Sunday, January 11, 2009
Brownies with Caramel Creme Fraiche
I remember trying to make brownies as a child with my mom and it being a total disaster. Well, that might be a bit of an over-statement... it's hard for baked chocolate and sugar to turn out horribly wrong, but they were dry, overly rich and just not very good. Maybe it was the French in me at the time.. I really didn't grow up on brownies and didn't really know what to look for when I was making them. When I bought the Baked Cookbook a couple months ago and saw their recipe for what they say are the best brownies in the world, I knew it was time to give these beauties another try. I'm glad I did because they were absolutely delicious and are now high on my list of best brownies out there. I served them warm with caramel creme fraiche and they were a wonderful treat.
Recipe (makes 24 brownies)
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11 ounces of dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon of instant espresso powder
1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
1/2 cup of firmly packed light brown sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9-by-13 inch glass or light colored metal baking pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and cocoa powder.
Put the chocolate, butter, instant espresso powder in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan and let the mixture come back to room temperature.
Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or the brownies will become cakey.
Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a spatula (not a whisk) fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Let the brownies cool completely, then cut them into squares and serve.
Tightly covered with plastic wrap, the brownies kept at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Caramel Creme Fraiche:
A good dollop of creme fraiche
A couple teaspoons of liquid caramel sauce
Mix the caramel sauce to the creme fraiche and serve over the warm brownies. Enjoy!