? Is Miss Fats seriously just whining about how good looking her cake is?  Ok so here begins the abbreviated discussion of the cake’s problems (skip ahead if you’d rather live in cake fantasy land and see this as perfection).  So this is pretty fucking epic looking right?  And when you make a cake like this one, you want that first cut and bite to match the level of beauty (Miss Fats has a HUGE problem with beautiful cakes that cannot live up to their looks in flavor).  However, cutting into this cake, it crumbled. Total frosting/filling/cake mess.  The chocolate ganache pulled at the crumbly cake, destroying the three, carefully stacked layers.  Hardly the kind of display for a wedding: no embarrassing (cue tiny violins).  And while this mess may have been acceptable given the casual celebration, Miss Fats regrets to say that the flavor just didn’t quite make up for the disastrous structure.  There just wasn’t enough peanut butter filling to balance with the fudge of the cake and ganache.  Salt-sweet fail.

IMG_3886

Ok ok.  Miss Fats will stop now, because for the most part, guests seemed to really enjoy the cake (naively so).  And in the end, the bride and groom/birthday boy and girl seemed to really enjoy it.  Which is all she can hope for.  However if Miss Fats were to attempt this cake again, she’d seriously amp up that peanut butter filling: literally double that recipe.  She’d also return to her oil-based cake, which just has a bouncier texture that holds up to a sturdy filling like peanut butter.  This is to say that Miss Fats is not completely discouraged: she will try the ultimate peanut butter chocolate cake again.  Though this cake will probably haunt Miss Fats’ sugar dreams for a while, she recognizes that this was not a complete fail.  The real success came in making a beautiful cake for a beautiful crowd and couple.  They should just wait for peanut butter cake the sequel: coming to birthdays next summer.

CHOCOLATE Cake

IMG_3835Why all the yelling? (Obviously all caps=yelling. Get with it.)  Because this is some serious chocolate cake up in herrrrre.  Yet as per usual, chocolate fails at food photography and this picture cannot even begin to express the hidden cocao-ness layered up in that shining brown round object.  Miss Fats is talkin’ moist chocolate cake sandwiching both dark and white chocolate mousse, all contained in a rich chocolate ganache frosting.  Rich bliss.

How did Miss Fats go crazy, you ask?  After a brief birthday break, she returned to her idealistic work of making sure that no birth celebration goes cakeless.  Her friend D was throwing a casual mid-week-come-celebrate-me-if-you-got-a-little-extra-time-on-your-hands-but-no-pressure birthday drinks sesh and Miss Fats offered (forced) her baking skills on the evening.  She is a big believer in the birthday cake request: everyone gets to make all their guests eat whatever damn cake they like on their birthday (even if it’s some bullshit like a bundt cake or whatever).  So as usual she asked the birthday boy his favorite flavors: Miss Fats doesn’t need you to dream up your crazy cake idea, but she appreciates a general direction. And D sent her a dangerous way; one simple request: chocolate.

IMG_3843

Part of Miss Fats love of baking is thinking up the ideal sweet for the situation.  So birthday cakes present a particularly fun challenge: how do you essentialize a person in a cake?  Basically Miss Fats gets REAL excited about objectifying people.  But hey, at least you become a crazy tasty pastry object that everyone chows down on all evening.  Plus if you’re lucky, you get all lit on fire with candles.  Now Miss Fats is half kidding on this one (she hopes all her friends don’t go psychoanalyzing their birthday cakes and wind up thinking Miss Fats wants them to confront their repressed mother issues).

However she does spend a good deal of time scouring the interwebs for flavor ideas and recipes to help build the ideal person-cake.  In this case, D’s chocolate request felt incredibly appropriate.  Simple, classic and could easily be jazzed up for celebration purposes (oh god, please don’t go over thinking the rest of this post, D).  Chocolate is Miss Fats favorite kind of cake (false: chocolate is in fact her favorite object in existence in this world), so the real challenge was restraint in this case (which, clearly she didn’t do a GREAT job at).  However she knew that D’s cake should be a rich balance that didn’t overdo it on the sweet.  Additionally, D suffers from an unfortunate peanut allergy that kept Miss Fats far from her favorite peanut butter chocolate nonsense (more to come on that: just you wait ’til the next cake).  So her theory was: if he asked for chocolate, he is damn well getting chocolate.

