Tuesday, June 3, 2008

TwD: French Chocolate Brownies

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!

Di, of Di's Kitchen Notebook, chose for our TwD gustatory pleasure Dorie's French Chocolate Brownies. I don't know what makes them French, but I don't care. These are that good that I don't care about anything other than eating them. Short-sighted, maybe. But make these yourself and you'll understand. I would almost suggest you NOT make these, they are that dangerous. That, and I don't really want to share the world's chocolate resources with you - I want them all to myself so I can make these every day.

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. :)

French Chocolate Brownies
(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.


StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

Your brownies look fab! Super fudgy and delicious! Well done!

Engineer Baker said...

So funny! Glad you loved these!

Rebecca said...

Oh, I forgot how much butter was in them. Still ... worth every pat. ;)

Melissa said...

Glad you liked them!

Christine said...

Oh the batter was to die for! Great job!

Heather said...

Your brownies look delicious! Great job!

Anonymous said...

Dorie for President -- best idea I have heard all day. Who could be in a funk after eating one of these?

noskos said...

Job well done, they look great!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Dorie for president...certainly a thought! Great job!

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

I'm with you on this one, these brownies are just the business!

art said...

Those brownies look absolutely delicious! I think I'm going to have to try your recipe and make a batch. I just finished making a batch of Ocumare and set aside about 45lbs for my own personal cheffing. I think it would be perfect for this.

Thanks for posting the recipe and I look forward to reading your comments about our chocolate this evening!

(Head Chocolate Maker at Amano Artisan Chocolate)

PheMom said...

Dorie as Pres sounds like the best choice to me!! Glad you loved these!

Shari said...

I loved these brownies too! I love the dollop of cream on top.
Shari@Whisk: a food blog

The Kitchen Vixen said...

great looking brownies. i thought they were amazing the next day.

Andrea said...

These brownies are very tasty indeed.
Your post made me laugh.
Well done!

Susie Homemaker said...

Yum -Amano! An FOR FREE! They look so good - congrats!

Jaime said...

your brownies look great! i agree that these are very good. i considered using the amano chocolate for this recipe as well, but didn't want to mix the different flavors together...

Dolores said...

It's funny... I wasn't crazy about these at first, but they grew on me. I'm going to make another batch this weekend, sans fruit. Because you have me fantasizing about rich fudgy brownies with Amano chocolate.

Dorie for President! With Blake running her campaign! :)

Kim said...

Katie, those are some good looking brownies. Delish!

Flanboyant Eats said...

hey girlie! how are you? i could use chocolate in my world right now.
thanks for the tip on getting some choco for gratis. imma try it...

Flanboyant Eats said...

Hey Katie, these look so so good. I work out just to be able to eat all kinds of goodies, like this.