Friday, July 30, 2010

Caprial's Chocolate Brownies

Caprial's Chocolate Brownies - last made July 26, 2010 from Caprial's Desserts by Caprial Pence

Making Ina Garten's brownies earlier reminded me of another brownie recipe that was similar in texture - this one by Caprial Pence. It has the same lightness and similar directions because of whipping the butter and sugar so much. I first tried this recipe in 2008 and my notes at the time referred to the texture as being light and almost truffle-like. It's not cakey but soft. I made these again earlier this week for a lunch with my coworkers and my friend John referred to them as having a chocolate-mousse texture. Chocolate mousse or chocolate truffle, that's pretty descriptive of what this texture is like. The ones pictured were my first attempt and I had included Snickers in them. But the texture is so soft that it's actually better without add-ins to mar the texture. These are just a tad delicate so they don't really ship or freeze that well but if you needed to whip up a simple batch, they'll do in a pinch. And, like with all good brownies, these have a deep chocolate flavor so not for the faint of chocolate heart.

5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
½ cup cold unsalted butter, diced
4 large eggs
1 ½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ cup flour
1 cup chopped toasted walnuts or pecans
Pinch of salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line the bottom of a well-greased 9-inch round cake pan with parchment paper; set aside.
2. Place the chocolate and butter in a metal bowl set over a pan of simmering water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. When the chocolate has melted about halfway, remove the pan from the heat (leaving the bowl on the pan) and let the chocolate sit until completely melted; stir until smooth. Set aside.
3. Place the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whip attachment, and whip on high speed until the eggs are very light in color and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the melted chocolate and mix on medium speed until well blended. Add the flour, nuts, and salt, and mix on low speed until all of the ingredients are incorporated. Increase the speed to medium and mix just until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a knife inserted in the brownies comes out covered with moist crumbs, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool about 20 minutes, then cut the brownies into 16 wedges and serve.

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