These are the most amazing, gluttonous chocolate brownies in the History of Ever. And I mean that. You know you are in trouble when you lick the spoon, and then use the spoon to lick the bowl, and you end up needing a tall glass of milk. Trouble that starts with T, that rhymes with B, and you get holy-crap, the best brownies ever!
Well, not every day. My doctor would probably kick my ass. With 12 tablespoons of butter per pan, I would swiftly turn into a solid. My plan is ruined. I shall come up with another. World domination can come about another way: Dorie for President.
You heard me right. When we go to the polls this November and are given the opportunity to write-in our candidates, rather than vote for Mickey Mouse or Ronald McDonald, we should all vote Dorie into office. She would sooth the leaders of the world, not just with her famous World Peace cookies, but with these brownies. She could fight to lower food prices around the world and lead us all into a Chocolate Age of Happiness. Who's with me?
Before I move on to another topic, these brownies remind me a lot of Orangette's Winning Hearts and Minds cake - and you know how much I loved that cake. I skipped the inclusion of the rum and raisins. We neither care too much for each in our brownies.
I am sure you have all heard of Blake Makes. Blake is charming and hysterical and best of all, he loves giving away free stuff. Not long ago, he had some Amano Chocolate to give away. I wasn't one of the initial winners, but the fabulous folks at Amano decided to graciously send samples to everyone that expressed interest. A short week later, a package with three (three!!!) different chocolate varieties arrived in my hot little hands. Dave and I immediately popped them out of their classy packaging and sampled a tiny bit of each. I've left my notes regarding each at home, but I will update with our thoughts this evening. Overall, the chocolate was amazing. Superb mouth-feel and clean chocolate taste. We marveled at how different each one was from the other. It is so easy to think about how different coffee or wine tastes from different regions, and chocolate is no different. I can't wait to share our thoughts on each with you!
Now, each package was 2 ounces - together totaling 6 was the perfect amount for these brownies. I melted all three to use their chocolatey goodness to Dorie's recipe and the chocolate did not disappoint. The brownies are rich (seriously rich) and moist and fudgy. Make sure you have a gallon if milk on hand, because you will need it.
Remember what I said about this November. :)
(adapted from Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, pages 92-93)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup raisins (dark or golden)
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces, at room temperature
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, butter the foil and place the pan on a baking sheet. (I lined the pan with non-stick foil and skipped the butter.)
Whisk the flour, salt and cinnamon together.
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 and let it warm for about 30 seconds, then turn off the heat, stand back and ignite the rum with a long match. Allow the flames to die down, and set the raisins aside. (I had trouble with flaming the raisins--not enough rum? Also, I like to do this quite a while before I make the rest of the recipe to give the raisins lots of time to soak up the rum.)
Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until the chocolate melts. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and add the butter, stirring until 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. (I used the microwave.)
Working with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until thick and pale, about 2 minutes. (I used the hand mixer.) Reduce the mixer speed and pour in the chocolate-butter mixture, mixing only until it is incorporated—you’ll have a thick, creamy batter. (I just used a whisk, not the mixer.) Add the dry ingredients and mix at low speed for about 30 seconds—the dry ingredients won’t be completely incorporated. Then finish folding in the dry ingredients by hand with a rubber spatula. (I used the spatula for all the mixing of the dry ingredients.) Fold in the raisins, along with any liquid remaining in the pan. Scrape the batter into the pan.
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top is dry and crackled and a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and 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. Cut 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 accompaniments are whipped crème fraiche or whipped cream, ice cream or chocolate sauce or, dare I suggest, all three!
Storing: Wrapped well, these can be kept a room temperature for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 2 months.