Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Baked Brownies

I have heard so much about these brownies for so long, that when I recieved my Baked cookbook from Amazon (two Baked cookbooks, actually. Somehow two made it into my cart), this was the first recipe I made. That very evening.

Smitten Kitchen posted this recipe with the addition of spices to make the Baked spicy version; just add cardamon, cinnamon and chipotle chili powder to the dry ingredients. I wanted very much to try this version, but even more than that I wanted Eric to eat them, so I stuck with the regular kind.

Baked is a fantastic little bakery in Redhook, Brooklyn. I mentioned it once before in the post about Levain Cookies. I went there on a solo bakery trek, an all-day affair involving many forms of transportation. They are known for their brownies (sweet and salty version, spicy, brewers, etc), marshmallows and creative takes on many traditional baked goods. I LOVED their plain old chocolate chip cookie. I remember it being the best I'd ever had. But then again, it is rare that a chocolate chip cookie is not the best I've ever had, at the time.*

The Baked Brownie from the Baked cookbook
Thier notes: 1. Use only the best chocolate and cocoa powder. A dark chocolate powder like Valrhona is best. 2. Make sure your eggs are at room temp and don't over beat them into the batter. 3. Check the brownies often as they bake. Overbaked brownies are not baked brownies.

Makes a large pan of brownies. Preheat to 350, and grease or butter a 9x13 pan. (glass or light colored is best)

1 1/4 cup AP flour
1 t salt
2 T dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11 oz dark chocolate (60-70% cacao) , coarsely chopped
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1-in pieces.
1 t instant espresso powder (ah! I skipped this! no way do we have this lying around the house.)
1.5 cups granulated sugar
1/2 firmly packed light brown sugar
5 large eggs, room temp
2 t vanilla

Whisk flour, salt and cocoa powder together, set aside.
Put chocolate, butter and espresso powder in a large bowl in a saucepan over simmering water (or a double boiler), and stir occasionally until it's all melted and smooth. Turn off the heat and add the sugars. Whisk til combined and let come to room temperature.
Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk til combined. Add the last 2 eggs and whisk til combined. Add the vanilla and stir (don't over mix at this stage or you will have cakey brownies.)
Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate and fold (not whisk) until just combined.
Pour into pan and bake in the center of your oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until when poked only a few crumbs come out with the poking implement.

Enjoy. Very nice with icecream and when hot.
These are fantastic brownies, but Eric prefers the boxed kind- his chocolate tastes are not so refined. I must say, however, that ghiradelli brownies give these a run for their money. Blasphemous, I know!

* Eric recently looked at the side of a roll of slice n bake cookie dough, and what he found there in the nutrition facts was so utterly appalling that I recommend that you never venture there yourself. It was particularly horrifying considering the fact that in college we made a regular habit of polishing off a whole tube among the 3 or 4 of us.

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