IMG_3839

The first question was cake versus cupcake.  She decided that since D said it had been an eternity since he’d had a proper birthday cake, that she should serve it up right with a classic layered round cake.  Miss Fats stuck to her guns, and used her go-to chocolate cake recipe that has now appeared a bajillion times on this blog, but she’ll link you to it anyway.  Now the next question was what should this cake experience be?  She was real into the idea of those rich chocolate fancy restaurant cakes that beautifully layer mousse, ganache and cake like a thousand times and take ten million hours and an insane amount of precision to produce.  However D is not that fussy.  And neither is Miss Fats baking style.  So she decided to bring all the flavors of fancy town to a rustic, classic layered cake that didn’t go seducing you with all its glitz and glam.

This cake ultimately ended up being composed of four layers of chocolate cake (two nine-inch cakes cut in half), with two layers of Food & Wine’s dark chocolate mousse and one layer of white.  For the filling she made a full batch of the dark chocolate mousse which ended up being a little bit light for Miss Fats’ taste.  (Though guests seemed more satisfied with the proportions that she did.)  She halved the white recipe which was just fine considering the super sweetness of white chocolate.

Miss Fats recommends breaking this cake into two days.  Day one: bake off the cakes and store them wrapped in plastic wrap.  Make both mousses and allow them to properly firm up in the fridge over night.  Day two: make the ganache.  Then assemble the cake and mousse layers and allow to freeze while the ganache cools to the right spreadable temperature.

IMG_3837

Now it has been pretty damn hot in Chicago, so Miss Fats had some serious melt situation on her hands.  For those of you working in warmer, humid climates, she highly recommends assembling the cake layers and fillings and freezing the whole thing for at least 30 minutes before frosting.  This will allow the mousse to firm up before you go encasing the beast in a solid wall of fortifying ganache goodness.  Miss Fats is sharing her super simple ganache recipe that easily molds itself to a whipped, spread or poured version depending on when you decide to use it.

Easy Chocolate Ganache Frosting:
yields enough for one nine inch cake or twenty-four cupcake

1 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy whipping cream
4 tbs butter, cut into pieces
1/2 tsp salt

1. In a medium bowl (or the mixing bowl of your stand mixer if you’re planning to do a whipped frosting), dump the chocolate chips, butter and salt.  Heat the heavy cream in a microwave safe dish for about 1-2 minutes, or until quite hot.  Dump the heavy cream over the chocolate chip mixture and let stand for a couple of minutes.  Whisk thoroughly until you get a smooth, glossy ganache.

2. For pouring: allow the ganache to cool for at least 10 minutes.  Then go to town.  For spreading: allow the ganache to cool to room temperature or until it reaches a buttery, spreadable consistency (about 2 hours).  For whipped: allow the ganache to cool for about an hour.  Then whip on high until soft peaks form.

This cake, despite its many steps and components was not actually that difficult.  Spread over two days, you only have an hour or two of actual work.  There’s just quite a bit of the waiting game with chocolate.  However the end result is pretty damn worth it: you get to bite into an incredibly moist trio of chocolate forms that play between chocolate’s sweet and dark, bitter sides.  This is a damn chocolate symphony.  And like a festive concert, this cake needed a little pizzaz to remind itself that it wasn’t taking itself too seriously.  So Miss Fats went to sprinkle town:

IMG_3847

Rainbow sprinkles, polka dots and chocolate?  Ingredients to throw any jaded grad student into childhood nostalgia (or at least Miss Fats hopes).  To make these simple (yet effective) decorations, Miss Fats carefully placed round cookie cutters on top of the cake and spooned in the sprinkles.  Clearly she wasn’t as careful as she should have been, because a few pesky dots found their way across the surface.  Oh well.

