Monday, September 8, 2008

Brownies By Request

(Contrary to the length of these instructions, this is my fastest, easiest recipe that I use in the café. They take less than 5 minutes to prepare so don't be intimidated. And, the fact that I can sell a little bitty brownie for $2.95US gives you an indication of how much people like them. They always sell out within a day.)

I call these my "Over-the-Top Brownies" because they are. They are a riff on the Katherine Hepburn brownies that you'll find all over the internet, 0nly better.

Oven to 325 F
Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper (foil if you don't have parchment) and butter the paper (you can just butter your pan if you don't care about how they look when you take them out. I line with parchment so I can chill the brownies, lift them out of the pan, frost them, and cut them for selling.)

Melt 1 C. (230 g) of unsalted butter in saucepan on stove (you can microwave it also).
Add 1 C. (230 g) of chocolate - I use 75% Chocoa, but any brand will be fine.
Remove pan from heat and let sit about 30 seconds to a minute.
Stir the chocolate until it is melted.
Add 1 3/4 C. (400 g) Sugar and 4 whole eggs to the chocolate mixture.
Stir until just completely combined - not more.
Add 1 t. Vanilla and 1 t. Raspberry extract/compound/ or 2 T. puree.

Add 1/2 C. (100 g) of All-Purpose flour, don't stir yet.
Here is a key step!!!
I add 1/2 t. of course salt - not ground. I prefer my Spanish sea salt or Balinese Pyramid salt, but really, just anything course that won't dissolve in the batter.
Add 3/4 C. (200 g) Toasted pecans (with or without salt is fine).
And finally, 2/3 C. (140 g) of chocolate - I use 64% Cacao Barry Guayaquil. Just get as close to that percentage as you can to provide the contrast to the 75%, and you can also go to a lower percentage if you want.

Bake around 35 minutes or until set but not over-cooked.
(A quick note: I use only my gram measures when baking, so I can attest to their accuracy. I used the gram to cup converter at for the volume measurements and had to round things. Brownies are forgiving, so you should be fine.)

Once they are done, bring to room temp, then set in the fridge until cool. This is when I take them out of the pan for frosting and trimming, but you can leave them in if you don't mind less clean cuts. Remove by pulling up on the parchment paper and set on a cutting board.

Now, take 1/2 C. (100 g) Cream and microwave it for about 90 seconds in a bowl. You want it to come to a boil but not scald. Then add 1.5 C. (300 g) Chocolate - I use the 75% Chocoa. Let it sit for a minute to soften. Stir until smooth and silky. For those of you who don't bake much, this is called a ganache (or for me, I call it breakfast spread). Spread the ganache all over the top of the brownie. Let it sit for a few minutes until the ganache firms up a bit and set in the fridge. After 15 minutes pull it out and cut into your serving shapes. I cut by resting my sharpest knife in a glass filled with very hot water, then wiping the blade with a towel, I cut cleanly into each piece. This method assures you ulta clean edges...if you care. If not, just take a fork to it and save the step!

What takes this brownie beyond the rest is the raspberry and course salt, so don't skimp on those two steps. Let me know what you think.


Randi said...

I made some symphony brownies( using a mix for a baby shower) and I want to make them with a homemade recipe. My Go to recipe is Zingerman's magic brownies( have you tried those). They use less butter than yours, unsweetened choc and I throw in some dulce. Anyway, I might use yours to test the symphony and i dont have rasberry extract.

Manggy said...

Over-the-top indeed! That's more than 500g of chocolate! It takes me a lot longer than 5 minutes, though-- chopping the chocolate is such a chore.

Gfron1 said...

Who chops chocolate!? Buy discs if you can get them :)