Monday, August 15, 2011

Yummy Brownies

I do think that brownies are relatively easy to make and perhaps the most forgiving of all recipes; it is hard to go wrong with them. I wanted a recipe made from melted dark chocolate, as brownies made with all cocoa powder tend to be drier in texture and does not give a deep chocolate flavor.
There has been much rave about the brownie recipe from the Baked: New Frontiers in Baking, which calls for a whooping 11 ounce of dark chocolate. It is supposed to be the favourite brownies loved by Oprah Winfrey and America’s Test Kitchen. I do not owned the book, instead got the recipe from Brown Eyed Baker Blog.
The Baked Brownies
(from: Brown Eyed Baker Blog)      
Yield: 24 brownies
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Van Houten, dutch-processed)
  • 11 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (I use Lindt 85% dark chocolate)
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (omitted)
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 5 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  (I added some toasted walnuts to the batter)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9×13-inch glass or light-colored baking pan. Line the pan with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and cocoa powder together.
3. Put the chocolate, butter and instant espresso powder in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be room temperature.
4. Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.
5. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Let the brownies cool completely, then lift them out of the pan using the parchment paper. Cut into squares and serve.
7. Store at room temperature in an airtight container or wrap with plastic wrap for up to 3 days.
(Frosting and Decoration)
Perfectly Rich Chocolate Ganache (recipe here)
Fresh Strawberries for topping

I made these brownies 3 times so far, it does seem to be one of those ‘can’t-go-wrong’ type of recipe. My 1st attempt was an experiment. Second try, I topped it with ganache and for my recent attempt, I made these brownies for Mother’s Day, and decorate with fresh strawberries. These yummy brownies go very well with big dollop of vanilla ice cream.   

  • Make sure you use good quality chocolate (i use Lindt) – it makes all the difference.
  • If you use glass pan, reduce oven temperature by 25F.
  • Brownies are best mixed by hand for good results. Overmixing can cause brownies to turn out tough. Do not over-mix after the eggs have been added.
  • To test for doneness, use a toothpick. It should come out with few moist crumbs. If the toothpick comes out completely clean from the center, they are overbaked. Other signs include pulling from the sides and it should look slightly underbaked / molten in center.
  • Brownies taste better after leaving if for half-a-day. It also cuts better when cooled completely. They will crumble if you remove them from the pan while they’re still warm.  
  • To cut, dip a sharp knife in hot water, wipe it dry, and move it across in an up-and-down sawing motion.
Future Improvements:
I have heard a lot about Valrhona chocolate, and would like to try using Valrhona Manjari 64% Choc when I do this the next time.
© copyright fiddling with recipe 2011

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