In the end, Miss Fats likes to think of this particular birthday cake as a serious yet lighthearted chocolate monstrosity.  It spans the excess of childhood, yet indulges in the rich decadence of fantasy adulthood.  D was celebrating his twenty-eighth after all: a weird year somewhere between things, and this cake’s attitude is same.  She hopes D enjoyed his birthday cakery, even if he ended up leaving it sitting on the streets of Chicago (don’t even get Miss Fats started on this story).  She’s kidding: everyone gets to do what they want with their own damn birthday cake.

S’mores Cupcakes

IMG_3546May was the craziest month of birthdays Miss Fats has ever experienced.  She’s fairly certain that just about every single person she knows “decided” to be born in the last two weeks of the month. Therefore each year they all create a birthday vortex where time becomes structured entirely through running from one “drinks” to “dinner” to “party,” rather than attending to things like work…or school, or life. whatever.  It sounds like Miss Fats is upset about this.  False.  Because she in fact loves birthdays, and despite the end of the quarter craziness, she prefers a world structured through celebration.

Naturally, birthdays demand cake.  And as you can see, there has been a number of birthday cakes popping up on Sunday Sundaes in the last couple of weeks.  The latest cupcake was an impromptu production when the last birthday of the month popped out of nowhere (at least to Miss Fats, who has been in birthday brain spiral and fails to look at things like calendars anymore). Luckily she had all the ingredients on hand to experiment with this new indulgent cupcake recipe.

IMG_3542

All this sunshine (well, at least the small heat wave last week) and the wrapping up of classes is making Miss Fats itch for summer and the delicious foods of BBQ season.  So it’s no wonder her brain went immediately to s’mores when she was faced with a cupcake challenge.  There’s a ton of s’more (s’mores? is it always plural? whatever.) cupcake recipes out there– from blogs to pinterest– so there’s nothing revolutionary about this concoction.  However Miss Fats would like to think that her version does a pretty good job of recreating the ooey-gooey-ness that is a s’more experience.  Her version layers graham cracker crust with moist chocolate cake, stuffed with an oozing chocolate almond filling, and topped with a light and fluffy marshmallow frosting.  She has no idea how science works, but these little guys actually stay incredibly moist and gooey days after they’ve been properly torched on top as well.  Therefore they become the perfect make-ahead cupcakes for gatherings if you can manage to keep your hands off them.

IMG_3551

Now they probably seem like a lot of work: many components.  However these are damn easy cakes.  Miss Fats literally threw them together after an evening of gorging herself on Ethiopian food and was fighting an insane food coma the entire time. Yet, they came out even in her half-conscious state.  To make things even easier on yourself, she suggests splitting the work between two days: bake the cakes one day, frost the next.  No problemo.

S’mores Cupcakes:
makes 12 cupcakes (recipes all easily doubled)
cake adapted from The Ktchn’s Dark Chocolate Cake
frosting adapted from Baker’s Royale S’mores Rice Krispy Treats

cake:
about 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (Miss Fats ground up one package of the crackers from the standard box)
4 tbs melted butter
pinch of salt
1 cup + 1 tbs sugar, divided
1 cup scant flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup scant boiling water

filling:
1/2 cup Trader Joe’s Chocolate Almond Spread (or use Nutella)
3 tbs milk

frosting:
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cupcake pan (Miss Fats has not tried this without cupcake liners and she is fearful of what would happen without them. However if anyone out there gives it a shot, report back!)  In a small bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, 1 tbs of sugar and salt.  Mix in the melted butter, forming a crumbly crust.  Distribute evenly among the cups, packing it down with the back of your spoon or fingers.  Bake for about 10 minutes or until the crust just begins to brown.

2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix flour, remaining sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, soda and salt.  Add the eggs, oil and milk and whisk for approximately 2 minutes.  Add the hot water and mix until smooth. Distribute batter evenly among the crust cups and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.

3. Make the filling: in a small bowl, warm the milk and spread in the microwave for about 30 seconds.  Whisk until smooth.  If the mixture seizes up at all, just microwave for an additional 30 seconds and patiently whisk away.

4. Make the frosting: in a large metal bowl, over a simmering pot of water, whisk the egg whites and sugar together.  Using a thermometer, gently heat the mixture to 160 degrees, whisking constantly (about 5-8 minutes).  Transfer mixture to your stand mixer and whip on high speed until it as cooled and soft marshmallow peaks have formed (about 10-12 minutes).

