Tuesday, June 3, 2008

TWD: French Chocolate Brownies

It''s Tuesday, and you know what that means - it's Tuesday With Dorie time! This week's recipe is for French Chocolate brownies. I almost thought I would not have time for this week's recipe. I had a very busy weekend with my best friend's bridal shower being yesterday, but luckily I found the time to do this last night.

This recipe was my first experience with flambéing anything. I will come clean...I made my husband do this part. Something about lighting alcohol on fire frightens me. I didn't make many changes to this recipe at all except for using a 9x9 pan (my 8x8 Pyrex dish is currently occupied in the freezer) so I cut the baking time down to about 40 minutes.

Overall, these were pretty tasty, and as I said, fairly easy to make. Raisins and chocolate are one of my perfect food combinations - so the only complaint I really have is that I wish I had used more raisins. Speaking of raisins, since my husband doesn't like raisins these brownies are heading to work so I don't eat the whole batch by myself because I probably could, they are so rich and chewy and delicious!

On a side note, TWD was mentioned in the Wall Street Journal. Check it out!

French Chocolate Brownies
(Adapted from Baking From My Home to Yours)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1/3 cup raisins, dark or golden
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons; 6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into 12 pieces
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sugar

Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 300°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, butter the foil, place the pan on a baking sheet, and set aside.

Whisk together the flour, salt and cinnamon, if you're using it.

Put the raisins in a small saucepan with the water, bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until the water almost evaporates. Add the rum, let it warm for about 30 seconds, turn off the heat, stand back and ignite the rum. Allow the flames to die down, and set the raisins aside until needed.

Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Slowly and gently melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and add the butter, stirring so that it melts. It's important that the chocolate and butter not get very hot. However, if the butter is not melting, you can put the bowl back over the still-hot water for a minute. If you've got a couple of little bits of unmelted butter, leave them—it's better to have a few bits than to overheat the whole. Set the chocolate aside for the moment.

Working with a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until they are thick and pale, about 2 minutes. Lower the mixer speed and pour in the chocolate-butter, mixing only until it is incorporated—you'll have a thick, creamy batter. Add the dry ingredients and mix at low speed for about 30 seconds—the dry ingredients won't be completely incorporated and that's fine. Finish folding in the dry ingredients by hand with a rubber spatula, then fold in the raisins along with any liquid remaining in the pan.

Scrape the batter into the pan and bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top is dry and crackled and a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and allow the brownies to cool to warm or room temperature.

Carefully lift the brownies out of the pan, using the foil edges as handles, and transfer to a cutting board. With a long-bladed knife, cut the brownies into 16 squares, each roughly 2 inches on a side, taking care not to cut through the foil.

Serving: The brownies are good just warm or at room temperature; they're even fine cold. I like these with a little something on top or alongside—good go-alongs are whipped crème fraiche or whipped cream, ice cream or chocolate sauce or even all three!

Storing: Wrapped well, these can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.


Bumblebutton said...

You know flaming really isn't that bad--and it is certainly thrilling. You should try it next time. Glad you enjoyed these!

Elly said...

yay! I am so glad you used the raisins! I was wondering what someone who used the raisins thought. like you, chocolate & raisins are a perfect combo for me. I want to try these for sure. yours look great!

Joelen said...

These look divine! Thanks for sharing! :)

April said...

The brownies look great!

Amy (Aggiesgirl06) said...

These look great!! Well done!!

That Girl said...

The look like gooey goodness

Gretchen Noelle said...

Glad you enjoyed them. You really should try the flambeing part sometime - not as bad as you imagine.

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

I think that you're the first of us to say that she actually likes chocolate and raisins! I'm glad I followed the recipe and made these as is, because in the end I really (really) like them.

Christine said...

I thought I was going to torch my house! Great job on the brownies!

Heather said...

They look so good! Very yummy! Great job!

Jayne said...

It's fun to flambe!! Give it a try. And beautiful job with the brownies!

Cooking and the City said...

Yummy brownies Robin, I'm still yet to give brownies a go :-)

Jaime said...

glad you enjoyed the raisins! cherries were pretty good too :) your hubby might enjoy those more.

BAKE-EN said...

I'm with bumblebutton, try to flame them next time. It's actually not scary at all once you've tried it a couple of times. If you can make brownies, you can flambe :) Great post, I loved these brownies.