Friday, July 13, 2012

A Really Good Brownie

A Really Good Brownie - made July 4, 2012 from 125 Cookies to Bake, Nibble and Savor by Elinor Klivans

This is the actual title of the recipe in Elinor Klivans' book (which I borrowed from the library) and I think it's a deceptively modest one.  I would rename it A Really, Really Excellent Brownie instead.  Because it was.  I was a little skeptical on using shortening in it as I'm not a big fan of shortening in baked goods.  Butter gives better flavor.  But I'm glad I stuck to the recipe as directed because it worked.  As advertised in her preface to the recipe, this brownie was rich and fudgy with a nice dark chocolate flavor from the unsweetened chocolate.  Last weekend, when I went to Vegas for the World Pastry Championship, I was staying at my sister's so I made this for one of my nieces who had asked for Nutella Crunch Brownies.  I tried out this new brownie recipe and just added the nutella crunch topping to meet her request.  It worked really well as the crunchy topping was a sweet contrast to the dark chocolate richness of the brownie itself.  I preferred this one "dressed up" with the topping for that complementary taste and texture. It'd be fine plain as well but go for the extra decadence and make the topping too.  Don't overbake this or you won't get the fudgy texture.

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
½ cup (8 tablespoons) vegetable shortening
5 ounces unsweetened chocolate
4 large eggs
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1.     Position a rack in the middle of the oven.  Preheat oven to 325°F.    Line a 9 x 9” baking pan with foil and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.
2.     Melt the butter, shortening, and unsweetened chocolate in the top half of a double boiler set over hot, not simmering, water.  Stir until melted and smooth.  Let cool for 5 minutes.
3.     Put the eggs and salt in the large bowl of an electric mixer and mix at medium speed for about 30 seconds until the eggs just begin to look fluffy.  Add the sugar and beat for 1 minute until the mixture thickens and the color lightens.  Decrease the speed to low and mix in the melted chocolate mixture and vanilla until thoroughly combined.  Add the flour, mixing just until incorporated.  Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.
4.     Bake for about 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs clinging to it.  Cool completely before cutting and serving.

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  1. YUM!!!! Look sinfully delicious, thanks for sharing as always.

  2. I think I love the Nutella crnuch topping best of all! Just stopping by to let you know that you will be featured on this week's Sweet Tooth Friday. Stop by and grab a button.