5. Assemble the cupcakes: Preheat your broiler (or ready your blow torch). Using a small spoon, scoop out the center of each cupcake, careful not to dig into the crust layer.  Spoon 1-2 tsps of the filling into each.  Transfer the frosting to a large ziplock bag and cut off the tip to form your ad hoc pastry bag.  Swirl the frosting over top each cupcake.  Transfer the cupcakes to a baking sheet and broil the tops of cakes until toasted (careful not to burn). (You can also skip this step, but come on, it’s not a s’more without a little toasted marshmallow).

IMG_3549

Instant summer in a cupcake.  This will bring back all the memories of campfire and messy s’more consumption in one bite.  It’s the perfect fun, nostalgic treat for any summer or birthday celebration.  Not to mention with the messed Chicago weather, this cake allows for optimal indoors s’more consumption.  Miss Fats hopes that you all get the chance to make some traditional campfire toasted s’mores soon, however, she’d like to think this cake can suffice in the meantime.

the miracle cure cupcake: cookie-dough-stuffed chocolate cupcakes with chocolate ganache frosting

IMG_3305

Are you ready to erase all ailments and stop the apocalypse? Miss Fats is sharing her latest “most-requested” cupcake with you all today.  This indulgent little dude is literally the cure to all bummers, because we all know that a cookie and cake will cure anything.  These cupcake have now undergone a series of names and Miss Fats seriously struggled to land on a final title for the recipe.  Anything from “break-up” to “PMS” to “crack” cupcakes, they’ve provided love and support for emotional ailments, and caloric fodder for rowdy celebrations.

Miss Fats locates their magical power in the balance between salt and sweet, moist cake and dough center, all topped off with fluffy ganache frosting.  She likes to think of these as a taste bud dance between childhood indulgences and thereby collapses space and time in a moment of pure mouth explosion.

IMG_3285

Now these may seem like they have a lot of steps, but they can literally be made in about 2 hours.  To make these happen, Miss Fats simply takes her go-to one-bowl chocolate cake recipe, hallows out some cupcakes and stuffs them with a eggless/levener-less dough.  As you can see above, the stuffing process is no fancy show: just hallow those suckers out and stuff some goodness in.  The frosting will cover it all up later. You’re also welcome to make these in steps: baking the cupcakes off and setting them aside, and then stuffing and frosting the next day.  Easy enough.  All three of the cupcakes components literally only require one bowl a piece, and can be done in minutes.  You see: this recipe is magical on just about every level.

IMG_3291

Miss Fats has also tried this out with a couple of different cookie centers.  As you all know by now, she’s a peanut butter addict, so naturally some of that action had to happen.  However she also recommends you try out ginger snaps for a cold fall day, or even add a little oatmeal raisin for a chewy center. But today Miss Fats is sticking to the classic: a salty-sweet chocolate chip cookie, and a moist dark chocolate cake.

IMG_3304

Miracle Cure Cupcakes:
makes 24 cupcakes
cake transcribed from The Kitchn’s Dark Chocolate Cake

cake:
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup oil
1 cup boiling water

filling:
1 stick melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1  1/2 tsp salt (sounds like a lot, but it balances the cake and frosting)
1/2 cup chocolate chips

frosting:
2 cups chocolate chips
2 cups heavy cream
heavy pinch of salt

cookie crumbles or pretzels for decoration/that tasty bite on top

1. Heat the heavy cream in the microwave for approximately 2 minutes or until super hot.  Dump the chocolate chips into your stand mixer bowl (or another large bowl) and pour hot cream over top.  Whisk until the chocolate has melted and you’ve formed an insanely good-looking ganache.  Allow to cool completely to room temperature (or stick it in the fridge if you’re impatient).

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cupcake pans. In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, soda, and salt.  Make a well in the center and add eggs, milk and oil.  Whisk until well combined (about 2 minutes).  Add boiling water, mix until combined.  Pour batter into cupcake pans, filling approximately 3/4 of the way (do not over-fill these!)

