November 10, 2008

how bad could it be?

Really. If chocolate is involved, chances are good that a recipe will yield something quite delicious, or at the very least, edible.


The results of this experiment were no exception, although they were lacking in visual appeal...


I found a recipe for sourdough chocolate cake, but since cake is not conducive to grabbing and stuffing in one's mouth while running by the "freebie table" at work, I decided to try to turn them into brownies. To achieve this, I cut the eggs and baking soda in half. Like I said, it was an experiment. (Apparently I'm a scientist through and through.)

Putting the batter together was an interesting and unique process. My favorite part was adding the baking soda to the warm chocolate mixture and seeing it swell up and practically grow out of the bowl. The least enjoyable part was checking on my creation halfway through the baking time and seeing a surface full of dimples pits craters.


I saw it through, though, and it all worked out okay because they taste fabulous. There's a rich, chocolate flavor and a texture somewhere between cake and brownies. Hence, I give you...cownies.

Sourdough Cownies
(based on this recipe)

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter or margarine
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups sourdough starter (active and bubbly)

To prepare the chocolate mixture, heat the chips and water in the microwave or on the stove. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Stir in the baking soda--beware, the mixture will foam. Let cool to lukewarm.
Meanwhile, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs and beat well. Mix in the vanilla, cooled chocolate mixture, and starter. Add the flour, cayenne, and salt and blend until the mixture is uniform.
Pour the batter into a greased 9x13-inch baking pan. Let set in a warm place for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and bake the bars 35 to 40 minutes, or until a pick comes out clean.

54 comments:

Robin Sue said...

Whoa a little cayenne too! Sounds great. Who knew you were such the scientist Grace!

Sandie said...

Cownies, too funny!

It's hard to make everything we cook look fabulous. As long as it tastes awesome, isn't that all that really matters? (And I agree, chocolate is a big plus.)

Theresa said...

Ooh, I have sour dough starter in the frig. And I'm craving chocolate right now :)

Peter M said...

I love the colour and moist look of the cake. We (Greeks) have a wlanut cake that looks like this.

Pity you used margarine though...it's better to trust a cow than a chemist. ;)

The Blonde Duck said...

I love cownies! That's so cute! If you did white and chocolate ones, or like chocolate with marshmellows or white chocolate chips, it would really live up to it's name!

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

You got my attention with the sourdough~ I am always looking for new things to do with my kudzu.

This looks awesome!

Louise at Livin Local said...

Mmmm! Looks like you could eat these with a spoon. Lovely!

kat said...

oh it has cayenne in it too, yum! Now if only we could manage to make sourdough starter

Maria said...

I am sure this dessert is a winner! Looks super tasty!

ashleystravel said...

As long as it tastes good, that's what matters! I am always wary about experimenting with baking. Cooking, no problem. But everything can go wrong when I mess with the equation in a baking recipe, so I usually just leave it be. Congrats on creating a new dessert!

Lucy said...

Chocolate/Sourdough what a wonderful combination... and they look so moist!!

canarygirl said...

Heeeee! Cownies. You word maker upper, you! lmfao They look delish!

Sharon said...

Cownies kinda sounds like townies, my favorite kind of people ;) Kudos on creating a new dessert!

Marjie said...

Chocolate is my friend. It makes life great!

OhioMom said...

LOL .. I sometimes have to tell DH that something tastes better than it looks, and that is all that matters :)

Anything chocolate has to be good!

lisaiscooking said...

I've been wanting to make a sourdough starter, but I may need some tips!

Veronica said...

Cownies, huh? I guess that's a better name than "brakes". The texture looks really good...I like that you spiced them up a bit with cayenne!

Katie said...

As long as it tastes good that is all that matters.

Dawn said...

chocolate sourdough cake? You know that's my language. I would love to experiment with this bad boy.

Pam said...

Well, I guess I am going to have get another sourdough starter started.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Yumalicious! That is pretty much all I can say on this one!

Lorraine E said...

Wow, I've never seen a recipe for chocolate sourdough cake-nor one with cayenne pepper. You've got me interested!

MaryBeth said...

