Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Sweet Cream Biscuits and Chocolate Gravy

Most decadent breakfast ever.
As in allowing it to be a breakfast should be illegal.
Deliciously illegal...
 I wasn't born south enough of the Mason-Dixon line to have grown up with this tradition.
Now that I've discovered it, it makes me kind of sad.  Although I'm probably thinner for it.  Hm.
But I kept reading about it and decided I just had to experience it for myself.

Best and worst decision ever.
Best: it's incredible.  Rich, fluffy layers of sweet biscuit - traditionally a southern buttermilk biscuit, which I made and loved, but I then tried Dorie Greenspan's easy-to-make Sweet Cream Biscuits and got my socks knocked off - which just get better when slathered with salted butter and drenched in a chocolate concoction that nearly reaches the decadence of hot fudge.

Worst: I couldn't stop eating them!!!
Which kept me full till dinner, but still - not the sort of thing one in my profession should fill up on regularly.

Which, of course, explains why we made another batch of biscuits and paired them with the leftover gravy the next weekend.
I succumbed to the deliciousness.  Someone please stop me from making more till February?
 This may or may not have been my third one.  In one sitting.
 Sweet Cream Biscuits
Source: Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
Yield: about 8 2-1/2-inch biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 to 1-1/4 cups cold heavy cream

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 425˚F.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a bowl with a fork.  Pour about 1 cup of the cream over the dry ingredients and begin to toss them together with the fork.  If necessary, add more cream a spoonful at a time until you have a nice soft dough.  Reach into the bowl with your hands and knead the dough gently just enough to bring everything together.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface - I always use a pastry cloth.  Dust the top of the dough lightly with flour and then pat it out to about 1/2-inch thickness.  (Don't turn into me and be a total perfectionist - totally even dough is not that serious ;)  Using a floured biscuit cutter (or clean old can or the relatively sharp edge of a glass) cut out as many biscuits as you can and gently transfer them to an unlined non-stick baking sheet or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.  Try to cut them very close together to maximize output from the first go-round.  Gather together the scraps, working them as little as possible to get them to 1/2-inch thickness, and cut out as many additional biscuits as you can. 
Once all possible biscuits have been cut out and transferred to the baking sheet, bake them for 14-18 minutes, or until they're tall, puffed, and golden brown.  Transfer them to a serving biscuit and enjoy as soon as possible!

Chocolate Gravy
Source:  Sprinkle Bakes
Yield: about 2 cups

4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsp flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups whole milk
4 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium saucepan.  Pour in the milk and whisk vigorously to combine.  (There's your justification for eating this - whisking workout!  Just repeat it like a mantra until you believe it.  Or get on the treadmill or something.)  Heat the mixture over medium-high heat until it begins to bubble.  Turn the heat down to medium and stir constantly until the mixture thickens to gravy-like consistency - don't obsess too much about this part since it will thicken up a bit more as it cools slightly.  Remove the pan from the heat and add the butter and vanilla.
Allow the gravy to cool slightly, then transfer to a gravy boat.  Serve warm with biscuits and/or any other breakfast foods you want to dip in it :)  Enjoy!

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