I was looking for something chocolaty and delicious to make. I had not made brownies for quite a while so I figured I might as well make some. My Friend Chelle reminded me how good she thought Dorie's French chocolate brownies were and I decided to give them a try. What drew me to the recipe is the minimal amount of ingredients it called for, the most simple and basic recipes seem to yield the most delectable results.
Besides leaving out the raisins the only change that I made to this recipe is that I used 4 oz. of milk chocolate and only 2 oz. of semi-sweet. I am really glad I used some milk chocolate because I really love milk chocolate and these brownies taste like soothing hot chocolate in solid form. Wow, they are so good. My brownies ended up cooking for much longer than the recipe called for, at least 10-15 minutes longer, but I can assure you they are soft and magnificent! I highly recommend making these brownies because they are nothing short of amazing!
French Chocolate Brownies
(Source: Dorie Greenspan “Baking: From My Home to Yours" pages 92-93)
Makes 16 brownies
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
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
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.
Whisk the flour, salt and cinnamon together.
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 and let it warm for about 30 seconds, then turn off the heat, stand back and ignite the rum with a long match. Allow the flames to die down, and set the raisins aside.
Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until the chocolate melts. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and add the butter, stirring until 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.
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. Reduce the mixer speed and pour in the chocolate-butter mixture, 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. Then finish folding in the dry ingredients by hand with a rubber spatula. Fold in the raisins, along with any liquid remaining in the pan. Scrape the batter into the pan.
Bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top is dry and crackled and a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and 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. Cut into 16 squares, each roughly 2 inches on a side, taking care not to cut through the foil.
Serving: 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 accompaniments are whipped crème fraiche or whipped cream, ice cream or chocolate sauce or dare I suggest, all three!
Storing: Wrapped well, these can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.