2. Bake for 18-20 minutes.  Once cool enough to handle, use a small spoon to scoop out the cupcake centers, discarding (or snacking on) the extra cake.

3. In a small bowl, combine all the filling ingredients.  Use your small spoon (or fingers) to add about a tbs of the mixture to each cupcake.

4. Once the ganche has cooled, whip on high speed using an electric mixture until stiff peaks form.  Cover up those gaping holes with frosting: you can do this rustic-style with a knife, or simply spoon the fluffy frosting into a ziplock bag, cut off the tip, and swirl it over top.  Top off with a little crumbled cookie or pretzel for good measure.

IMG_3296

Not so hard huh?  The hard part is actually restraining yourself from eating all of them.  Good luck.

Miss Fats favorite comment on these cupcakes comes from a recent night of birthday shenanigans.  Well into an evening of drunken karaoke, the birthday boy leans over to Miss Fats and tells her, “These cupcakes are the greatest thing in the history of the universe.  I’m afraid if we eat them all we’ll cease to exist.”  Now this may be a bit of a hyperbolic statement brought out through copious amounts of alcohol, however he’s clearly zeroed in on a critical issue: living in a world without cupcakes just isn’t worth it. Plus why risk the end of the universe? Make these cupcakes: save mankind.

Orange and Dark Chocolate Bundt Cake

IMG_0387

Miss Fats almost always forgets about the bundt cake as a baked good option.  The round and slippery pan has just become that awkward globe-like thing that keeps falling on her head when she’s reaching for the cupcake trays.  She’s not sure why, because frankly that pan’s fancy shape sure makes for an impressive cake with very little decorative action.  Not to mention the bundt cake almost always encourages just dumping whatever tasty frosting option all over and watching it ooze down the sides.  Mmm oozy food porn.

So when Miss Fats had to bake a cake for a late morning celebration, she dusted off her bundt pan and make the perfect treat to transition from am to pm sweets.

IMG_0378

This recipe makes a not-too-sweet cake with a crumb similar to a muffin, but still forkable enough to call it dessert.  The orange flavor is subtle, so for all you citrus fiends out there, Miss Fats encourages you to turn it up a notch with more zest and orange extract (and then let Miss Fats know how it goes!)  She glazed this cake with a simple orange syrup to keep it nice and moist and get more of that orange flavor in there, and then topped it all off with a serious dump of bitter-sweet chocolate.

Orange and Dark Chocolate Bundt Cake:
adapted from Lemon-Buttermilk Bundt Cake from Bon Appetit
serves 8-10

1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
3 cups flour
1 tbs baking powder
2 tsp salt
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup milk
2 navel oranges zested, with just the flesh removed and chopped, and the remaining squeezed for juice (yep. use that whole orange)
1 lemon zested and juiced

1 navel orange zested and juiced
2 tbs powdered sugar

8 oz dark chocolate

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease (butter and flour) a 10 inch bundt pan.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. In a large measuring cup, combine the milk, citrus juices and zest.

2. With an electric or stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy (about 4 minutes).  Add the eggs, beating until well combined after each.

3. Alternating between the dry ingredient mixture and the liquids, add them in about three stages to the fluffy stand mixer mixture.  Make sure to scrape down the sides as you go.  Mix in the orange pieces.  Pour into bundt pan and bake for approximately 50-60 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Let cool for 10 minutes and invert onto cooling rack.

4. In a small bowl combine the orange juice, zest and powdered sugar. Once the cake has mostly cooled, glaze the cake with a pastry brush, making sure it soaks up all that extra orange juice goodness. Allow the cake to fully cool.

5. Using a double broiler (or some careful microwave action), melt the dark chocolate.  Carefully and slowly dump the dark chocolate over top the cake, making sure it’s evenly distributed.  Miss Fats recommends doing this in stages, watching (and perhaps aiding) the chocolate as it drips down the sides.

IMG_0381

There you have it: probably Miss Fat’s most reserved cake.  However she respects this one: there’s an elegance to the solid orange/chocolate combo that we often forget.  She also apologizes for the lack of proper food porn documentation.  She clearly got distracted by dripping dark chocolate and frankly isn’t all that sorry about it.

