With Katie starting a new CNA position she’s been working every other weekend, which leaves me with more time on my hands than usual. What does this mean? Time to experiment with some frakkin’ baking! The weekend usually means I prepare meals for the next week. I try to make something that is: A) Cheap, B) Tasty, C) Makes at least 5 servings.
Friday, I stumbled upon a Hershey’s recipe for Spicy Cocoa Sloppy Joes. The recipe fit 2 out of my 3 requirements, and I was hoping it would also taste good. I was a little frightened at the prospect of using chocolate in a savory dish, as the last time I had some savory chocolate, I was at the Chocolate Festival in Chicago, and let’s just say the photos of me trying the Mexican chocolate need to be burned. But oh, my friends did laugh.
But hey, I’m not one to give up on something. So, I attacked this dish with gusto. I even searched online for a hamburger bun recipe as well. If I had the time, I may as well learn a couple new recipes as once.
I started with some whole wheat buns. The recipe was simple enough, although I would have rolled the dough out to 1/2 inch thick instead of 3/4 inch. Either that or cook them for longer than the ten minutes the recipe calls for. While cooked, the buns were a little heavy as the dead centers were still a little too moist. Live and learn. The recipe said it made 10 buns, but I was only able to pull 7 (and a tiny baby one) out of the dough.
I adapted the recipe for the sloppy joes to meet my vegetarian needs. The only other difference was I added a little extra ketchup to make the joes a little juicier. The final result is a tasty, tangy meal, with just a hint of the cocoa. You can actually smell it more than you can taste it.
I’ve packed and frozen individual servings of the dish, and I’ll get to try the final result tomorrow. But, from the samples I snook, I don’t think I’ll be disappointed.
And on a side note, I quite like the new Diet Coke Plus.
Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns
1 1/4 cups warm water (about 100F)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar
2 scant Tbsp yeast
4 tsp salt
1 egg yolk
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup bread flour (or all-purpose flour)
Sesame seeds (optional)
Combine water, oil, sugar and yeast. Mix thoroughly and let rest for 15 minutes. Mix in the salt, egg yolk, whole wheat and bread flour and combine until mixed (at least 10 minutes). On a floured board, roll the dough out until it is about 1/2-inch thick. Cut circles of dough about 4-inch in diameter with a cutter (mine were 3 1/2 inches).
Place the buns on a cookie sheet, brush the tops with melted butter, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and allow to raise for 30 minutes.
Bake at 425F for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Makes between 7 and 10 buns (depending on thickness)
Spicy Cocoa Sloppy Joes (adapted from Hershey website)
1 1/2 pounds (2 packages) Morningstar Farms vegetarian meat crumbles
1 1/4 cups chopped onion
1 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons HERSHEY’S Cocoa
1 1/2 tablespoons yellow mustard
2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
Cook vegetarian crumbles and onion in large skillet on medium heat until onion is tender. Add a teaspoon or two of water as needed to help saute the onion.
Stir in ketchup, cocoa, mustard, chili powder, pepper and salt. Heat 10 to 15 minutes on low heat or until hot. Serve in buns. About 4-1/2 cups sandwich filling or 6, 3/4 cup servings.
I can’t take credit for the photo; that’s straight from the Hershey’s website. Mine went directly into the freezer.
The end result was pretty tasty though. I didn’t really taste the cocoa, however. But it’s still a damn tasty recipe.
Cocoa in a savory dish has always given me pause, but I would like to try it sometime. The buns AND the sloppy joe stuff look fabulous!