Di of Di's Kitchen Notebook chose French Chocolate Brownies on pages 92-93 as this weeks TWD recipe. I swore to myself I wasn't going to make these brownies because:
A: My life is super hectic right now (changing jobs, my 30th birthday in two weeks, 7 weddings this summer)
B: The only thing I hate worst then raisins is raisins with rum.
C: Brownies will contribute to my ever widening body.
D: Joe and I did a thorough cleaning of the kitchen yesterday, and it looks fabulous.
That being said; here I am blogging, with my brownies in the oven.
The recipe was extremely easy to follow. I had some Plugra left over from the brioche dough we made last week, so that's the butter I used. I also used Callebaut dark chocolate. As for the rum and raisins, those were not included. I did add a small handful of dried cranberries to one corner of the brownies. I plumped them in the water that was simmering for melting the chocolate. I also didn't have foil, so I used parchment instead to line the pan. Here are some pictures pre-baking:
What resulted was a perfect brownie. So perfect, in fact, I have a belly ache to prove it. I loved the crackled top, and how fudgey they were. I didn't care for the section with the cranberries as much as I did for the plain brownie section. I will make these again (and again, and again...).
Here's the recipe:
French Chocolate Brownies
- makes 16 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.