Saturday, August 25, 2012

Intense Chocolate Brownies

Intense Chocolate Brownies - made August 18, 2012, recipe adapted from Flour by Joanne Chang

The "Frosted" Chocolate Brownies I made before this didn't make enough for what I needed them for so I also nutella crunch-ized this brownie recipe from Joanne Chang's Flour baking book.  I did make a couple of minor adjustments to the amounts of chocolate as her original recipe called for 5 1/2 ounces of unsweetened chocolate and 2 1/2 ounces of bittersweet chocolate.  I didn't want to trouble with measuring out half ounces of unsweetened chocolate so I decreased the amount to an even 5 ounces.  I also had a bar of Lindt bittersweet chocolate that was 3 1/2 ounces so I added the whole bar instead of breaking off a 1/2 ounce piece to eat.  It would probably be the world's biggest irony if I said I didn't need the calories from nibbling on the base ingredients but it's actually true.  I don't even lick the bowl or the mixing spoon (I can hear the thud of many bakers fainting at this quirk).  But if I'm going to eat empty calories, I'd prefer the finished product.

This was a good brownie but I have to give the slight edge to Elinor Klivans' recipe for the Frosted Chocolate Brownies as being the tiniest bit better.  The difficulty with making a 9 x 13 pan of brownies is you have to bake it longer for the middle to get to just the right point.  So the edges may be "done" which, while not dry, is still not as fudgy as I would prefer.  You can solve that problem with this brownie by making a half recipe in a 8" pan.  But I still think I like the texture from the Frosted Chocolate Brownies better as it was a bit more fudgy.

5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3 ½ ounces bittersweet chocolate (62 to 70% cacao), chopped
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 ¾ sticks) unsalted butter, melted
5 eggs
2 cups (400 grams) sugar
1 ¼ cups (175 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt

1.     Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325F.  Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with foil and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
2.     Place the unsweetened chocolate and bittersweet chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl.  Place over (not touching) barely simmering water in a saucepan and heat, stirring occasionally, until completely melted and smooth.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter until well mixed.  Let cool slightly.
3.     Place the eggs in a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment.  On low speed, slowly beat in the sugar for about 1 minute total, or until frothy and somewhat thick.  Using a rubber spatula, fold in the chocolate mixture.
4.     In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Using the spatula, gently fold the flour mixture into the egg-chocolate mixture until thoroughly combined.  Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread in an even layer with the spatula (the batter will be thick).
5.     Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a knife slipped into the center of the pan comes out with a few wet crumbs on it.  Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 2 hours, or until completely cool.  Cut into 16 bars.
6.     The brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.  Or they can be well wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for up to 2 weeks, thaw at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours.

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