Friday, August 21, 2009

"baked" brownie results

To tell the truth, I liked the Baked* brownie well enough, but I didn't love it. Having made Ina's outrageous brownies last week, I had means for a taste taste, and I liked Ina's much better. They had more substance, better flavor and texture, and a little more rise. Maybe they were a little cakier? Another blogger commented that the Baked recipe yields a very thin top layer of crunch, which is true, and which I liked. They were definitely fudgy, not cakey. The espresso taste was surprisingly prominent, which for me started to edge into the "too coffee-y" realm. I liked how the salt played against the chocolate. I do think they were better after aging for a day (i.e., for breakfast this morning), but they did not impress me to the point that they'd become my go-to recipe. Still, with all the interweb hype, I had to give them a go.

For what it's worth, I was appalled by the 5 eggs and 11 ounces of chocolate, but Ina's recipe calls for 15-18 ounces of chocolate; even my own standard recipe uses 4 eggs, and the smaller amount of unsweetened chocolate is compensated for by two cups of sugar. At least it's divided across a 9x13" pan. Two final notes:

1. The version of the recipe I used specified a certain number of ounces of 60%, 70%, and 85% cacao chocolate. I couldn't be bothered, and I can't even wrap my brain around which is darker (the higher percentage or the lower percentage). I used a combo of what I had on hand: 64% feves and a Trader Joe's 70% bar.

2. You'll see in the directions below, but these start to verge into too fussy. They're just brownies, dang it! With all these amazing one bowl/pot recipes, it's hard to have the patience to bring eggs to room temperature, stir over a double boiler, etc..

*And yes, all brownies are baked. This is named for a bakery in Brooklyn and the book that accompanies it...

The Baked Brownie
1 1/4 cups (5 3/8 ounces) flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons good quality unsweetened cocoa powder
11 ounces of dark chocolate, chopped coarsely (recommended: 3 ounces 60% cacao, 6 ounces 70% cacao, and 2 ounces 85% cacao)
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) sugar
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) light brown sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9x13" pan (glass or light-colored metal) and set aside.

Create a double boiler with a large bowl. Place chocolate, espresso powder, and butter in bowl and melt, stirring occasionally. While the chocolate and butter are melting, in a small bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, and salt, and set aside. When chocolate is melted and smooth, turn off heat but leave the bowl over the water. Add sugars and whisk to combine, then remove the bowl from the water. Add 3 eggs, and whisk until just combined. Add remaining 2 eggs, and whisk until just combined. Add vanilla and whisk gently. Do not overmix. Sprinkle flour over the batter and fold in using a rubber spatula, until there are just a few remaining bits of flour mixture visible. Pour into pan. The brownies should bake for 25 to 30 minutes total. Rotate the pan 15 minutes into baking time. Do not overbake. Cool and cut.

1 comment:

cathy said...

brownies! <3 so simple (well, not this particular recipe) and so delicious!