Monday, April 17, 2006

I Heart Brownies

Better than Brad Pitt - ya think?

Brownies, you love um right? That sweet slightly under cooked yumminess that makes you close you eyes and smile. Well, have you ever come across something that try as you might you just can’t make properly? Everyone humanoid on the planet can simply dump a box and ♪ta da♪ beautiful brown onion skin on the outside and chocolaty goodness on the inside. Well, not me; bricks, that’s what get, I can make the lightest sponge you ever had the joy of tasting, but brownies? Bricks. Why I ask you?!?! What is the magical secret to making brownies? Is there a club? Can I join? Am I over thinking this? It’s very sad, I call myself a baker and I can’t bake a recipe that was a mistake to begin with –brownies supposedly were created when someone left the baking powder out of a chocolate cake. I’ve tried the box, I’ve tried scratch – I’ve tried blondies. Nope, could’t do it. I started to think that I should just stick to cheesecake!

Well, finally I have found a recipe that I can make to perfection. Not quite the usual fudgy yet cakey brownie we are all used to but - WOW. My dear friend Chocolatier Magazine has come to the rescue yet again! This recipe is not your grandma’s brownie that’s for sure. It is also not one to whip up for the kids. Go ahead give one to the little ankle biter in your house and – if he likes it, which he might not – watch his head explode from the sugar. The chocolate taste is deep, intense and sweet but not the sweetness that would appeal to most kids. It definitely has a grown up taste and – cut small - would make a great passed desert for a cocktail party or event. The texture is little grainy, but fudge like as well, no real cakeness to it - but it goes will with the smoothness of the topping.

Of course I won’t give up my search for the perfect brownie, but this will definitely be on my top 10 hit parade of desserts to impress. Now the name is a bit hokey, but don’t be afraid! I mean “Better-Than-Brad-Pitt Brownies” come on…what could be better? These are pretty darned close!

Better-Than-Brad-Pitt Brownies
(Polka Dot Cake Studio Taken from Chocolatier Magazine Feb/March 2006)

14OZ unsweetened chocolate, chopped.
1/4C non-alkalized cocoa powder
1 1/2C (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3 granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
6 large eggs
2C all purpose flour, sifted
10OZ semi sweet chocolate morsels
2C chopped walnuts

4OZ semisweet chocolate
4T unsalted butter
1/2T light corn syrup

Make the brownies: Position rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 300°F. Butter bottom and sides of 9 X 13 baking pan. Line bottom with parchment (I allowed enough to hang over sides of pan to use as handles).

In a large bowl, combine unsweetened chocolate and cocoa powder. Place bowl over pot filled 1/3 of the way with barely simmering water and heat, stirring frequently, until melted and smooth.

In bowl of electric mixer, using paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar and salt together at high speed until combined and light, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. At low speed, add flour in three additions, mixing just until blended. Add melted chocolate, chocolate morsels and walnuts and mix until combined. Scrape batter into pan and bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until top is set but still soft and edges are just beginning to pull away from sides of pan (a tooth pick will still come out gooey at this point). Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

Cover pan and refrigerate brownies for 6 hours or overnight before glazing)
Glaze the brownies: Combine all the glaze ingredients in a medium bowl and place over a pot filled 1/3 of the way up with barely simmering water. Heat stirring, frequently, until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.

Invert brownies and remove from pan. Peel off parchment and re-invert so they are right side up. Pour glaze over brownies and, using off-set spatula, spread evenly to edges. Refrigerate brownies for 10 minutes (no longer or the glaze will harden too much and the brownies will be hard to cut), to set glaze.

Using a sharp knife (use a long one), cut brownies into 24 rectangles (I made triangles).

*Note. Don’t leave out the nuts; they are a needed texture here. If you want nut free make a different recipe!

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