Monday, April 11, 2011

Les Brownies

Les Brownies - made April 9, 2011 from A Passion for Chocolate by Maurice and Jean-Jacques Bernachon with the American translation by Rose Levy Berenbaum (book #82)

Maurice and Jean-Jacques Bernachon are father and son chocolatiers in Lyon, France.  According to their cookbook, they were instructed in the artesanal tradition of making chocolates by hand and published this cookbook to share their recipes.  Rose Levy Berenbaum, author of The Cake Bible and, in my mind, the undisputed goddess of cakes, translated and adapted their cookbook for the American kitchen.  There are much more complicated recipes in this book but I homed in on the brownie one, partly because I didn't have much time to bake stuff for the bake sale and partly because I just love trying out brownie recipes.

This is another one of those brownies where it's critical to use the best quality chocolate you can.  It's not a terribly dark chocolate brownie since it starts with bittersweet chocolate.  I used a 62% bittersweet chocolate but if you like your brownies to have more of a dark chocolate flavor, go up to the 90% that Valrhona or Lindt sell or something similar.   Again, I frosted it for the bake sale but this could stand on its own without frosting.

5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
6 tablespoons butter
1 ¼ cups sifted all-purpose flour (or 5 ounces)
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup + 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
2 extra-large eggs
1 scant cup walnuts (optional)

One 8 x 8” baking pan, lined with foil and lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray

1.    Preheat the oven to 350⁰F.
2.    Melt the butter and chocolate in the top of a double boiler set over hot water, stirring to keep the chocolate from burning.  Cool to lukewarm.
3.    In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
4.    Gradually add the sugar, eggs, and then the flour mixture to the chocolate.  Mix until well incorporated.  Stir in nuts if using.
5.    Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean.  The brownies should still be slightly moist in the center.

Linked to Sweet Tooth Friday

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