Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cocktails 12.02

In honor of the awesomeness of Portal 2, and me having lots of time off this weekend, and having just finished playing through the single player part of Portal 2 today, the first of my new drink posts will be about this one!  See here for some of my original inspirations for my drinks tonight. As it is also my early-valentine's day celebration, I got a Chandon Rose champagne and will be making some pretty cocktails with that as well, so there will be many updates to this post tonight!

First one - Portal 2 cocktails - matching Portal drinks!

We used blue curacao, 7-up (we don't have orangina), vodka, and a little orange coloring (again, no orangina). Turned out pretty good! Used two drops of blue, and one drop of yellow and one drop of red in the bags of sugar and then just rolled the bags between my hands and it all blended perfectly.

Attempt #2!!!!

....and I forgot to put the liquid into the right opposite colored rims, but at least I figured out how to put the sugar on so it won't look clumpy!  I lined the rims with agave nectar, not water.

Skyyrum - check the link above for the official ingredients
In my version I used 1.5oz Kraken spiced rum, 1.5oz Bacardi rum, 3/4oz St. Germain, 1/8oz Vanilla extract, and sparkling water for the rest - it ended up pretty good!

Below are a few variations on some champagne-based cocktails - I happened to use a Rose champagne, though the original recipes from called for normal champagne.

Above: On the left we have a Kir Royale - 1oz creme de cassis and the rest filled to the top with champagne.  On the right we have one of my own, I'll call it a Ruby Kiss - calls for Rose champagne and a splash of grenadine, topped with rapsberries.  I added raspberries to the Kir Royale as well.

This would be the Cherub's Cup - originally calls for 1/4 simple syrup, champagne, 3/4 part lemon juice, 1 strawberry, 1 part St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur, and 2 parts Hendricks Gin.  I used 1/4 agave nectar, rose champagne, no lemon juice, some raspberries (not pictured), 1 part St. Germain, and 2 parts Tanqueray Gin.  It ended up okay, not my favorite, I preferred the Kir Royale.

This was a cocktail I made as a mixture of basically every tropical-y alcohol I had available to me - turned out sweet and colorful.  Contains various amounts of Passionfruit Smirnoff Vodka, Malibu Coconut Rum, Dark Rum, and Grenadine.  I think that's it, but it looked pretty either way.

Haute Cuisine 1.18

It's been a while since I did any cooking posts - and this doesn't quite count as 'haute' cuisine, but it does fall in line with my attempts to eat more healthy.  My boyfriend had been bugging me for a while to make double decker brownies, with the top being chocolate chip cookie and the bottom normal chocolate brownie.  When I found a recipe, I felt a little nervous about putting three sticks of butter in this treat, in addition to tons of refined sugar.  Anyhow, I was researching substitution ideas and decided the best options to try would be applesauce for half of the butter, and Stevia in the Raw (cup for cup) baking substitute for half the white sugar.  


After discovering the awesomeness of chocolate brownies with sweet potato substituting for some of the butter, I wanted to try other substitutions that don't sacrifice flavor.  So here is the recipe which I followed:

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes


Chocolate Chip Cookie Layer:

  • 12 Tablespoons (1-1/2 sticks) butter - 3/4 sticks butter, and 3/4 cups applesauce
  • 1 cup firmly-packed light brown sugar - 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Chocolate Brownie Layer
  • 12 Tablespoons (1-1/2 sticks) butter - 3/4 sticks and 3/4 cups applesauce
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder (Ghiradelli brand preferred)
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar -  3/4 cups white sugar, 3/4 cups stevia in the raw
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking powder


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place rack in the middle of the oven. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with non-stick foil or grease with butter or shortening.  I used Pam spray.

Mix them in separate bowls obviously, softening the butter in the microwave.  Saving the chocolate chips in the chocolate chip cookie layer for after blending the non-hard ingredients first.  Pour chocolate brownie layer into prepared pan, and gently spread evenly over the bottom of the pan. Space spoonfuls of cookie mixture over the chocolate brownie layer. Gently smooth with a spatula to create an even top layer. 

Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with small gooey bits. Do not overbake. Cool to room temperature. 

With Stevia, it is recommended to increase baking powder or soda, decrease pan size, increase liquid slightly, use a decreased temperature setting - I corrected the salt, added baking powder to the brownies because that's what I use in the sweet potato brownies and it wasn't mentioned in this particular recipe.  Also, considering that the applesauce is more liquid than the butter, I figured that would correct for the liquid.  I was also a little more generous in my measuring for the baking powder.  I think this all worked out well because this is what I got after 45 minutes on the dot: