Brownies


Today is the last day for I heart Cooking Club to cook/bake with Donna Hay. We started using Donna’s recipes the first of October 2013 and enjoyed all of it for 6 great months. I have been using several of Donna’s cookbooks for a few years so it was fun to make more than just one or two a month.

We could pick any recipe we wanted to say Good-Bye. What better than a dessert. The end of the meal. The end of lots of meals. The end of IHCC and cooking with Donna!

I’m not ashamed to admit that BRWONIES are in the top three of my favorite desserts. The others being cheese cake and bread pudding. So here are Donna’s basic and speedy brownies

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    8 oz melted butter
    1 1/3 c sifted AP flour
    2 1/4c sugar {I subbed one cup Splenda for one cup of sugar}
    3/4c sifted cocoa powder
    4 eggs
    1/4 t baking powder

Mix all the ingredients together in a food processor. {I used a blender}
Pour the batter into a lined 8″ square cake tin and bake at 370 for 50 min. {I baked mine a little less because we like fudgy brownies.}

These were good brownies. Cakey on the outside, fudgy in the center. Just right.

The recipe is on page 160 of Donna’s off the shelf:cooking from the pantry.

How are the other IHCC members saying good-bye to Donna? See for yourself by visiting CATCH YA LATER, DONNA HAY.

March 31 thru’ September 28 we will cooking with NIGEL SLATER! Great recipes coming!! Come join us!!

Somehow when the words BROWNIE and CAKE are used in the same sentence it is enough to make one’s heart beat fast and entice one to make a recipe more than just one or the other. After sitting down and calming one’s heart!! And while I really wanted to make the whole cake I knew we didn’t need it, so I made 1/2 in a 5″ springform pan.

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Now, picture a moist, fudgy cake layered and topped with dark chocolate ganache.

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PERFECTION!! I only made one change in the recipe, contributed by Marcel Desaulniers, I used DARK chocolate (63%cacoa) rather than the semisweet chocolate called for. I think I liked it better! AND — it’s healthier!!!! {YEAH, RIGHT!!} Oh, and did I mention it has COFFEE in the filling? It is a subtle flavor enhancing the chocolate. Cannot beat that!!

You can find the recipe in Dorie’s Baking with Julia on page 282.

Check with the other DORISTAS for their chocolate goodness.

I mean really! BEST-ever. Doesn’t every brownie claim that? BEST!

Oh! My!

    Oh! Oh! My!
      Oh! My! My!

Yes, indeed!

    Rick Katz did not lie when he called these Best-Ever!!

Unless you don’t LIKE OOEY GOOEY, crispy-on-the-outside, not your granny’s brownies. But if you do — back away cause these are MY Best-Ever Brownies.

Even after making a major mistake they came out perfectly. Recipe says to mix just 1/2 of the sugar with the melted chocolate and then beat the other cup with the eggs into a mixer and beat until thick and pale. Nope, didn’t read the instructions and poured both cups of sugar into the melted chocolate. I was worried they would fail, but they came out PERFECTLY DELICIOUS!

Monica of A Beautiful Mess is hosting this week so the recipe will be on her lovely blog.

Rick’s Best-Ever Brownies are on page 231 of Dorie’s Baking with Julia.

You are welcome to join in on the fun. Just grab a copy of the book and bake with us twice a month.

The recipes are always listed on the website.

Earlier this summer I subscribed to a new magazine. A cooking magazine of course. Louisiana Cookin’. While it is not a new magazine I just found out about it. When the October 2012 issue arrived I scanned through it and was immediately drawn to a brownie recipe. No ordinary recipe. The brownies were one of the winners of the magazine’s annual Sweet Rewards Recipe Contest. And it wasn’t really the sweet potatoes in the brownies that caught my eye, it was the topping – Pecan Praline. WOWZA!! How could I pass that up?

Sweet Potato Praline Brownies {submitted by Dana Territa}

    1 large sweet potato
    5 large egg whites
    1 cup softened unsalted butter, divided
    1 cup sugar
    l/2 cup (hopped pecans, divided
    1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
    1 cup brown sugar
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup evaporated milk
    1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

Prick sweet potato allover with a fork. Wrap in a wet paper towel, and microwave on high heat for 5 minutes. Continue to microwave in 2-minute intervals until soft. Set aside to cool. Once potato is cool, peel, mash, and reserve pulp.

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
In a large bowl, beat egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 1/2 cup butter and
sugar. Using the paddle attachment, beat at medium speed until combined.
Add cocoa powder, baking powder, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Gently fold in egg whites to combine. Stir in 1/2 cup pecans and sweet potato. Transfer to prepared pan, and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until center is firm.

In a heavy saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter over medium heat. And brown sugar and salt, and bring to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and slowly whisk in evaporated milk. Return saucepan to stove and bring mixture to a boil again. Boil, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches 230° on a candy thermometer (soft ball stage). Remove from heat, and stir for 2 minutes; let cool to lukewarm. Add remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla and confectioners’ sugar. Stir until combined. Pour mixture over warm brownies, and top with remaining 1 cup pecans.

Let cool to room temperature before cutting.

I made these exactly as the recipe listed except I made up my own evaporated milk. I don’t know if that was a good idea or not. The brownies NEVER got solid enough to slice. I had to chill them before I could slice them and even then they could only be eaten with a fork. I have no idea why this happened.

