Friday, March 29, 2013

Intensely Dark Chocolate Brownies

Recently, I found myself asking the question - what does one do with several bars of intensely rich dark chocolate? Most of the time, my answer would be to eat them. In this particular instance, the chocolate was so dark (85%!!) that even my dark-loving chocolate nature couldn't partake in them in their current state. The notion of making a dark chocolate sauce rolled around my brain for a bit, followed by a dark chocolate bundt cake, or maybe making homemade dark chocolate chips. In the end, I settled up some comfort food - good old fashioned homemade brownies. 
Brownies hold a special spot in my baking heart. Besides chocolate chip cookies, brownies were one of the first (non-Armenian) baked goods I learned how to make as a child. Being a one or two pan dish, they are uber kid-friendly and typically successful no matter how far astray one goes from the recipe. While this recipe may be a little labor intensive for wee bakers, with a little supervision kids would make a great addition to the baking magic these little sweets have to offer (make sure to let them like the bowl clean at the end, that's the best part). 
This recipe is a hybrid of recipes, with no one particular source. As I was making it, I realized how bitter and strong the brownie batter was, and added the white chocolate chips on top as a last minute sweetener. As an afterthought, adding some kind of candied nuts to the brownie batter would also likely yield amazing results. Don't be surprised if there is a revamp of this recipe down the road (boozy brownies sounds good, right??). Happy Friday and Easter, everyone! 

Intensely Dark Chocolate Brownies
  • 7 ounces unsweetened intensely dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used 85%)
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 to 1 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9” square by 2” deep baking pan; set aside. I used an 8” by 8” square glass baking pan to make gooier ones and did just fine. In a medium saucepan, combine chocolate, butter, and the water; cook and stir over low heat until chocolate is melted. Make sure not to burn the chocolate sauce. Transfer to a large bowl.

Add granulated sugar and brown sugar to chocolate mixture; beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed until combined. Add eggs, almond and vanilla extracts; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add flour, salt, and cinnamon. Beat on low speed until combined. Spread batter in prepared pan. Sprinkle white chocolate chips over the top of the battered pan.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Depending upon whether a glass or dark pan is used, cooking times may vary so check on the brownies ever 10 minutes or so. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Sprinkle with cocoa powder and/or powdered sugar. Makes 20 to 25 brownies. They taste even better the second day!

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