Wednesday, June 4, 2008

French Chocolate Brownies - Tuesdays with Dorie

Easy to make, easy to bake, luverly cake! (Oh, such poetry!) Dorie's French Chocolate Brownies, chosen for us by Di of Di's Kitchen Notebook is an absolute find. It's the sort of recipe one can run up in almost no time with not too much effort and the results are wonderful. I used the Ghirardelli Extra Bittersweet chocolate slabs - I prefer the slabs to chips as they seem to melt more smoothly and more glossily; added a tablespoon of rum and a half cup of walnuts to the mix and left out the raisin-flame lighting stage. They baked for just over an hour (about 63 mins.) before coming out beautifully. I now have my Brownie recipe for keeps and will make these over and over. Took them to the Office today, as usual, and they disappeared like hot cakes, well, like good brownies. I'm giving the recipe to a co-worker who has previously only experienced box brownies. His children (not too young - early teens) will be able to make them, but I'll change the instructions to melting the chocolate and butter in the microwave.

This post is a a couple of days late, but am I pleased to be posting at all! My computer hard drive crashed last week. Thank goodness my warranty was still good so a technician came to my house to replace the hard drive. Many tech. support hours later I am now restored to life.

Here's Dorie's recipe:

French Chocolate Brownies- makes 16 brownies -
Adapted from Baking From My Home to Yours.

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1/3 cup raisins, dark or golden (exchanged for 1/2 cup walnuts)
1 1/2 tablespoons water (omit)
1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum (one Tbs.)
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons; 6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into 12 pieces
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup 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.] - omitted this part.

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. 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.



Rebecca of "Ezra Pound Cake" said...

Thank God for tech support. Glad you loved the brownies. Lucky co-workers!

CRS said...

I'm glad you liked them--I did too! They were fairly easy, and didn't take too much more time than a box would. A keeper for me too!

Susie Homemaker said...

Better late than never! So glad I dropped by your blog - great job! Looking forward to see your post next week!(on time, of course! *giggle*)