Sometimes the last thing I read before I go to bed are cookbooks. If my dreams aren’t filled with nightmares about work, they are filled with cooking. Usually experimental cooking gone horribly wrong. The past few nights, I’ve been studying Jessica Seinfeld’s cookbook, Deceptively Delicious. I was thinking that I could possibly try something right away and blog about it. I was wrong.
I read the book almost cover to cover. It’s not the type of cookbook you can buy and start using that same day. There’s a lot of prep work involved. Among the list of suggested equipment near the front of the book are recommendations on how to prep veggies prior to cooking. By prepping the veggies, it means steaming the veggies and pureeing them. Included in the book is a puree how-to for each veggie.
The recipe I chose to try out first were brownies with a cup each of pureed spinach and carrots. Mrs. Seinfeld suggests cooking the spinach for 90 seconds with a teaspoon of water in a skillet until wilted prior to pureeing. The carrots required steaming for 10 to 12 minutes then pureed for 2 minutes with a few teaspoons of water until smooth. Easy enough. A bag of baby carrots equaled three cups of puree while a bag of baby spinach only made a cup.
Other ingredients for the brownies included melted bittersweet chocolate, brown sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, trans-fat-free margarine spread, vanilla extract, egg whites, flour, baking powder and salt. Aside from the purees, I thought that the inclusion of trans-fat free margarine was odd. But I guess she doesn’t want any chubby kids. You know how that childhood obsesity thing has been crammed down our throats lately.
After all has been combined, it was the consistency of brownie batter and was well, brown. Not a thick rich brown that I’m accustomed to but brown nonetheless. But even more telling was that no one volunteered to lick to bowl, especially since the smell of cooked spinach still lingered.
Suggested serving of the brownies is to let them cool completely. According to the recipe, it’s not until they’re completely cool that the spinach flavor totally disappears. Admittedly, I didn’t test that theory. I threw the entire pan into the refrigerator to completely kill any spinach taste.
What’s the jury’s take on this? After all the grueling prep work, I would make this again. Maybe even bring it to work if I was daring. There was a definite brownie taste, although I spied some carrot remnants that even a sprinkling of powdered sugar could not conceal. The texture was dense and flatter than I prefer. That could also be a result of using a baking pan a size too big. As for my unwilling taste-tester, he prefers the real thing sans the nutritious health benefits. Sometimes a brownie just has to be a brownie.
NEXT UP: something to do with the two 1-cup bags of pureed carrots in my freezer.