June 3, 2008

Oo-la-la, French Chocolate Brownies

Saturday, 11:00 pm: I just put a pan of brownies in the oven after an 8-hour shift at work, a reviving 2 1/2 hour nap, a peanut butter & jelly sandwich for dinner, and an hour's worth of recreational reading.

Yep, that's how exciting my Saturday nights are. And, you know what? I'm okay with that.

Really, I am. I have, in the past year and a half, learned to appreciate my alone time...even the stillness of a quiet house. I've also learned that time is relative...and that there's nothing wrong with baking close to midnight. It's okay, too, to eat dinner at 9:30...whether it's PB&J or chicken tagine that took a couple hours to make.

*****

I was happy to see that this week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was one for brownies, because brownies--homemade, not from a boxed mix brownies--are on my list of "things I've never made before."

This recipe, chosen by Di of Di's Kitchen Notebook, was originally intended by Dorie Greenspan as a chocolate cake with rum-soaked raisins. I left out the fruit, as I am a brownie purist. The result was a thick, chewy, fudgy brownie that is so good that I made two batches! The first batch was gobbled up at a cookout on Sunday (seriously, they were gone before I could even get a picture!). The second batch, which I baked last night, was eaten warm with homemade vanilla ice cream & raspberry sauce.

This recipe is exactly what I look for in a brownie. From now on, it's my "go to" brownie!!

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French Chocolate Brownies

Ingredients

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 sticks 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 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.

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.

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I baked the brownies in a buttered glass 8x8 pan instead of using the foil method.

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.

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20 comments:

The Food Librarian said...

Holy Smokes! These look great! I love the raspberry sauce - so pretty!

Engineer Baker said...

It's always a good sign when you can't restrain yourself from making a second batch!

April said...

Looks delicious!

chelley325 said...

That sauce looks divine! Great job!

Amy said...

Beautiful pictures. Your brownies look yummy!

bakingwiththeboys said...

That is a dangerous picture for Tuesday afternoon at work. Looks amazing.

Jules Someone said...

That brownie looks wonderful! I love it with ice cream.

Amy said...

Awesome! Love the raspberry sauce idea!

Melissa said...

Umm, yum! An americanized brownie sundae :)

Christine said...

Yum raspberry sauce!! Great job! I made two batches too!

Heather said...

I'm so jealous! My brownie was cakey and I keep seeing all of these delicious gooey fudgy brownies! Your brownies look delicious! Great job!

Rebecca said...

I'm so envying the raspberry sauce. Why didn't I think of that?

noskos said...

Job well done, they look great!

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

There is nothing wrong with a little late night baking!

CB said...

I bet that raspberry sauce was heavenly! Great job!
Clara @ I♥food4thought

Bellini Valli said...

I have seen many a French brownie over the net lately. They just look so darn good especially with the raspberry sauce Kelly:D

Shari said...

The raspberry sauce takes these brownies up a notch! Great job.
Shari@Whisk: a food blog

April said...

I love the ice cream & raspberry sauce. I also made a raspberry sauce my brownies and it was so good!

Jaime said...

your brownies look great! irresistible w/the ice cream on top

Dolores said...

I love the way you think my friend; alone time is something I cherish as well... and there's *never* a wrong time to bake or to enjoy a good meal. I'm glad you found your go-to brownie recipe.