I halfway baked this weekend.

I can’t say that I fully baked because a boxed mixed was involved, but I did temper some chocolate and try out a new theory so therefore I halfway baked. Here’s what happened:

Unless you live under a rock in the furthest corner of Antarctica you were probably aware that Apple launched its latest piece of amazingness, the iPad. My BF currently works for Apple, and I used to, so being the sweetheart that I am I decided to bake some brownies for him & his coworkers… since I know how ridiculous product launches can be.

My first attempt at a treat for a launch day: A leopard cake for the OS X 10.5 "Leopard" launch! Unfortunately it didn't survive the car ride. Photo from October 2007.

At the same time I had an incredibly busy Saturday ahead, so I made the decision to use a box of Ghiradelli brownie mix as the base. Unfortunately I realized a bit too late that I wasn’t in possession of an actual brownie pan, so I had to make do. The BF bought me these awesome silicone cupcake molds last year, and I wondered if they’d do the trick. Turns out, they did!

After greasing the molds, I used a scoop to uniformly measure the batter. I wasn’t sure how much the brownies would rise, so I wanted to make sure I didn’t overfill the cups by accident. Baking time was another guesstimate. The box said 39-43 minutes at 325 for an 8X8 glass pan, so I set the timer for 25 minutes and went from there. At 25 minutes they still looked a little damp, so I put them in there for another 5. It would have been wise to take them out at 28 minutes and let carryover cooking take care of the rest, because once they cooled the edges felt a bit firm for my liking. Whatever, you can’t fret when you’re on a timeframe, so I focused my attention on my decorating plan.

My vision...

Using the microwave, I melted 3 oz Ghiradelli white chocolate. Just so you know, you can definitely melt chocolate in the microwave so long as you keep an eye on things. Generally you want to melt in 30 second increments at about 65-70% power to make sure that you don’t burn the chocolate, because NOBODY likes burnt chocolate. Afterward I melted the chocolate, I scraped the gooey goodness into a prepared parchment cone, cut a tiny hole at the end, and drizzled the chocolate over my cooled brownies.

Here’s where I went wrong – I didn’t temper the white chocolate. I learned in my Chocolate 1 class at Baking Arts that untempered chocolate doesn’t dry the same way that tempered chocolate does. In fact, you’re lucky if it dries at all! For some reason at 9:30 am on a Saturday my head forgot this fact…

Second time around went much better. The dark chocolate was melted in the microwave, and then tempered to 91.5 degrees Farenheit using the seeding method I learned from Baking Arts. I drizzled the chocolate, and viola, it dried within 2 minutes! Tempering chocolate works WONDERSSSSS… don’t let anyone tell you different!

Brownie Cupcakes with White & Dark Chocolate Drizzle

Not surprisingly the brownies were a hit, but trust me, if you’re an Apple employee working a new product launch any sort of food substance would be a hit! Still, I was pleased with my ingenuity for making “brownie cupcakes” and for another lesson in tempering chocolate. Once I passed off the treats and said hello to some friends, I stepped up to the counter and purchased my newest obsession: my iPad.

Apple love! (Yes, I'm a geek, and I'm fully aware & in love with that fact!)


Hope everyone had a happy Easter / great weekend!


PS: The iPad is absolutely amazing! My main reason for purchasing one is so that I can cook/bake in the kitchen without risking the well being of my laptop. Since the iPad really has no openings or movable parts, its much more kitchen-safe than my MacBook. The Epicurious app is absolutely mouthwatering, and the WiFi access makes connecting to any recipe site a breeze!