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!!!
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
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.