Just Desserts


Mmm, unlucky thirteen. I had a mind to name this the “12bth” installment like how elevators in Canada label their 13th floor buttons, but oh well. This installment was written close to Christmas. Christmas is a time to indulge and get fat, hence desserts. There are three deserts in all. Enjoy.

Level Zero: Microwave Brownie

I’ve always been curious about these microwave brownie recipes online. Not the recipes that try to make legitimate brownies in a microwave, but the recipes where you whip that shit up in two minutes in a mug then microwave for two more minutes for instant gratification.

This recipe is adapted from here. Credits go to original author.

Ingredients

It's like a meth lab, for brownie addicts

4 tbsp flour
3 tbsp OR 1 package of cocoa powder
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp white granulated sugar*
2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 mug

*2 tbsp if you’re using unsweetened baking cocoa powder, 1 tbsp for sweetened.

Procedure

Put butter into your mug. Microwave 10 seconds at a time until butter is melted. Add all the ingredients minus the flour and stir until mixed. Then add the flour and stir until smooth.

Have: 1 cup. Need: 2 girls

Microwave that shit for 75 seconds on high.

Shit goes into microwave, shit comes out. Smells like brownie though

Be careful, it’s hot. Consume.

Rating: 3.5 / 5 This recipe is really only good for getting a quick fix, and I mean it in the most drug-related way possible. Use it if you really, really need a brownie. But since all the ingredients needed for this recipe already puts you about 90% of the way towards the actual ingredients required for real brownies, my recommendation is that you just go make some regular brownies.

______________________________________

Level One: Bread Pudding

Bread pudding is one of those recipe that’s easy but not really easy. I’ve never been able to make satisfying bread pudding simply by following recipes word for word. Some finesse and experience is required to make a good bread pudding that suits your own tastes. However, unlike other baked goods, bread pudding allows for some flexibility in ingredient quantities, so feel free to experiment.

Ingredients

Listening to djWHEAT play LoL while writing this. "Get that bitch get that bitch. That ho had it comin."

6 slices of stale bread, roughly 3 cups*
3 tbsp butter
3 eggs
1 3/4 cups milk**
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp salt
raisins***

*Any type of bread will do. I’ve made this with both baguettes and challah bread. This time I’m using el cheapo wheat bread, which also works. Leave the slices of bread out in open air for roughly 24 hours to dry and stale.
**What you really need is the minimum amount of fluid to soak all of your bread. This amount comes from experience, and may be different if you are using a different amount of bread.
***You can also used spiced fresh fruits. Marinate diced pears, apples, or peaches in a combination of sugar, salt, cinnamon, and possibly a liqueur for at least two hours ahead of time.

Procedure

Dice your bread into 1/2 inch cubes, and set aside in a plastic container. Sprinkle your fruit/raisins over the bread and toss a few times for even distribution.

Resist the urge to get diabetes now, there's more carbs yet to come.

Thoroughly beat your three eggs together. Place a separate pot over the stove on medium-low heat. Add butter, milk, and beaten eggs. Stir to combine. This will create your custard base for the bread pudding. The egg yolk will allow you to smoothly combine milk and butter into a homogenous mixture. Make sure not to let the custard come to a boil; if you feel that some bubbling is coming on, lower the heat. Add cinnamon, vanilla, salt, and sugar. Stir constantly until everything comes together.

NOTE: If you go online and read through the other recipes, most of them simply have you blend the ingredients cold before pouring it over the bread. This method of pre-cooking the custard is something I’ve developed myself because I find it creates a smoother custard without needing to use a lot of cream and butter.  You should probably experiment with which method you prefer. Also, if you’re an expert on bread pudding, feel free to comment on whether or not this is a good thing to do.

The cinnamon doesn't blend well, but that's fine. The flavor is still infused in the custard.

Set the custard aside to cool. Pre-heat your oven to 350F in the meantime. When the oven is ready, grease either an 8×8 pan or a small, oven-safe pot (non-stick pots are NOT oven safe). First pour your custard over your bread and make sure all the bread pieces are soaked. Then, pour the entire mixture into the greased pan/pot.

Bake for roughly 30 minutes. Custard is a tricky thing to bake, because there is a very limited time frame in which the custard is not undercooked or overcooked. The warm custard mixture you use will cut down on the overall baking time, which is why you are only baking for 30 minutes and not 45 minutes. You may wish to check on your custard at as early as 25 minutes. Stick a toothpick or a knife deep into the custard. If it comes out clean, the pudding is ready.

