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Archive for January, 2014

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In my opinion, chocolate desserts are fabulous any time of year. But there’s something about cold, sub-zero temperatures that make you want to cozy up with loads of warm cocoa treats. In the spirit of the current NYC blizzard, I wanted to share this fantastic 5-minute brownie recipe from Smitten Kitchen.

Not only is this recipe quick and easy, these brownies have a fantastic texture that make them picture perfect.

They will turn out just fine with standard cocoa, but the higher the quality of cocoa you use, the better they will be. I used a beautifully dark Valrhona cocoa powder for this batch and threw in some peanut butter chips. Voila!


Best Cocoa Brownies

Adapted from Alice Medrich’s Bittersweet, via Smitten Kitchen
Makes approximately 16 brownies

Ingredients
10 tablespoons (140 grams) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (250 grams) sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (65 grams, though some brands may weigh more) unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
1/4 teaspoon salt (or a heaping 1/4 teaspoon flaky salt, as I used)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, cold
1/2 cup (65 grams) all-purpose flour
2/3 cup (75 grams) of nuts, chocolate chips, or other ingredient of choice

Procedure
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.

Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in-between, until the butter is melted and all ingredients are warm and combined (approximately 2 minutes). The mixture will be gritty and should be warm (if hot, set aside for 5 minutes).

Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Stir in the nuts or chocolate, if using. Spread evenly in the lined pan.

Bake until set and a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, approximately 35 minutes . Let cool completely on a rack.

For clean and easy cutting, freeze the brownie pan, remove and cut while frozen. Let come to room temperature before enjoying.

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