These were so completely delicious. You could not really taste the sweet potato in the brownies. Or at least I couldn’t. But THAT TOPPING!! O My Word!! I might use the topping on my favorite brownies. And maybe add in the sweet potatoes.

Okay, one more look!!

While there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with Chocolate and Strawberries together in this case they appear in two different treats from Dorie for Tuesdays with Dorie.

June 3, 2008.

    French Chocolate Brownies

Why FRENCH chocolate? Dorie’s Story: She made a chocolate cake while in Paris. When she carried them out to her guests…”I was greeted by a chorus of ‘Oh, Brownies — splendide.'” So they stayed Brownies even after a Parisian Pastry Chef asked for the recipe!

These are chewy, fudgy, delicious!! All 64 square inches of them {8 x 8 pan}

What makes these brownies a little unusual is the inclusion of cinnamon and raisins. While not a fan of raisins I did put them in, just not as many, and they gave a little extra depth to the bites with them. And the cinnamon, while barely there {1/8 tsp}, was still part of the flavor!!

Thank you, Di, for a great pic (her first of two!)

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LIKE I said – there is nothing wrong with Chocolate and Strawberries and in this dessert they were together!. [May 10, 2008] It wasn’t what Dorie called for when she included La Palette’s Strawberry Tart in BFMHTY but I dont’ think she will mind if I used a chocolate tart crust!!!

Whatever crust you use you end up with a surprisingly simple but extremely elegant dessert.

The strawberries are simply tossed with a little sugar, some liqueur {Dorie suggests kirsch but I used Creme d’Almond}, spooned over the crust which has been spread with Strawberry Jam and Voila – instant elegance!! Topped with Crème fraîchewhipped cream with a little Creme d’Almond it was wonderful!

The only REAL measurement in the entire recipe is the crust which is 9″. The rest of it is loose and really left up to the baker. Since I am only making mini’s these days I used Dorie’s 5″ Chocolate Shortbread Tart Crust (page 446). Like I said – Chocolate and Strawberries!!!

The recipe for the tart is on page 374 of Dorie’s Baking From My Home to Yours. And many, many thanks to Marie of A Year from Oak Cottage for this choice {and a GREAT blog to read!}. So easy. So delicious!!

There were 5 treats I missed for May over the four years. So three more for my next Catch-Up post!!

I think Brownies are American’s favorite dessert. Plain. With nuts. Served with Ice Cream. Or ganache. Maybe caramel drizzled over the top. Plain is my favorite way. Just pure chocolate favor. But I don’t pass up brownies with nuts, so when I had some time I made Malgieri’s Sour Cream Brownies.

The only dairy in the brownies, besides the butter, is the sour cream. Since I made only 1/2 of the recipe that was only 1/4 of a cup. The sour cream added just a touch of ‘tang’ to the brownies and cut down on the sweetness. There are definitely nuts in these brownies. Malgieri calls for walnuts but suggests pecans work, too. I used pecans and almonds. Not bad, not bad!! And sprinkled some finely ground pecans on top. May have been a little too much in the nut department. But still good!!!

1/2 of the recipe was enough for 6 – 4″ x 2″ brownies made in the mini loaf pan.

You can find the recipe in Malgieri’s the Modern Baker Challenge on page 274. If you visit the >Brownie page for this recipe you will find some links for others who have made this one. Go! Enjoy! Make these brrownies.

…are just too tasty to skip, so here I am doing a major catch-up on Dorie’s BFMHTY treats. I looked through the book and found I only had a few I had missed – 65 – Okay, more than a few, but I am going to try very hard to finish the book. It was an awesome project when we started in January 2008 and it is still an awesome task. So y’all just bear with me while I visit all the sweets I missed.

When the group started this was the first recipe on 1/8/2008.

    Quintuple Chocolate Brownies

Can you even imagine a brownie with FIVE different types of chocolate?? FIVE!! Cocoa powder, unsweetened chocolate, bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, white chocolate, and milk chocolate. FIVE!! Chocoalte overload! And every bite delicious.

I only made one MINOR change. I didn’t have any milk chocolate in the pantry, except M&Ms, in Christmas colors, so that is what I used. And I only put the White Chocolate Glaze on 1/2 of the pan. As one of my TwitterBuds said, it didn’t really add anything to the brownie. They were so chocolately the White Chocolate didn’t really affect the taste of the brownie.

Every time I make one of Dorie’s Brownies I think, “Wow!! THIS is my favorite!” and everytime, I am wrong. Well, not really WRONG. They are ALL good and luckily I still have three more that I missed. These were chewy, fudgy, rich brownies. Try them. You can find the recipe on Michelle’s Blog SUGAR AND SPICE. Her blog later morphed into BROWN EYED BAKER and has some fantastic recipes. When these brownies were chosen there were only THREE bakers. Lauri of Slush, Michelle, and Abby Abby’s Sweets.

I know there are several bakers making up missed recipes. If you visit the TWD page there are already some links to those posts. Don’t miss out.

In February we are starting Baking with Julia. More fun to come.

BTW I thought this was the first recipe, but it was actually Brown Sugar Pecan Shortbread. Next week!!

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