Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cocoa Brownies

There's no point in reinventing the wheel here. SmittenKitchen recently blogged about these brownies, I was craving brownie sundaes and needed a recipe for Mother's Day, I made the life-changing discovery that Ghirardelli cocoa is actually cheaper per ounce (at least at my Safeway) than Hershey cocoa (hey, inkpadchocolate is on a budget, sometimes), and SHAZAM. I had to make these brownies.

SK makes the astute observation that the opposite of sweet is not always bitter. Sometimes it's just... intense chocolate. These are super good with ice cream, but keep in mind that I'd probably enjoy ice cream on sauerkraut. (Hmm, that might actually be good...)

Sorry, no time to take many pictures. The moms demanded brownies!

SK's Cocoa Brownies
(which she adapted from Alice Medrich's Bittersweet)
10 T. (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. + 2 T. unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. vanilla extract
2 large eggs, cold
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2/3 c. walnut or pecan pieces (optional)

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch (I used 9x9) square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.

(What? You don't use garlic and scissors to prevent your parchment from curling? Weirdos. It's all about WHAT YOU HAVE ON HAND.)

Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and set the bowl above a saucepan of barely simmering water—or use a heatproof glass bowl and microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after each round. Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and hot enough that you want to remove your finger fairly quickly after dipping it in to test (ouch!—about 3 minutes in the microwave for me, stirring every 30 seconds). Remove the bowl from the saucepan or microwave and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot. It looks fairly gritty at this point, but don’t fret—it smooths out once the eggs and flour are added.

Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon (I used a rubber spatula—it's fine!). Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Stir in the nuts, if using. Spread evenly in the lined pan.

Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 20 to 25 minutes is Medrich’s suggestion but it took SK at least 10 minutes longer to get them set (me, too). Let cool completely on a rack. (SK goes further and throws it in the fridge or freezer for a while to be able to cut with clean lines.)

Lift up the ends of the parchment or foil liner, and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Cut into 16 or 25 squares. (Ha! SK must live in a portion-controlled dream world! I'm not at all embarrassed to say that I got NINE brownies. It was beautiful. A proud moment.) Serve with ice cream, and perhaps, Nigella's peanut butter fudge sauce, coming soon to a blog near you. (I warmed the brownies up in the microwave first—nothing makes me happier than a molten sundae!)

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails