Friday, August 12, 2011

The Brownie Experiment: Part 2

Finally, I've continued my search for the ultimate brownie recipe. After my first round of experimenting with Alice Medrich's ultra rich, chocolatey, and gooey brownie, I decided to head in the direction of a more cakey, less sweet, maybe even less chocolatey brownie. I didn't want too drastic of a change, so in the end, I decided on Chow's Intense Brownies by Aida Mollenkamp (my pretzel making instructor and all-around awesome person!). With three times more flour, and a couple ounces less chocolate, I thought that these slight changes might bring me closer to the perfect brownie.

These brownies came out rich, dense, and again, very chocolatey. While I did notice a more cakey consistency, these brownies tasted just as sweet and strongly chocolate flavored as part 1 of my experiment.  Maybe I was too timid in my alterations, and would have benefited from making more substantial changes in the amount of chocolate, as well as lowering the amount of sugar in the recipe. Not that I didn't love these brownies, just that they were very intense, like the recipe's name says, and were still a little like biting into a large chocolate truffle, rather than a classic brownie. However, the flour was definitely a step in the right direction, and greatly improved the texture, in my opinion. Overall, these brownies were rich, decadent, and closer to what I think of when I picture the perfect brownie.

On the plus side, this gives me the excuse to bake a whole new batch of brownies!

Chow's Intense Brownies: Aida Mollenkamp

6 oz bittersweet chocolate
8 tbsp unsalted butter
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 c granulated sugar
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp brewed espresso (optional)
1/4 tsp plus 1/8 tsp fine salt
1 c all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Line an 8x8 baking dish with aluminum foil.

Combine chocolate and butter in medium saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until evenly melted. Remove from heat, let cool to room temp.

Combine eggs, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, espresso, and salt in a large bowl and stir until just incorporated. Add cooled chocolate and mix until uniform in color. Add flour and stir until just incorporated.

Transfer batter to baking dish, spread evenly, and bake 25-30 minutes (possibly slightly less than 25, depending on your oven), until tester comes out clean. Remove from oven, let cool completely before cutting.

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