Saturday, May 27, 2017

Skillet Brownies

Skillet Brownies - made April 22, 2017, adapted from The Barefoot Contessa
It was only a matter of time before I baked brownies in my cast iron skillet(s). I think they’re starting to become my de facto baking pans. As in “what else can I bake in these?” crosses my mind whenever I break out the mixing bowl.
I was in a chocolate mood and making brownies is like breathing to me so the time seemed right to do a skillet brownie. I got this recipe from the Barefoot Contessa. It was meant to make 4 (generous) servings but I cut the recipe in half and ended up baking it in 2 6” skillets and a ramekin.

I’m of two minds about these skillet brownies. I liked when I first took it out of the oven and ate it warm with vanilla ice cream. Who wouldn’t? But when I went back to it later and ate it at room temperature, I was less enamored. I waffled between did I like it or did I not like it? The flavor was fine but the texture baffled me on the likeability scale. It wasn’t like a dense, baked-fudge texture with a firm bite which is how I like my brownies. It was more firm than a soft flourless chocolate cake but it wasn’t as dense as a brownie or as light as a cake. It was something in between all of that. Some people like that; I’m not sure I do.
But then again, when I went back for a third bite, I did like it. So I don’t know. Try it out and see if you like it. But I think I still liked it best when it was warm with ice cream.
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons espresso powder
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Melt the butter, bittersweet chocolate and unsweetened chocolate in the top half of a double boiler set over barely simmering water. Whisk until melted and smooth. Cool for 5-10 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together egg, espresso powder, vanilla and sugar. Stir in the chocolate mixture.
  4. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Stir into chocolate mixture.
  5. Spoon the batter into 4 individual cast-iron skillets and place them on a sheet pan. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with moist crumbs. Serve warm with ice cream.

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