22 January 2017


I've been very enthusiastic about using cacao powder now that I finally have a bag.

The first is a familiar cacao brownie recipe from Smitten Kitchen. It's the perfect brownie for me, I haven't made any other brownie since I've discovered this one...aka I haven't made brownies in years. Good thing I picked up some cacao nibs beforehand, it works great as a garnish.

The second is also from SK, this time it's a chocolate dutch baby. I think of it as a cross between a pancake and a crepe, perhaps better than either. It rose incredibly tall in the oven, Jeff was amused to watch it collapse back down afterwards. The suggested amount of butter seems to be a tad overkill, you can see pools of butter on the surface in the photo on the right. Next time I'll reduce the amount by a tablespoon. Also thinking of a matcha variant, as well as PB&J and plain with pepper strawberry jam.

Lastly, my jelly experience continue in chocolate wanna cotta. This is actually my first success...sort of. I based the recipe off of Donna Hay (ah memories of Janice's house), scaling it down to 1 cup liquids and then using 2g of agar agar. Also flipped the cream and milk to reduce the fat content in order to get a more intense chocolate taste. My recipe is below:

  • 24g room temperature water, bloom 2g agar gar in it
  • 150g milk mixed with 75g heavy cream
  • 100g sugar mixed with 30g cacao powder (mine is dutch processed)

The success is finally getting a soft pudding texture, no doubt also because the sugar and creams are inhibiting the gelling. The success is also the taste, which is pretty much the same as the brownie. What I did wrong was completely forget how prone to clumping cacao powder is. My first mistake is to add my dry ingredients into my pan first, while my second mistake is only whisking...and forgetting to scrap the corners of the pot. The resultant texture was somewhat gritty in the pudding, but there was also a ring of undissolved cacao around the pot. I did rescue that with some more milk into an impromptu hot chocolate so nbd.

Lessons learned for next time (which I did for the dutch baby since that was the most recent item) is to:

  • shift the cacao powder (I even passed the dutch baby batter again through a strainer, it is so worth the extra messy work)
  • pour dry into wet ingredients (so this is why every recipe instructs so...ha)
  • buy a fancy copper saucier...I wish :(
But all this cooking makes me really appreciate the nicer cookware that I bought in Atlanta. My prime motivation for wanting to own a home is most definitely so I can have a fully stocked kitchen (more dutch ovens! a stand mixer! even more teapots!)


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