Saturday, May 23, 2020

Chocolate Lover's Brownies

If your really love chocolate, especially dark chocolate, you are going to love these brownies. The brownies themselves are almost velvety in texture, with an intense hit of chocolate and a hint of coffee, plus the pleasure of walnuts. The topping is deep, dark, rich ganache. The combination is every chocolate lover's dream.

Not surprisingly, these brownies use a lot of chocolate...not cocoa powder, but chocolate. I used Scharfenberger semisweet and bittersweet chocolates, combined because it's my favorite chocolate, but you should use your favorite because you really taste the chocolate in these brownies. These are nothing like you would find in a box of brownie mix. I actually love boxed brownie mix brownies, but these are richer and less chewy or fudgy. The addition of some espresso powder really brings out the taste of the chocolate without making them really taste of coffee. The original recipe called for cinnamon, but I do love the way that coffee intensifies chocolate flavor, so I left out the cinnamon and added espresso.

This recipe (minus the espresso but with cinnamon instead) is another discovery from old Bon Appetit magazines. It's been fun to see how recipes and what we are interested in eating has changed over the years. These brownies are from the February 2001 issue. This is a typical recipe for the time...very rich, and a bit time consuming because you have to chop all that chocolate and melt is over simmering water. These days they would probably say to use chocolate chips and to nuke the chocolate in the microwave to melt it, but I followed the instructions for technique, just to see how the brownies turned out. I have to say, it was worth the extra effort! Using top quality chocolate, even if it comes in blocks that need to be chopped, makes for better brownies. The photo below was in bright sunlight. The one at the top was in a dimmer room. The actual color is closer to the one below, but a bit darker.

Chocolate-Espresso Brownies with Chocolate Ganache
adapted from a recipe Feb 2001 issue of Bon Appetit magazine
Makes 16

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder (Original recipe used 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon instead)
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (I used 4 oz semisweet and 2 oz bittersweet)
Use your favorite chocolate since you really taste the flavor of the chocolate in these.
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, diced, at room temperature (I used non-dairy butter)
4 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup walnuts, chopped

Ganache (Recipe follows)

Position rack in center of oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter an 8x8x2-inch metal baking pan; dust with flour. (I lined my pan with foil and then used spray oil and a combination of flour and cocoa powder to dust it.)

Mix flour, espresso powder and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

Stir chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler set over simmering water until melted and smooth. Turn off heat. Let chocolate stand over will remain warm.

Using electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar in large bowl until mixture thickens and falls in soft ribbon when beaters are lifted, about 5 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Stir in flour mixture in 2 additions, blending well after each addition. Gradually add warm chocolate to egg mixture, beating until just combined. Stir in walnuts.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake brownies until top is set and tester inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 35 minutes. Check at 30 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Pour ganache evenly over cooled brownies in pan.

Chill brownies until ganache is set, about 2 hours. Cut into 16 squares. If using foil in pan, use foil to remove brownies to cutting board before cutting into 16 squares. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover, chill. Serve at room temperature.)

6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/8 teaspoon espresso powder
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (I used non-dairy butter)
2 tablespoons whipping cream (I used non-sweetened soy creamer)

Whisk all ingredients in small saucepan over medium-low heat until melted and smooth. Pour evenly over cooled brownies in pan.

1 comment :

  1. Oooh, these look good. Mom cracked me up by making brownies - this very vegan, mostly raw food person took a sharp left from her usual ways my younger sibs had to text me, "Did you know MOM MADE BROWNIES????" It was a banner event.