Tuesday, June 3, 2008

French Chocolate Brownies: Tuesdays with Dorie

My first recipe with the group Tuesdays with Dorie! Wonderful! This group is going through Dorie Greenspan's fabulous book, Baking From My Home to Yours, one recipe at a time, posting each Tuesday. I was so excited to join up, as I really enjoy this cookbook--Yummy!!

These brownies are really tasty. But I'm not sure if I would necessarily call them brownies--they're so smooth and soft--velvety, yet not a cake either. Wonderful!! They are made with bittersweet chocolate and have an intense flavor. They aren't fudgy or cake-like, maybe somewhere in between. They have a very tender, soft texture. The top crusts over while baking and then cracks, making them rather delicate and crumbly, adding to their charm. The secret ingredient is raisins (supposed to be rum-soaked, but I left this out) and they're very subtle--great with the chocolate. They really add a great dimension. Very nice! I love these!!

Continue for brownie recipe.

French Chocolate Brownies

adapted from Baking From My Home to Yours

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup raisins, dark or golden
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum (I left this out)
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into 12 pieces
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sugar

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 300°F.
Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, butter the foil, place the pan on a baking sheet, and set aside.
Whisk together the flour, salt and cinnamon.
Put the raisins in a small saucepan with the water, bring to a boil over medium hea,t and cook until the water almost evaporates. Add the rum, let it warm for about 30 seconds, turn off the heat, stand back and ignite the rum. Allow the flames to die down, and set the raisins aside until needed.
Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Slowly and gently melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and add the butter, stirring so that it melts. It's important that the chocolate and butter not get very hot. However, if the butter is not melting, you can put the bowl back over the still-hot water for a minute. If you've got a couple of little bits of unmelted butter, leave them—it's better to have a few bits than to overheat the whole. (I carefully melted mine in the microwave and it worked fine--medium power).
Set the chocolate aside for the moment.
Working with a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until they are thick and pale, about 2 minutes.
Lower the mixer speed and pour in the chocolate-butter, mixing only until it is incorporated—you'll have a thick, creamy batter.
Add the dry ingredients and mix at low speed for about 30 seconds—the dry ingredients won't be completely incorporated and that's fine.
Finish folding in the dry ingredients by hand with a rubber spatula, then fold in the raisins along with any liquid remaining in the pan.
Scrape the batter into the pan and bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top is dry and crackled and a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Transfer the pan to a rack and allow the brownies to cool to warm or room temperature.
Carefully lift the brownies out of the pan, using the foil edges as handles, and transfer to a cutting board. With a long-bladed knife, cut the brownies into 16 squares, each roughly 2 inches on a side, taking care not to cut through the foil.

Dorie's Serving Suggestions: The brownies are good just warm or at room temperature; they're even fine cold. I like these with a little something on top or alongside—good go-alongs are whipped crème fraiche or whipped cream, ice cream or chocolate sauce or even all three!

Storing: Wrapped well, these can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.


Christine said...

Welcome to TWD! You will have a blast. Your brownies look delicious!

Anonymous said...

Your brownies look lovely!

Susie Homemaker said...

These look great...welcome to the group! I hope to see more great results from you!

Erin said...

They look great! Welcome to the group.

Mary said...

Hi Rose! Welcome and great job with the brownies.

The Becketts said...

I'm new to TWD this week too!! Your pics of the brownies are fabulous!!! I can't wait to see more of your things.

steph- whisk/spoon said...

welcome to the group! great looking brownies!

Di said...

I'm glad you enjoyed your first week of TWD. Welcome to the group!

Carol Peterman said...

Nice job on the brownies. Welcome to the group, it is a fun weekly challenge and so exciting to anticipate the next recipe selection.

Jules Someone said...

Welcome to the group! Nice first effort. Looking forward to more treats.

PheMom said...

Great job on your brownies! Welcome to TWD!

Sharon said...

Welcome to TWD! Your brownies look delicious! Hope you have fun here.

The Kitchen Vixen said...

Welcome to the group! great job!

Melissa said...

Welcome! Your blog looks great!

Jacque said...

Your crumbly tops really add a lot of character to the photo. Nice work and welcome!

Mara said...

welcome to the group!! your brownies look so thick and fudgy. i wish i had a plate with me right now, this recipe was so fun!

Rebecca said...

Welcome to TWD! Looks like your brownies went off without a hitch. Deeeelish!!!

Bumblebutton said...

I think you are spot-on with your texture description. Glad you enjoyed them. Welcome to TWD, and to help get to know you a little, I am tagging you for a meme!

Dolores said...

Great description of the texture. The other thing I liked a lot about this week's assignment is that they actually improved a bit in flavor complexity with age. Glad you enjoyed them!