Tuesday, June 3, 2008

TWD- French Chocolate Brownies

This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie was selected by Di and I was SO excited when I saw it. To be honest, I'd never made homemade brownies until last year so I was kind of on the fence about the kind I preferred. I don't like them TOO thick but not too thin either. I made the Quintuple Chocolate Brownies a few weeks ago and while I thought they were delicious (and they got rave reviews) they weren't my dream brownie exactly. So, I figured, another brownie recipe would be great to try and see if I liked it even more...

Wow, I did! These brownies were PERFECT. I'll admit, I omitted the raisins. My excuse to bake these early in the week was that my Mom was coming home from a long trip, so I thought I'd surprise her with a treat. She hates cooked raisins so I just added nuts since she loves those. I did keep the cinnamon in and while I could tell it was cinnamon, none of my testers could put a name to the extra depth of flavor and everyone liked it.

This recipe was fast and easy and I'll certainly make them again (instead of turning to a box). Some people had problems with the baking time or the crust on top but mine turned out great and, I decided, were just how I like a brownie. In the pictures they look pretty cracked but they came out just right and held together nicely. They didn't sink in the pan and they lifted right out on the foil- a new trick I'll be keeping!

And in case you were wondering (since this is an important consideration in a brownie)... the batter was wicked delicious. Even with some generous snitches this recipe yielded 16 perfect-portioned brownies. Thanks again Dorie, you rock!

French Chocolate Brownies
Adapted from Baking by Dorie Greenspan

Ingredients
1/2 C. all-purpose flour
1/8 t. salt
1/8 t. cinnamon (optional- I did just less than this and the flavor was subtle and perfect)
1/3 C. raisins, dark or golden (I omitted these and added 1/2 C. chopped walnuts)
1 1/2 T. water
1 1/2 T. dark rum (I omitted this since I skipped the raisins)
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 sticks (12 T.) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into 12 pieces
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 C. sugar

Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 300°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, butter the foil, place the pan on a baking sheet, and set aside.

Whisk together the flour, salt and cinnamon, if you're using it.

Put the raisins in a small saucepan with the water, bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until the water almost evaporates. Add the rum, let it warm for about 30 seconds, turn off the heat, stand back and ignite the rum. Allow the flames to die down, and set the raisins aside until needed.

Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Slowly and gently melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and add the butter, stirring so that it melts. It's important that the chocolate and butter not get very hot. However, if the butter is not melting, you can put the bowl back over the still-hot water for a minute. If you've got a couple of little bits of unmelted butter, leave them—it's better to have a few bits than to overheat the whole. Set the chocolate aside for the moment.

Working with a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until they are thick and pale, about 2 minutes. Lower the mixer speed and pour in the chocolate-butter, mixing only until it is incorporated—you'll have a thick, creamy batter. Add the dry ingredients and mix at low speed for about 30 seconds—the dry ingredients won't be completely incorporated and that's fine. Finish folding in the dry ingredients by hand with a rubber spatula, then fold in the raisins along with any liquid remaining in the pan.

Scrape the batter into the pan and bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top is dry and crackled and a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean (this took about 63 minutes for me). Transfer the pan to a rack and allow the brownies to cool to warm or room temperature.

Carefully lift the brownies out of the pan, using the foil edges as handles, and transfer to a cutting board. With a long-bladed knife, cut the brownies into 16 squares, each roughly 2 inches on a side, taking care not to cut through the foil.

Serving: The brownies are good just warm or at room temperature; they're even fine cold. I like these with a little something on top or alongside—good go-alongs are whipped crème fraiche or whipped cream, ice cream or chocolate sauce or even all three!

Storing: Wrapped well, these can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months (but let's be honest... these aren't going to stick around long enough for that. Go bake them right now!).

36 comments:

noskos said...

You did an awesome job! They look so good :-)

Christine said...

I always laugh when I hear something is wicked! Such a MA phrase to this day! You are right the batter was wicked delicious and your brownies are perfect!

Jess said...

Those look great - glad you are getting closer to brownie perfection!

Engineer Baker said...

I love the pic of the brownie batter swirled into the pan.

Di said...

Your brownies look great, out in the sunshine.

Marie said...

Well done on the Brownies!!! I thought these brownies were absolutely perfect as well! They are my new favourite! I think your brownies look fabulous in their little paper frills! Kinda like they are waiting to go out on a special date!

chelley325 said...

I love your presentation in individual servings. Very nice!

Bumblebutton said...

What a nice sunny day you had to enjoy these--I'll have to remember that it is easy to dress things up by putting them in frilly dresses!

Linda said...

I liked the crackly crust on these brownies and I agree that they held together well. What a delicious treat for your mom!

Annemarie said...

Beautiful!!!

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

If it makes you feel any better Anne, these were my first homemade brownies, ever!

SiHaN said...

owww. i love crackly surfaces. extremely sexy! hehe.

CB said...

I love how you put them in cupcake liners for your presentation. Great job!
Clara @ I♥food4thought

PheMom said...

These look so cute in their little wrappers! Way to go!

Prudy said...

Lucky mom! They look wonderful in the decorative paper.

Amy said...

I love the cute little individual cups! They look great!

-Amy (www.singforyoursupperblog.com)

Madam Chow said...

You are exactly right about the cinnamon - nobody I knew could figure out where the depth of flavor came from, but they liked it!

Melissa said...

Love the individual serving cups!

Mara said...

oooh i love your little brownie serving wrappers, what a good idea. yours look really 'together' too, less of a crumbly top than mine for sure!

Mary Ann said...

They look good and I love how you put them in cupcake papers. Very cute and from my experience, not as messy.

Jaime said...

your brownies look great! i don't know why i had issues w/the crust...

Rebecca of "Ezra Pound Cake" said...

So cute! And that batter WAS wicked delicious.

Rebecca
http://www.ezrapoundcake.com

lemontartlet said...

You have pics outside too! Sisters Of The Wilderness Baked Goods can be our new order. They're so cute!

Heather said...

Love the brownie bites! So cute and delicious! Great job!

Kristi said...

I loved these. Mmmm... So, I so loved how you put them in little cupcake cups. Brilliant. I never in a million years would have thought to do that, but now I will do it every time I take brownies to someone (which are very unlikely to be made from scratch...). :o)

likesprinkles said...

I love your pictures! It's good to hear that you enjoyed this recipe. And I agree about the batter being delicious. Mmm.

rainbowbrown said...

They look so yummy all in a sea of white crimpy paper.

Jayne said...

Gorgeous brownies! You did a wicked good job! :)

ostwestwind said...

Your brownies look very tasty, well done! BTW: My KitchenAid is blue, because the counter is red :-9

Ulrike from Küchenlatein

Garrett said...

I agree, the idea of lining the pan with foil was genius. Adding nuts instead of raisins sounds just as good.

Shari said...

I love how you took the picture outside. Looks like you're ready for a picnic. Great job!
Shari@Whisk: a food blog

berlin46 said...

These look delish! They look so pretty in the paper cups.

Jacque said...

I like them in the cupcake liners. They look fantastic!

The DeLadurantey Sisters said...

Your paper liners are so cute!

The Kids said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dolores said...

Yeah! Another batter tester! I'm glad you found a recipe that works well for you. Great job!