Saturday, March 21, 2009
We've just passed the halfway mark of Lent (24 days down, 22 days to go) and it seems like the perfect time to share my very own pre-Lenten Fat Tuesday indulgence: I baked a whole pan of brownies for no reason other than I wanted to eat really good brownies before my 6.5 weeks without sweets of any kind.
I have to confess that when it comes to brownies, I'd always been a Duncan Hines girl. Or Ghiradelli mix from Costco, which has the double benefit of being yummy AND cheap! Once I began food blogging - and the attendant food site surfing - I started bookmarking brownie recipes, but I've never taken the opportunity to try them other than Dorie Greenspan's Quintuple Chocolate Brownies. Honestly, the Tuesdays With Dorie weekly assignments take up most of my sweets-baking time, energy, and calorie allotment, so I haven't made much of a dent in the ever growing mountain of brownie recipes. Luckily there are a few people who are making a project of baking through brownie recipes, so I can happily ride on their testing coattails!
When Fat Tuesday rolled around I decided that what I really really craved (yes, aside from the Chocolate Grand Marnier cake and the Caramel Crunch bars, and the four other TWD selections that I baked that week!) was a great brownie.
I'll spare you the ponderings and indecision of the recipe selection process (I printed off several recipes, sure that they would be The One that I'd bake). In the end I baked the "BAKED" brownie recipe. And boy was it delicious!!
- I used up a bunch of different odds and ends of dark chocolate (60-70% cocoa) in my baking drawer.
- Even though this was my Fat Tuesday indulgence I couldn't bring myself to put in 5 eggs. so I used 3 whole eggs and the equivalent of 1.5 eggs in egg substitute - that's all I had. I figured the scant measure on the eggs would make for a fudgier brownie.
- After adding the sugars, the mixture was really grainy.
- I typically have the worst time with doneness testing of brownies. This time I used the King Arthur "divot" method and it worked! My brownies were perfectly baked.
These are intensely chocolaty and very moist, but with that nice thin crackly crust on the top. I cut big generous servings - none of that brownie bite stuff this time!
And the taste? These were the best brownies I've ever eaten, much less made. This brownie recipe is a keeper! And luckily, so were most of the brownies. After demolishing a respectable percentage of the brownie pan's acreage, I packed the rest up in the freezer.
I pulled them out of the freezer to serve to book group, and I can tell you that the brownies caused quite the sensation. My chocolate-allergic husband was absent that evening, and H and I had given them up for Lent, but the other 5 members just dove in. Many brownies and a few crumbs later, the general consensus was that these brownies were chocolate heaven!