Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie - French Brownies

So, the recipe du jour is French Brownies. Lovely, I thought, brownies! I adore brownies. C'est magnifique! Then I read the recipe and was aghast - raisins in brownies! That's sacrilege. So, no raisins today.

Instead, I made a little triple chocolate brownie which I think turned out quite nicely. In place of the rum-soaked raisins I used hand chopped milk chocolate, and I topped the whole thing in a white chocolate ganache glaze. Yummy!

This was a pretty straight forward recipe without a great deal of complication. Compared to last week's Daring Baker's Challenge, this seemed about as easy as, well, buying brownies from the corner bakery.
Because I glazed these, I let them cool completely, but I do find that they are quite nice warmed for about 20 seconds in the microwave. I made miniature cakes instead of cut and serve brownies.

The only negative thing I have to say about this recipe is that brownies are hard for me to resist - so if you're a chocolate lover, beware!!!

French Chocolate Brownies
- makes 16 brownies -Adapted from Baking From My Home to Yours.

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (optional) * Note, I used the cinnamon and found it quite nice with the chocolate. It reminded me of Mexican flavour combos like molé or spiced hot chocolate.
1/3 cup raisins, dark or golden
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons; 6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into 12 pieces
3 large eggs, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

Getting ready: 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, if you're using it.

Put the raisins in a small saucepan with the water, bring to a boil over medium heat 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. 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.

Serving: 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.

Optional Glaze. As mentioned, I used a white chocolate glaze on mine. The recipe is also in Dorie's cookbook but here it is if you want to use it.

White Chocolate Ganache

10 oz high-quality white chocolate (don't use baking chips), finely chopped
2/3 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces

Heat cream until boiling. Pour over white chocolate and with whisk stir mixture gently and working outwards to larger and larger circles until the chocolate is completely melted. Add butter and stir until melted.

You can cool this to spreading consistency, but I simply poured it over the cooled brownies and let it set.


Lori said...

Wow that looks so yummy with the ganache.

Rebecca said...

This WAS a welcome relief next to the opera cake. Love your white chocolate glaze. It seems so ... familiar. ;)

Melissa said...

The glaze looks great!

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

White chocolate is a great addition to any brownie!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I love the idea of white chocolate in a brownie. Looks good.

Engineer Baker said...

Very cute little brownie cakes.

Jaime said...

nice mini cakes! a glaze was a great idea...and i agree, it was a piece of cake after the last DB challenge ;)

PheMom said...

You can never go wrong with extra chocolate! Nice job!

Jacque said...

They look delish with the glaze! Great job :)

steph- whisk/spoon said...

glazed brownies--delicious idea! btw, oatmeal cookies are the only thing i don't mind raisins in, too!

Gretchen Noelle said...

After DB challenges, so many things seem easier! Great job!

ostwestwind said...

Beautiful looking brownies, I like the glaze

Seeschwalbenweg 7

Shari said...

White chocolate ganache glaze sounds good on top of this brownie!
Shari@Whisk: a food blog

Rachel said...

Love the ganache. Great job!

Dawn said...

OMG they look scrummy, will have to try making these..

Susie Homemaker said...

oooh - white chocolate ganache? brilliant! can't wait to see what you add to a tart next week!