2010/01/18

Revenge of the Bread Fairies & Strawberry-Almond-Chocolate-Marshmallow Yum-Yums

The bread fairies got me.  Oh, they got me good.  I have been on a no-knead bread bread dough kick for a few weeks and apparently, my other cook books knew I had neglected them.  I knew that I had been travelling on the "easy road" for a few weeks; but hey, I have been making bread the "right" way for over a year - the "no knead" bread was something NEW and EXCITING to dabble in.  I "kneaded" to get to know this other method of making bread.  I always INTENDED to get back to the other breads, it just took some time. 


So, after Saturday's hair-raising dyeing experience, I JUST KNEW that a batch of bread was what I needed to restore order to the world.  A beautiful, kneaded batch of Sour Cream Rye Bread.  MMMMMM.  Ingredients in hand, I set off on my journey.  Girl #1 (subject of the hair adventure) was sweetly helping me, measuring ingredients just so.  Yeast, check.  Sugar, check.  Flour, check.  Espresso poweder, check.  Salt, check.  Molasses, check.  Sour cream, check.  Water, check.  Oil, check.  UH OH, something just didn't seem right -- did that recipe only call for a 1/4 cup of molasses after I just dumped a 1/2 cup in there???  Who changed the recipe while I wasn't paying attention!  Oh, but there's hope!  I am the dabbler - the great improvisor, the girl who never follows directions.  I can fix this - surely, as long as the overall liquid volume is correct I will be fine.  (HA, HA, HA, HA - silly rabbit, Trix are for kids).  I adjusted.  I mixed.  I kneaded.   And I waited.  And waited.  And waited.  Will this dough ever rise???

Nope...  In my imagination it got puffy.  Puffy is good, right???  So I crossed my fingers, shaped it & went for it.  I should have given up sooner...  But, I am now the proud owner of a couple of hockey pucks the size of hearth loaves.  I am still not ready to give up on them though.  Bread crumbs anyone????


After the roaring from the bread fairies' laughter had finally died in my ears, I was ready to move on to something that I knew wouldn't let me down.  Chocolate & marshmallows (how could I screw that up?).  I had some strawberry marshmallows hiding in the corner of pantry and I knew just the recipe to play around with.  So I gathered up my supplies and headed for the microwave (yes, the microwave).    And in less time than it took for my bread not to rise, I was well on my way to choco-happiness.  

Strawberry-Almond-Chocolate-Marshmallow Yum-Yums (adapted from KAF Choco-Mallow Recipe)

2 2/3 Chocolate chips (I like to use a mix between semi-sweet and dark chocolate)
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 Tbs corn syrup (light preferred)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1 Tbs espresso powder or instant espresso coffee
16 marshmallows cut in half (around the circle)
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Line an 8" square baking dish with plastic wrap & grease.  Set aside. 

In a medium microwave safe bowl, combine all ingredients except for marshmallows & almonds.  Microwave mixture 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between heatings until chocolate chips begin to melt.  Remove from heat and stir until chips finish melting and mixture is smooth.  


Sprinkle almonds in bottom of prepared dish.  Then top with ~1/2 to 2/3 cup of chocolate mixture.  Press marshmallows down into chocolate layer.  Fill in the gaps with almonds.  Cover mixture with remaining chocolate (be sure to cover to edge of pan).  Sprinkle with remaining almond slices.  Cover dish and refrigerate until set (at least an hour). 

After set, remove from refrigerator and bring to room temperature.  When ready to serve, remove from pan (a good thwack on the bottom of the dish is usually all you need to loosen up), slice into 1" squares (a bench knife works really well here), serve and enjoy!  

A couple of these will go a long way toward putting those bread fairies back in their place.  

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