Tuesday, May 20, 2008

TWD: Quintuple Chocolate Brownies

This week I joined a weekly baking group called “Tuesdays with Dorie” (TWD for short). Members bake a weekly confection from the book “Baking: From My Home to Yours” by Dorie Greenspan and post about it on (surprise!) Tuesday.

This is a wonderful cookbook, with fantastic pictures and recipes alike. I highly recommend it! Believe it or not, I have a mammogram story to go with this book that I might share one of these days, lol.

This week’s recipe was Traditional Madeleines, chosen by Tara of Smells Like Home. You can find the recipe HERE.

Those bakers (like me) who don’t have a madeleine pan were given the option of baking a past TWD recipe instead. For me, it came down to choosing between The Most Extraordinary French Lemon Cream Tart and the Quintuple Chocolate Brownies. I’m the only lemon fan in the house so brownies it was. Besides, how can I NOT bake a recipe with the words “quintuple” and “chocolate” in the title?

Mixing the flour, salt, and cocoa powder with the chocolate, butter, egg, and vanilla mixture:

The verdict? They had a rich, chocolate flavor and I liked the addition of the white chocolate glaze on top. They were a little more dense and fudgy than I like, though. My kids didn’t seem to mind, however, and took after them like they hadn’t eaten in two days. They were also a snap to make.

OK, confession time. My favorite brownies are from a (gasp!) mix. Actually, its two mixes, Betty Crocker Chocolate Chunk and Ghiradelli Double Chocolate, mixed together, prepared according to both package directions and baked in a 9x13-inch pan. They’re the perfect balance between fudgy and cakey and are nice and thick.

So, there you go… my first TWD post. Looking forward to next week’s recipe.

Quintuple Chocolate Brownies

For the Brownies:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
3 oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 oz bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp strong coffee
1 Cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
6 oz premium-quality milk chocolate, chopped into pieces, or chocolate chips
1 Cup chopped nuts *(I left out the nuts)

For the glaze:
6 oz premium quality white chocolate, finely chopped
1/3 cup heavy cream

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with foil, butter the foil and place the pan on a baking sheet.

Sift together the flour, cocoa, and salt.

Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and add, in the following order, the butter, the two chocolates and the coffee. Keeping the pan over low heat, warm just until the butter and chocolates are melted-you don't want the ingredients to get so hot they separate, so keep an eye on the bowl. Stir gently, and when the mixture is smooth, set it aside for 5 minutes.

Using a whisk or a rubber spatula, beat the sugar into the chocolate mixture. Don't beat too vigorously-you don't want to add air to the batter-and don't be concerned about any graininess. Next, stir in the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla. You should have a smooth, glossy batter. If you're not already using a rubber spatula, switch to one now and gently stir in the dry ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated. Finally, stir in the milk chocolate chops and the nuts. Scrape the batter into the pan.

Bake for about 35 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out streaked but not thickly coated. Let rest for at least 30 minutes.

Turn the brownies out onto a rack, peel away the foil and place it under another rack-it will be the drip catcher for the glaze. Invert the brownies onto the rack and let cool completely.

Make the glaze:
Put the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring the heavy cram to a boil and pour it over the chocolate. Wait 30 seconds, then gently stir until the chocolate is melted and the glaze is smooth. Pour evenly over the brownies and spread to cover the entire surface. Refrigerate brownies for at least 20 minutes for glaze to dry, and cut into squares.

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