BROWN SUGAH, HOW COME YOU TASTE SO GOOD

Rating: 4.2 / 5 My bread pudding came out just slightly overcooked for my tastes, but still quite good. The custard is nice and creamy despite being made with skim milk and only three tablespoons of butter. A good holiday-themed dessert overall.

______________________________________

Level Two: Ghetto Granola Parfait
It’s probably good to end on a healthier note after a season of heavy eating. Yogurt parfaits are incredibly easy to make with store-bought granola. Here’s how you make it with home made granola. This is a very basic granola using only oats. Feel free to add a wide variety of seeds, dried fruit, and nuts to the mixture to customize your own granola. The recipe below is tailored towards using only two cups of oatmeal. Feel free to adjust ingredient levels if you are making more.

Granola recipe adapted from http://www.chow.com/food-news/55265/how-to-make-granola/
Much thanks to the original author for the no-frills recipe.

Ingredients

Straight from the Oatralisk Cavern.

2 cups uncooked rolled oats
1/3 cup white granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
2 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp salt
Yogurt
Diced fresh fruit OR thawed frozen fruit*

*I used diced banana and fresh pineapple. IMO, few fruits are as down-right luscious as fresh pineapple. Pick pineapples that have a roughly 1:1 length ratio between body and leaf. They should be somewhat golden brown. Smell the pineapple; if it smells sweet, it is ripe. Leave it at room temperature for a day (no more than three days) before carving. Feel free to use any mixture of diced fruits in combination with jams or thawed frozen fruits.

Procedure

Most (all?) granola recipes online call for using brown sugar or honey in combination with oil as the coating. I found you could achieve the same rich brown color for your granola with white granulated sugar by making a caramel. We’ll start by making the caramel.

The oatimate caramel

Place a pan over high heat and pour 1/3 cup of white granulated sugar directly onto the pan. I used a small pot, but it’s best to use a wide pan for increased surface area. Let the sugar sit there. Do not add anything to it. After a few minutes, it will start to melt and caramelize.

My favorite British caster is Toatal Biscuit

Once the caramel is nice and brown, add your butter. Swirl around the pan to prevent the mixture from hardening and sticking to the bottom of the pan.

CHILL GET OAT

Add vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt. If the mixture is starting to feel too dry, add a tiny bit of water to loosen it up. It’s important not to add too much water because you want the flavor to be as concentrated as possible. When all the ingredients are combined and smooth, turn off the heat. For some reason I was a total idiot and forgot to take a picture of the finished caramel. Google image that shit if you want to know what it looks like. Wait about thirty seconds to allow the caramel to cool, then pour it over your oats. Stir to coat.

Jaedong and Flash are oatliers in terms of their BW skill level

Pre-heat your oven to 300F. Meanwhile, either coat a baking sheet with non-stick spray or line it with parchment paper. Dump your evenly coated oats onto the baking sheet and spread out thin. When the oven is ready, place the baking sheet on the center rack.

Take noat of how thinly the oats are spread.

Bake for 15 minutes. Remove your making sheet from the oven, and use a spoon to stir the oats around for even baking. Return the baking sheet into the oven for about 5 more minutes. If the oats are starting to brown, they are done. Do not let the oats become too brown, or they will have a burnt taste. The oats may feel slightly damp to your touch when they are first done. This is normal; they will harden as they cool down. Store in a jar somewhere dry.

On to the parfait:

I'm a big fan of TLOat's innovative game play

Assemble your yogurt, fruit, granola, and a transparent glass. I used a mixture of diced fresh banana and pineapple. Spoon a layer of fruit onto the bottom of the glass. Spoon a layer of yogurt on top of the fruit. Spoon another layer of fruit on top of the yogurt, then another layer of yogurt on top of the second layer of fruit. [s]Then all-kill QIM with your spoon[/s]. Top everything off with a generous layer of granola. Either chill or eat right away.

EZPZ Oat Squeezy as the saying goes

Rating: 4.8 / 5 Even without a copious number of nuts and seeds the basic granola is quite tasty. Will definitely make again. Layering all the ingredients into parfait format is a bit of a hassle if you’re not trying to be presentable. Just dump all that shit together in a bowl and mix for a quick breakfast.

Epilogue

Well that was kind of long. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read, and are possibly even encouraged to try some of the recipes yourself.

Until next time, happy holidays, bon appetit, don’t slip on ice and crack your head open.

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