Saturday, July 31, 2010

Homemade Brownies

I don't consider myself a chocolate person, really, but lately I have been hankering for all kinds of chocolate things. Cakes, cookies, and.... brownies! And what should happen to help my chocolate quest than I spot this recipe the other day on Smitten Sugar for some homemade brownies. Now, I've made some from scratch before, but who knows where in the world that recipe went, and I remember it being okay but not great.

 Homemade Brownies by freshfromthe.com

So what about these? They are super, super dense, so if you like your brownies to be more cakey than fudgey, these are not for you. But if you're in the mood for some fudgey brownies, you are in luck. I like them both ways, but I will say that I could've used maybe a touch more sweetness in these somehow. Maybe it's the amount of bittersweet chocolate or the cocoa powder, or the sugar itself. I'm not sure. And don't get me wrong, they're pretty dang good anyway. Go out and make them if you're feeling like some brownies! They do create a lot of dirty dishes, though. Just saying.

Homemade Brownies

5 ounces of semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
8 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into quarters
3 tbsp cocoa powder
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and place oven rack in lower middle position. Line an 8 or 9 inch baking dish with foil and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray, set aside.

In a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally until smooth (or, if you're lucky and have one, you can use a double boiler!). Whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt. Whisk until combined, about 15-20 seconds. Whisk in warm chocolate mixture until incorporated. Then stir in flour with a wooden spoon until just combined. (This might take a little while, dont worry it will smooth out.) Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and spread with a spatula to make an even.

Bake until slightly puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a small amount of sticky crumbs, about 35-40 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.
Remove the brownies from the pan, cut and enjoy!
My pictures today aren't going to be that great. I was making these at night, so I had to use a flash. Blah blah blah. 
Seeing as I don't have a double boiler, here is my improvisation. Pyrex glass bowl on top of a small pot with water boiling underneath. Worked quite well, I must say. This is the chocolate pieces and butter as they melt together.

Meanwhile, I started whipping up the eggs and sugar to have ready for when the chocolate stuff was done.

And this is after adding the chocolate and the flour and everything - it's ready to go into the pan. Just as a tip for anyone working with mixing eggs and warm things, go at it slowly so the eggs don't start to cook. You want to get them heated up to the warm stuff but you don't want little cooked egg bits floating around!

Homemade Brownies by freshfromthe.com
And... voila! Sorry, I don't have any photos of the pan itself. You probably know what that looks like, you're a smart person. I assume.

And now I must go eat a brownie. They're already a few days old, but guess what! They're still good. And even better if you zap one in the microwave for about 8 seconds. Trust me, 8 seconds is the magic number. 

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