Snickers Reece’s Monster Cake, or the most indulgent cake ever made

IMG_2557Just look at it. Pure cake monster.

Miss Fats is a huge supporter of celebration: mostly because it involves cake.  So when her friend’s 30th birthday rolled around she was thrilled to be able to create a crazy cake for the big day.  This particular friend has the palate of a ten-year old boy: there’s no such thing as sugar excess.  This was Miss Fats’ chance to make the most indulgent cake of her life: she’d like to think she delivered.  He tends to favor Snickers and Reece’s candy bars, so Miss Fats just went for it to create a cake that layers dark chocolate cake, peanut butter and chocolate pudding, and graham crackers, all topped off with chopped candy bars, chocolate ganache and homemade salted caramel sauce.  Yep. Welcome to Snickers and Reece’s mutant child: Miss Fats named him Georg (pronounced “gee-org:” say it right.)

IMG_0339

This cake has a number of steps, but doesn’t actually take as much time as you think.  Not to mention the decorating process is endlessly fun and you cannot screw it up.  The key is getting all the components: you need to bake cakes, make pudding, ganache, and caramel sauce. Miss Fats split the process over two days to allow the cake to fully set up in the pan.  She recommends assembling the cake in the loaf pan on day one, and then finishing it off with the sauces and candy the next day.  What emerges from 48 hours of labor is a layered loaf of cakey-pudding crazy time that will send you right back to that Halloween when we discovered just how good it was to shove a mini Snickers and a Reece’s cup into your mouth.  Seriously, though, you are getting every texture with this cake: the fluffy cake, smooth pudding, and a good crunch from the graham crackers all topped off with big chunks of candy that have been drizzled in chocolate and caramel.

IMG_0347

There are a number of shortcuts one could easily take with this cake to speed up the process: using box cake mix, instant pudding, etc.  But Miss Fats doesn’t recommend this. Ever.  All of these recipes are incredibly easy and frankly won’t take you much longer than the processed, instant versions.  Not to mention a good basic chocolate cake and pudding recipe is key to have in your arsenal anyway.  Miss Fats also apologizes for the poor photo quality.  She has to admit that this cake was made in the middle of the night and unfortunately the pictures reveal the state of lighting and her mind at the time.

IMG_2547Snickers Reece’s Monster Cake AKA Georg:
makes one 9x5x3 loaf pan cake
adapted from Baker’s Royale Snickers Cake

cake:
Miss Fat’s favorite easy chocolate cake recipe can be found here.  She simply halved the recipe, and substituted prepared black coffee for the water.

pudding:
1/2 cup corn starch
1/3 cup sugar
heavy pinch of salt
4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup peanut butter (Miss Fats used unsalted chunky all natural)
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

caramel sauce: Miss Fats used the recipe from Baker’s Royale and it was absolutely delicious.  All she added was a couple of good pinches of salt to give it that toffee, salty flavor.  ingredients and instructions are reproduced here.
1 cup sugar
6 tbs water
4 tbs butter
1/4 cup heavy cream

chocolate ganache:
4 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy cream

2 snickers bars, chopped
3 packages of Reece’s (total of 6 regular sized cups), chopped
8 graham crackers (approximately)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Make the cake: follow the instructions to make the batter in the link above.  Divide your batter between two greased 9×5 loaf pans and bake for approximately 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Allow cakes to cool for 10 minutes, remove from pan and allow to cool completely.

2. Make the pudding: in a large glass or metal bowl (that you can sit over a saucepan of water), combine the sugar, cornstarch, salt and milk.  Whisk vigorously to avoid any corn starch clumps.  Place over a simmering pan of water, whisking fairly frequently.  Allow the pudding to thicken until it coats the back of a spoon (Miss Fats’ took about 30 minutes).  Divide the pudding in half.  In one bowl, mix in the peanut butter.  In the other, stir the chocolate chips into the hot pudding.  Taste and add additional salt if you’d like.

