TWD #15 Brownies, s’il vous plaît?
Random fact about me: I took 4 years of French in high school and 3 years of Vietnamese in college.
I think French came easier to me that most of my classmates in high school b/c of my Vietnamese background. The Vietnamese language is heavily influenced by the French language so I recognize words and phrases. I wish I could say I speak both languages fluently but I don’t. I can get by in a pinch but I am far from fluent. But for the life of me, how do you say brownies in French? I have a feeling jeannettes is wrong. LOL. But thats what my english-french translator came up with. Maybe my fellow French-speaking TWDers can enlighten me. Vibi? Isabelle?
This week, my fellow Tuesday with Dorie-istas and I were given an international baking challenge – Une “brownie” française. I tend to be a brownie minimalist so there will be no raisins, no craisins, no nuts etc in mine. Forgive me but now I have that grade school indignation stuck in my head: No cuts no butts no coconuts! Its totally stuck in your head now too huh? My bad.
What I learned this week:
We were suppose to flambe raisins for the brioche snails but I got out of it by adding chocolate chips and now again for the brownies but I am not a fan of chunky brownies. I know. Excuses… excuses! I guess I can’t deny it anymore… I am afraid to flambe. Is there a medical term for “fear of flambe-ing”? Flambephobia? Yeah thats what I have doctor.
French Chocolate Brownies
(Recipe from DG’s Baking: FMHTY pages 92-94 | photos from me!)
Makes about 16 brownies
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon, optional
1/3 cup raisins, dark or golden (I omitted)
1-1/2 tablespoons water (I omitted)
1-1/2 tablespoons dark rum (I omitted)
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used 1/2 cup semi-sweet and 1/2 cup bittersweet)
1-1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into 12 pieces
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
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.
I decided to get crazy and use the optional cinnamon. HAHA!
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.
Butter up that chocolate, baby!
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.
[NOTES: Mine took about 70 minutes. Not sure if the lack of raisins had anything to do with the longer bake time? *shrugs]
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.
Husband rating: A+
He didn’t really say much but its hard to talk when your mouth is full of brownie goodness. HAHA!
Wifey rating: A
I am not a big chocolate fanatic like many of my friends and family but these were SO good. I served mine up with some homemade whipped cream, fresh raspberries and raspberry ganache! I admit I ate more than 1 (or 2 or 3…) but who’s counting right? ;)
Next week: La Palette’s Strawberry Tart page 374
Entry filed under: Tuesdays With Dorie.