Very interesting, I have heard of using Cayenne pepper in chocolate recipes before but this is the first for sourdough starter. My husband I'm sure would love it, I really can't eat spicy food but it looks good.

Heather said...

hehehe... cownies!! yum :) these look super tasty. i'm a big believer in the fact that appearance doesn't matter at all when it tastes good :)

Lori said...

Love it, cownies. I REALLY need to get my sourdough going. I have wanted to make Nancy Silverton's recipe but she calls for organic grapes. Those are not easy to find. What did you do to start yours?

ovenhaven said...

Cownies! Gotta love that. I love the addition of cayenne pepper. And sweetie, you're spot on; if chocolate's involved, it can't be bad!

noble pig said...

I love the way it looks...like rubble in a good way...maybe cobblestony and bumpy. It almost looks like rice krispies are hidden in there. I can only imagine their goodness.

Paula said...

I've gotta tell you that I absolutely look forward to your posts. They never fail to interest me in the culinary department, and they tickle my funny bone! Case in point ... cownies! I just love that, and will add it to my vocabulary immediately. And, by the way, the photos look incredibly tasty to me ... the brownies, not the, uh, photo. Well done!

Pam said...

A great name for a tasty treat. I love that you added cayenne.

Y said...

I think there's often a fine line between delicious and edible, even when chocolate is involved. Cownies certainly look more delicious than merely edible :D

Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

Haha Cownies, you should make them cow shaped, haha

Joanna said...

yummy. i love the name of these. and i honestly don't care what my chocolate cake looks like even though yours looks pretty damn good!!!

Sarah said...

Is there nothing that your sourdough cannot accomplish? Sourdough blueberry lemon cake, gingammon bread, now these absurdly tempting and desirable cownies. I must, MUST acquire an Eb of my own!

Janna said...

Cownies? Haha! You're so funny!

Sara said...

These look great, too bad I accidentally killed my sourdough starter!

Jescel said...

i can imagine eating this with vanilla ice-cream.. fabulous!

nicisme said...

Great name, lol!
I want these with hot custard!

Krysta said...

maybe with a cream cheese filling they would look like cow-nies... so it would be a double play on words... i love the idea of the sourdough in the brownies.

Marilyn said...

Grace, this is an impressive experiment! Chocolate, sourdough and a kick of peppery science - only you could dream it up. I'm going to test it myself.

Deborah said...

Love the name!! What a wonderful experiment!

Tabitha Blue said...

I concur... impressive. Sour dough and chocolate. wow. Sounds like I need to try it :)

Oh and 700 miles??!! Bless your heart. Stay strong. I'm sure it's not always easy. That's what blogging friends are for right?!

Mike of Mike's Table said...

"lacking in visual appeal"--you kidding?! That looks so moist and tempting

Ann said...

COWNIES! Damn I like you.

Leslie said...

I need to do this sourdough starter thing!!!!
I will take this whole pan of Cownies!

Lisa said...

You really can't go wrong with chocolate and with a little cayenne to spice it, well, I wouldn't mind trying one or two!

Gigi said...

cownies! love it! the brownies look so moist. i just want to slap a big scoop of ice cream on them! yum.

Kim said...

Seeing that I am a fan of spicy food, adding the cayenne sounds good with the chocolate. Given that I am a cake lover, I most certainly could run by a snack table shoving cake down my mouth.

Emily said...

Boy, those look moist and delicious!

Vera said...

Grace, your new creation is appealing in every way! What a texture! And there's cayenne! I love it!

Kevin said...

Those look so moist and good!

Sophie said...

Cownies! lol that sounds like it should be my next pet's name :D...except I wouldn't want to gobble him up the way I want to do with these!

TBC said...

O.k. so cownies is your name for this fabulous creation! I was just thinking that I'd never heard of cownies before.:D

That looks so soft and mosit. This is the 5th chocolate dessert I'm seeing today. It's all very tempting.:(

dessertobsessed said...

cownies! that's so cute! and i think the bread looks pretty edible and yummy!

adventureswiththewoods said...

I know this comment is rather belated, but this looks great! I'm looking for new recipes that use sourdough starter since I now have one going. Can't wait to try it!