A received a call for help from a friend… “I’ve got tons of Baker’s chocolate in my cupboard: semisweet, bittersweet, unsweetened, cake flour, fine baker’s sugar. Is there anything I can do with this stuff? Use it up?”
Brownies were my first thought! There are other things that would be great to use up these items as well.
But, just to back up a little, none of those things should go bad (at least not in the foreseeable future). The chocolates might get a white powdery looking coating on them. That’s called “bloom” – the fats in the chocolate coming to the surface due to temperature fluctuations. It won’t affect the quality of the chocolate. Once it’s melted, that white part (the fats) gets absorbed back into the chocolate.
The semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolates could be used really simply in Nuts & Berries Clusters Enrobed in Deep Dark Chocolate.
Cake flour is softer than all-purpose flour, but can be used in place of all-purpose in many baked goods. I’ve started using about half cake flour and half all-purpose flour in many of my cakes and rolls. It gives a lighter fluffier texture. Read more on flour in my “A Flour Primer“. Use the cake flour to make cinnamon rolls; they are a great morning treat! (Make the rolls the day before, pop them in the ‘fridge, and bake them up nice and hot in the morning.)
Another reason I keep cake flour around is for America’s Test Kitchen’s New York Style Crumb Cake. You’ll have to register on their site to get their recipes, but trust me, it’s worth it! I’ve made this cake for several special breakfasts, and it’s delicious.
Fine baker’s sugar is regular granulated white sugar that has been ground up a little more to produce a finer texture. It dissolves better and distributes more evenly in baked goods, and is therefore more desirable (and more expensive). In fact, you can make your own fine sugar by taking regular sugar and pulsing it in a food processor. It’s substitutable in any baked good – just use the same measurements that the recipe calls for.
But, I said that I heard brownies calling to me when I heard the list of ingredients (But, then again, I often hear brownies calling to me). So, here’s the Brown Sugar Brownie recipe that came to mind. It makes a rich and perfect brownie. In addition, here’s the recipe from Baker’s Chocolates for their brownies & it also makes a great brownie.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour*
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ pound unsalted butter, plus additional for the pan, at room temperature
- 5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped**
- 2 cups packed dark brown sugar
- 3 large organic eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped, optional
- ½ cup chopped walnuts, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter and flour a 9x13-inch baking pan.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt until well combined. Place the butter and chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring each time, until melted. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the brown sugar into the melted chocolate with a whisk or an electric mixer at medium speed until the mixture is smooth and silky. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until just incorporated.
- With a wooden spoon, stir in the flour mixture and any add-ins desired until just combined. Do not beat. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it gently into the corners.
- Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Cool the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes (yeah right!). Cut the brownies into 24 pieces while they’re still in the pan, and remove with an offset spatula.
- Cook’s notes: *I would try using half cake and half all-purpose. Next time I bake these I’ll post what I think about the combination, but I would guess that you’ll get a lighter brownie. If you want to stick with the tried and true, go with all “all-purpose” for now.
- **I like using a large serrated bread knife to chop chocolate bars. It makes easier work of the chopping. I also have one of those chocolate chippers, but I think it makes a big mess.
- 4 squares Baker's unsweetened chocolate
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup nuts, chopped, optional
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate, chopped, optional
- Heat oven to 350 degrees (If using a glass baking dish, bake at 325 degrees). Grease a 13x9-inch pan with butter or non-stick cooking spray.
- Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwave bowl at high 2 minutes or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.
- Stir sugar into chocolate. Mix in eggs and vanilla until well blended. Stir in flour. Stir in chopped nuts or chocolate, if using. Spread in prepared pan.
- Bake 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs. Cool in pan, and cut into squares.