Monday, May 16, 2005

Girls Night! - Best Cocoa Brownies

Ah, girls night - a time for women to gather away from their husbands/kids/SO's, and get with their friends and celebrate their girly ways. This past Friday was girls night in Boston, and I decided to contribute with homemade brownies. This actually was a double bonus - I got to try a new brownie recipe, and it was from the cookbook my sister got me for my birthday. By bringing these to her house (she was hosting) she would see what a great birthday gift she got me.

The cookbook I got this recipe from is one that I had been drooling over for a while before I got it - Bittersweet by Alice Medrich. I have one of her other cookbooks (Chocolate and the Art of the Low-fat Dessert), but this cookbook really called to me. There are other recipes in there that I am looking to make - specifically the Tiger Cake, which looks very unusual (white pepper & olive oil feature prominently).

The brownies are definitely the fudgy kind - very dense. I definitely like this texture, but I don't know if I can adequately judge how well I like them. There was so much food that I didn't get to really take the time and savor all the flavors - at the end of the night the talk overwhelmed everything else. The cooking itself was fairly easy, but it took longer than I thought it would - not the baking, but the beginning part, the melting of everything together. I'm not sure if what she reads as smooth is what I read as smooth. The texture was still grainy when I finally gave in after over an hour of heating and mixing.

I think I'd like to compare this with the on-the-fence brownies from the King Arthur Cookie Companion, which is a recipe for brownies I definitely liked when I made them. Next time, I'll make them for a time when I can focus on how much I like the taste.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Best Cocoa Brownies

Recipe By :
Serving Size : 9 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories :

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
14 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder -- natural or Dutch-process
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs -- cold
1/2 cup unbleached flour
2/3 cup chopped walnuts -- optional

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.

Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and set the bowl in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and hot enough that you want to remove your finger fairly quickly after dipping it in to test. Remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot.

Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until incorporated. Beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Stir in the nuts, i using. Spread evenly in the lined pan.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack.

Lift up the ends of the parchment or foil liner, and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Cut into 16 or 25 squares (I got 12).


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Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 335 Calories; 20g Fat (50.6% calories from fat); 6g Protein; 38g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 82mg Cholesterol; 79mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 3 1/2 Fat; 2 Other Carbohydrates.

Nutr. Assoc. : 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

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