Sunday, August 29, 2010

Brownie Batch #2

I cheated a bit and found a recipe that won a blue ribbon at another fair. I had high expectations; alas they were dashed. This batch tasted good, but more like a sponge cake than a brownie. The texture was rubbery.

Sooo, I am back to baking. I grabbed a new round of supplies and plan to make some changes to this recipe. I am going to add more chocolate to start with and bake it in a slightly smaller pan to make it more dense and luscious - more brownie-like.

Stay tuned...

Saturday, August 28, 2010


I am trying to make brownies with just honey as a sweetener to enter in the Spencer Fair. The fair is next weekend, so I've left it a bit late especially since I don't have a recipe that actually uses honey. My first experiment was going to be using three chocolates: unsweetened, bittersweet and cocoa. Alas, my lovely friend Andrea gently pointed out that bittersweet chocolate has sugar in it.

So in addition to switching the sugar out, I also switched out the bittersweet chocolate and substituted unsweetened.

Experiment #1 - total failure. The brownies are terrible!! They have the weirdest texture and are, believe it or not, too chocolaty.

Tomorrow will be Experiment #2 - I am going to actually change two things, which is generally one too many for most scientists, but this girl has a deadline and it is soon! I am going to jump ahead and I think this will be much closer to real brownies moist, rich and oh so sweet.

Now this is science I can love!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Good friends

I have the nicest friends!! A lovely friend of mine gave me a book called The Hive Detectives.
This is targeted to middle school aged readers but is a great book for adults. Loree, the author, visited with many beekeepers and scientists to explore colony collapse disorder.

If you open the book, the first pages show a beekeeper, Mary, who is my mentor! I have visited her beautiful purple and gray hives. Totally cool.

Good reading and I never tire of looking at beautiful bees.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Honey Harvest

We harvested honey for a second time this year and got about 50lbs. It was a long day but made extra fun by my mom, my husband's mom, his grandmother, and my sister joining in on the fun. We were hoping for a larger harvest but were foiled by Joy.

Yes Joy - the queen who likes to do her own thing got on top of the queen excluder and well, did what queens do, she laid eggs. Sigh. So we took the offending excluder off.

A queen excluder is a grid with openings that are too narrow for the queen to go thru. You place it above your brood boxes, where the queen is suppose to live to keep her out of the honey boxes. Now we have learned the lesson that it can work both ways - it will keep her out of the brood boxes if she's in the honey super.

My six year old, was in the honey and wax from the first cut and declared the honey GREAT!