Saturday, September 4, 2010

Fudgy Brownies

I've been cooking and baking so much in the last couple of weeks, I haven't had time to keep up with the blog! Can't say what's got me so inspired lately, except maybe the promise of fall. Fresh starts, and all that jazz. That and I want to make the most of the farmers' markets before they're done for the year. Although the only thing in this recipe that I bought at the market was the eggs. Oh well! As much as I love fruity desserts that feature the bounty of the season, nothing beats a brownie. Especially a fudgy brownie, still warm from the oven, with a tall glass of milk.

I used top quality chocolate for these, and I think it's a necessity -- you always hear that a dish is only as good as its ingredients and I wholeheartedly concur. This recipe calls for a mixture of bittersweet and unsweetened chocolate, which intensifies the flavour. If you can splurge on Callebaut or Valhrona, please do.

A couple of tips -- according to the Fine Cooking folks (where this recipe comes from) you can double the recipe by using a 13x9-inch pan and increasing the baking time slightly. And you'll note that the baking time provided is 35-45 minutes -- the magazine recommends using the shorter time for metal pans and the longer time for glass ones. I used metal, took it out at 35 minutes, and they were perfect.

Fudgy Brownies

5 oz. (10 Tbs.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
5 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
3 oz. (2/3 cup) all-purpose flour

Position an oven rack on the middle rung. Heat the oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch square pan, line the pan bottom with parchment (or waxed paper), and then butter the parchment.
In a double boiler over simmering water, melt the butter and both chocolates. Remove the pan from the heat; cool slightly. Whisk in the sugar and then the vanilla and salt. The mixture will be somewhat grainy; this is okay. Whisk in the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, stirring each time until blended. Add the flour, beating until thickened and smooth, 30 to 60 seconds. Pour into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with moist crumbs (not wet batter) clinging to it, 35 to 45 min.
Set the pan on a rack until cool enough to handle. Run a paring knife around the inside edge of the pan and then invert the pan onto a flat surface and peel off the parchment. Flip the baked brownie back onto the rack to cool completely. Cut into squares with a sharp knife.
Yield: 16 brownies
Source: Fine Cooking, Aug. 1999

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