Saturday, April 14, 2007

Browniebabes Treat Chocolate Right

Myriam at Once Upon a Tart has called upon all brownie lovers to answer her Browniebabe challenge, so here is my response to the call.

Brownies bring back a lot of childhood memories for me because they were the very first thing that I ever made all by myself (without mom's help) at the age of 10 years old. I always loved to cook, helping my mom with dinner, cakes, cookies, whatever, but now I was given the chance to make something myself, and brownies are really the perfect place for a child to begin to learn how to cook. The ones I used to make were a pretty basic, really sweet, fudgy dense brownie. But now, 13 years later, I usually prefer the not-as-sweet, cakier brownie that focuses on conveying a depth of intense chocolate flavor. That's right, I said it, I'm in the cakey-camp, terrible aren't I? But not to worry, I still do appreciate those rich, gooey-sweet types of brownies.

It's been a while since the last time I made brownies, so I didn't have a treasured recipe on hand, so I decided to read a whole bunch of recipes on Epicurious. From reading those recipes, I formulated my own recipe. I use less than the common 2 cups of sugar, more than the common 3/4 cup flour. A lot of cocoa was really intensified with some cinnamon and espresso grinds- it might sound funny, but it makes for an amazing result. Also, the addition of dark chocolate chips and white chocolate chips give these cakey brownies an extra chocolate pizazz.

Mocha & White Chocolate Chip Brownies

3/4 cup (1 ½ sticks) butter, softened
¾ cup cocoa
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 tsp espresso grinds (or you could use instant espresso)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 large eggs
¼ cup milk
1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
¾ cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease the bottom and sides of a large jelly roll baking pan with shortening, and then line bottom of pan with parchment paper and grease parchment well with shortening.

In a large bowl, mix the butter, cocoa, sugar, espresso, vanilla, cinnamon and salt, and then add the eggs 1 at a time, whisking after each addition until batter is smooth. Add milk. Continue beating batter until it is very smooth, almost whipped. Stir in flour. Add both types of chocolate chips, stirring to combine.

Pour batter into prepared pan, and spread it out till even. Bake in the middle of the oven until top is firm and edges just begin to pull away from sides of pan, about 20 minutes, be very careful not to over bake!

Cool brownies in the pan on a rack. Cut into 40 squares and store in an airtight container.

Big ol' pan of yummy brownies

If it's any indication, the guys at work really liked them


Freya and Paul said...

I love the size of your brownie pan! And the brownies look pretty awesome too!

Nandita said...

Hi Maria!
Got here from the brownie babe round up - the fact that you live in Rochester I had to leave a comment...I lived there for a year in 2004-2005, loved the place despite the harsh harsh winter...You'd be right in the Lilac fest now right? We lived in Henrietta!