3. Assemble the cake: create a tin foil sling at the bottom of your 9×5 loaf pan by folding a long strip of foil in half and placing it across the width of the pan with sever inches hanging over the edge.  Line your pan with plastic wrap.  Place the first layer of cake at the bottom.  Follow up with a generous layer of peanut butter pudding (don’t skimp too much on this because the pudding helps keep the cake nice and moist).  Add a layer of graham crackers, followed by a thinner layer of chocolate pudding.  Repeat this step once more.  (You should have 2 layers of peanut butter pudding and 2 chocolate and 3 graham cracker.)  Top off with the second layer of cake.  This layer will be slightly smaller than the top of the loaf pan (if yours is tapered like Miss Fats’), so simply fill in the sides with chocolate pudding. Make sure you have an even top (if not, simple use additional pudding to do so).  Chill the cake overnight.  If your pudding was not super thick, Miss Fats recommends freezing the cake.

IMG_25454. Make the caramel sauce: place sugar and water into sauce pan over medium low heat. Stir and allow sugar to dissolve.  Once it has, turn up heat to high. No more stirring.  Simply swirl the pan as it begins to bubble.  Cook the sugar until it reaches a light golden brown (about 6-8 minutes): be careful not to take it too far.  Add the butter and cream and stir vigorously.  The mixture will bubble up so be careful.  Add a healthy pinch of salt. Remove from heat.

5. Make the ganache: heat the cream in the microwave.  Pour over chocolate chips, allow to stand for a about a minute and stir to combine.

6. Decorate the cake: to remove the cake from the pan, use the sling to make sure it’s loose (came out quite easily for Miss Fats).  Invert your serving platter (Miss Fats favors ones of the sea monster variety for this one) over the cake and flip.  Use the sling to make sure it comes out clean.  Remove the plastic wrap and foil.  Drizzle caramel sauce over top of the cake and mound half of the chopped candy bars on top.  Drizzle the ganache and more of the sauce.  Hell. just go to town with this.  No rules.  Drizzle and mound the hell out of it.

IMG_2551There you have it.  You’ve just birthed Georg.  Congrats on your mutant baby.  Miss Fats stored this monster in the fridge to allow all the sauce to set up.  She recommends allowing the cake to sit out for about 30 minutes before cutting and serving.

IMG_2555She hope you and your friends enjoy this pile of gooey, messy, chocolately goodness.  This cake is no joke and is NOT for amateur eaters.  Make sure to save Georg for only the best of your friends:

Recipe Review: Chocolate Butterscotch Muffins

IMG_0228

These little guys are incredibly deceptive.  I mean, just look at them: they look completely harmless and could easily be mistaken for a boring healthy bran muffin.  WRONG.  These are basically cupcakes masking as “muffins.”  Only instead of a fluffy, oil-based cake, you’re getting a rich, dense and moist cupcake-muffin hybrid that’s perfectly paired with butterscotch chips.

IMG_0222

Miss Fats got the recipe from the folks over at The Kitchn, who seem to rarely fail her.  The recipe is incredibly easy: no mixer, no melting chocolate, and no sifting.  Since Miss Fats is lazy, and doesn’t have a dishwasher, naturally she adapted this to be done with one bowl.  That’s right, these chocolate delights can be made with minimal clean up.  All she did to omit the “wet ingredient bowl,” was follow the first step for combining the dry ingredients, then she made a well, threw all the wet ingredients in and made a half assed attempt to stir them together a little before combining everything together.  This seemed to work.  No tragic baking failure occurred.  She did find, however, that her muffins took a little bit longer than the original recipe stated: it says between 17-20 minutes, but Miss Fats’ took closer to 22-25.  However, the instructions to wait until the tops are no longer shiny is the best advice: just watch for that glistening top to transform into a rich and crisp chocolate top.

IMG_0224Miss Fats can’t even look at these.  They are so damn unassuming.  Little do people know that these muffins are in fact rich, chocolately butterscottchy flavor parties.  They are perfectly tender and moist on the inside and the muffins tops crisp up just right for a little bite on your way to fudgey breakfast heaven.  These easily top Miss Fats’ favorite muffin recipes.  Many more will be made in the future.