First off, to the lovely people who commented about my sweet new puppy: Thank you! He is such a sweetie, and we just love him to pieces already! We got him from the same animal shelter where we adopted Gretel a couple months ago. In fact, when we adopted Gretel, we held Ringo and his siblings who had just been born a month before, but we weren't in the market for such a young puppy at the time. Little did we know that we'd be back a few months later to adopt the little guy. A really quick PSA: please support and adopt from your local animal shelter! There are so many awesome dogs who will be put down otherwise, but who are longing for a family to love. Check them out next time you're looking to add to your family.
Ok, now onto food.
It's time again for Tuesdays with Dorie. Di of Di's Kitchen Notebook chose this week's recipe, French Chocolate Brownies. And holy cow! These brownies rock!
At first when I read the recipe, I was nonplussed. Raisins? In brownies? Really? All week I was less than thrilled about this recipe, but then it hit me today: Raisins + Chocolate = Raisinettes. And the drooling commenced.
I worked all day today, and then I started these as soon as I got home. I cheated and melted my chocolate in the microwave, and they came together in a snap. I will admit that the batter tasted so good that we were on the verge of foregoing baking, and just eating it raw with a spoon, but we kept ourselves in check, and I'm glad that we did.
They're amazing! They're incredible! They're the best brownies I've ever tasted! I think they're going to become that go-to brownie recipe that I make often. Thank you, Di, for choosing such an amazing recipe!
Sadly, photos don't do these justice, or at least mine don't. But take my word for it, they're incredible!
French Chocolate Brownies
- makes 16 brownies
Adapted from Baking From My Home to Yours
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1/3 cup raisins, dark or golden
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons; 6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into 12 pieces
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 300°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, butter the foil, place the pan on a baking sheet, and set aside.
Whisk together the flour, salt and cinnamon, if you're using it.
Put the raisins in a small saucepan with the water, bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until the water almost evaporates. Add the rum, let it warm for about 30 seconds, turn off the heat, stand back and ignite the rum. Allow the flames to die down, and set the raisins aside until needed.
Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Slowly and gently melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and add the butter, stirring so that it melts. It's important that the chocolate and butter not get very hot. However, if the butter is not melting, you can put the bowl back over the still-hot water for a minute. If you've got a couple of little bits of unmelted butter, leave them—it's better to have a few bits than to overheat the whole. Set the chocolate aside for the moment.
Working with a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until they are thick and pale, about 2 minutes. Lower the mixer speed and pour in the chocolate-butter, mixing only until it is incorporated—you'll have a thick, creamy batter. Add the dry ingredients and mix at low speed for about 30 seconds—the dry ingredients won't be completely incorporated and that's fine. Finish folding in the dry ingredients by hand with a rubber spatula, then fold in the raisins along with any liquid remaining in the pan.
Scrape the batter into the pan and bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top is dry and crackled and a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and allow the brownies to cool to warm or room temperature.
Carefully lift the brownies out of the pan, using the foil edges as handles, and transfer to a cutting board. With a long-bladed knife, cut the brownies into 16 squares, each roughly 2 inches on a side, taking care not to cut through the foil.
The brownies are good just warm or at room temperature; they're even fine cold. I like these with a little something on top or alongside—good go-alongs are whipped crème fraiche or whipped cream, ice cream or chocolate sauce or even all three!
Wrapped well, these can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.