TWD: French Chocolate Brownies


*Note to self: Let brownies cool before taking pictures, they would look less messy!

Wow. Just wow. With all due respect to Ina’s Outrageous Brownies, these French Chocolate Brownies have trumped and become my all-time favorite brownie recipe. Many thanks to Di of Di’s Kitchen Notebook for choosing this week’s recipe – what a fantastic job you did!!

These brownies were created in a pretty non-traditional way in terms of brownies. The eggs and sugar were whisked together in the stand mixture, and then the dry ingredients were added, followed by the melted chocolate/butter combination. In truth, Dorie states that when she created these she was aiming for a chocolate cake, not brownies. But wow, did she nail the brownies! These are dense, moist, insanely chocolatey, and just about everything you could want from a brownie. I couldn’t stop eating pieces off of them each time I walked into the kitchen!

This recipe says it yields 16 brownies, and after cutting these into 16 pieces I’m convinced that Laurie was right – these are French-size brownies, not America’s super-sized variety that we’re used to 😉

Oh, you will note there are raisins in the recipe, pretty a-typical for a brownie. I skipped these as I only had a handful of raisins left and wanted to hoard them for my oatmeal 😉

Recipe and some process photos after the break…

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TWD: Quintuple Chocolate Brownies

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For our second week of Tuesdays With Dorie, it was my turn to choose the recipe that we would tackle. After poring over endless possibilities, my eyes kept going back to the Quintuple Chocolate Brownies. I was pretty sure, upon reading the recipe, that I might go into sugar shock when I took my first bite. Sugar headaches be damned, my mind was made up – these would be our next Dorie adventure!

The 5 types of chocolate found in these brownies: unsweetened cocoa powder, bittersweet chocolate, unsweetened chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate.

Wow, when mixing together this batter I think I got a hand cramp. Okay, that might be an exaggeration, but this was by far the thickest batter I have ever made for brownies. Any wavering I may have had on the notion that they might not be as rich as their name indicates went right out the window! Once in the oven, these gave off the most decadent, rich, chocolate aroma. I felt like I was in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory! These brownies were easy to throw together (no KA needed!), and taste absolutely fabulous. Bonus – they look gorgeous as well! Small is good with these babies – just a nibble will satisfy even the most needy sweet tooth!

The only thing that I think I would do differently here is instead of a white chocolate glaze I would make more of a solid layer of white chocolate on top, such that you would find on peppermint bark. To do this I would simply remove the heavy cream from the recipe and spread just melted white chocolate on top of the brownie. There is nothing wrong with the glaze as is – it’s very good! – just a personal preference for a thicker layer 🙂

We have now formed a trio of Dorie experimenters, with April from Abby Sweets joining us as well! Head on over to her blog to see her take on Tuesdays with Dorie each week.

Stay tuned next week for… Hidden Berry Cream Cheese Torte

Last week: Brown Sugar-Pecan Shortbread Cookies

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Outrageous? Indeed!

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There has been much ado surrounding Ina Garten’s Outrageous Brownies recipe on a number of cooking and baking forums that I frequent. Given my quest to master many different homemade brownie recipes I thought that this one warranted my undertaking. I should have known what I was getting myself into when my husband, who loves all things chocolate, saw me mixing the batter and said, “Wow, that looks REALLY rich!” Indeed, these brownies are definitely the richest I have ever tasted. Which is not a bad thing 😉 This recipe was super easy to put together and didn’t take much time at all. I must forewarn you – listen to the directions when they say to cool the brownies completely before cutting! Nick didn’t want to wait and he ended up with a bowl full of warm brownie crumbs.

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The BEST Brownies?

You bet they are! Hershey’s struck a home run with their Perfectly Chocolate Cake, and I am again impressed with their famed brownie recipe. This was actually the second time I have made this recipe, but they disappeared so fast the first time that I didn’t get a chance to take a picture!

I admittedly don’t have a lot of experience with homemade brownies, but these were dense and fudge-like – the perfect brownie by my standards!


Best Brownies
(Source: Hershey’s)

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Hershey’s cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 350. Grease 9-inch square baking pan.

2. Stir together butter, sugar and vanilla in bowl. Add eggs; beat well with spoon. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually add to egg mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in nuts, if desired. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan.

3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of the pan. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into squares. Approximately 16 brownies.

Samoas® Brownie – Browniebabe of the Month


Until today I had never made brownies from scratch; I always used the box mix and as a result, I always felt a twinge of guilt. Making homemade brownies has been on my kitchen to-do list for a long time and when I saw the Browniebabe event I had the perfect excuse to finally whip up a batch!

Samoas® Girl Scout cookies are a favorite in our house and I couldn’t remember ever seeing these cookies morphed into a brownie. I had my brownie idea! Since Samoas® are based on a shortbread cookie, I used a blondie as my base for this so-decadent-need-to-eat-with-a-fork-and-wash-down-with-milk brownie.

Caramel Blondies
(adapted from Kraft Foods)

1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 lb. caramels
1/4 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 13×9-inch baking pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan. Lightly grease foil. Mix brown sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl until well blended (I mixed by hand with a wood spoon); set aside. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add to brown sugar mixture; mix well. Reserve 1 cup of the batter for later use; spread remaining batter into prepared pan.

2. Baking 15 minutes or until firm. Microwave caramels and milk in microwaveable bowl 2-3 minutes or until caramels are completely melted, stirring every minute. Pour over baked layer in pan; spread to within 1/2 inch of edges.

3. Spoon reserved 1 cup batter over caramel layer; with an icing spatula, spread batter together with caramel until a smooth layer appears. Bake an additional 18 minutes or until center is set. Cool completely.

Toasted Coconut Topping
(adapted from Cupcake Bakeshop)

2 (5-oz) cans evaporated milk
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
3 cups shredded, sweet coconut

1. Spread the coconut onto a sheet pan. Toast in a 350 degree oven, stirring frequently to prevent burning, until the coconut is an even brown color, approximately 12 minutes.

2. Combine milk, sugar and butter in a medium saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until thick, bubbly, and golden, about 15 minutes.

3. Add 2 cups of the coconut, reserving the remainder for assembly of the brownie; stir to combine. Cool completely.

Chocolate Ganache
(source: Cupcake Bakeshop)

8 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1 cup (8 oz) heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Chop chocolate and transfer into a heat proof bowl.

2. Heat cream until bubbles form around the edge of the pan and then pour cream over the chocolate.

3. Let sit for 1 minute then stir until combined.

4. Add vanilla and stir until combined.

5. Let cool to room temperature.

ASSEMBLING THE BROWNIE:

1. Bake blondies and cool completely.

2. Prepare chocolate ganache and once cool, spread a thin layer over the cooled blondies. Put pan in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

3. Prepare toasted coconut topping and let cool to room temperature. Spread over hardened chocolate ganache layer and top with extra toasted coconut.

4. Drizzle with remaining chocolate ganache.

And I took the suggestion of my friend Amber and cut mine out in the shape of a real Samoas® cookie 🙂


**Store these in the refrigerator or they might get gooey on you!

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As mentioned above, I will be submitting this recipe in the Browniebabe of the Month event hosted by Myriam at Once Upon a Tart.

Check the event link on August 19th for a round-up of all the entries!