I am excited to share with you the first of what I hope is many, many guest blog posts from my good friend Carrie at Creative Cusine by Carrie. I hope you enjoy this post and give these amazing brownies a try!
Confession time: Brownies are my BIGGEST weakness… I don’t even care if it’s (GASP!) from a box mix. Fudgy… gooey… chocolatey… I can’t resist any brownie that meets those descriptions. I will eat them until I’m sick. I was recently shopping at a high-end cooking store and noticed a brownie mix that looked amazing beyond belief. Perhaps you know what I’m referring to: the $18 a-box-brownie mix from Baked bakery in New York. That’s not your typical box mix. As amazing as they looked, I just couldn’t fork over the cash.
Fast forward to a couple days ago when Tara asked me to make a treat for her Valentine’s Day treat table. I’m always looking for the next BEST brownie recipe and I may have found it. Lo-and-behold, Baked has a cookbook and a fellow foodie blogger (www.browneyedbaker.com) made THE brownie recipe and shared it with readers. With photos to make anyone drool, I was immediately hooked.
To amp up the traditional brownie for the Valentine’s Day treat table, we decided to cut them into hearts and topped them with a smooth, decadent chocolate ganache. Using fun shapes and adding delicious ganache are two easy ways to transform traditional favorites into fun & tasty treats! I love finding wonderful and simple ways to make food taste and look amazing!
Chocolate ganache is one of secrets. Today I am going to share my most recent take on the Chocolate Ganache Covered Brownie! The great thing about this recipe is that it is really simple and anyone can do it. And it tastes amazing. Read on for both recipes.
The brownie recipe below includes a couple tips from me…
The Baked Brownie
Yield: 24 brownies
Prep Time: 30 minutes | Bake Time : 30 minutes
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
5 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9×13-inch glass or light-colored baking pan. Line the pan with parchment paper. **Carrie’s Tip: I like to line the pan with tin foil with the foil draping over the edges. When the brownies are cooled, you can use the foil as handles to remove the entire pan of brownies from the pan in one quick, easy move. It makes for nicer, easier cutting. Don’t forget to grease the foil before you add the batter !!
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and cocoa powder together.
3. Put the chocolate, butter and instant espresso powder in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be room temperature. **Carrie’s Tip: If you’re watching the chocolate mixture carefully and use low heat, you can skip the double-boiler and just melt everything in your saucepan.
4. Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.
5. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Let the brownies cool completely, then lift them out of the pan using the parchment paper. Cut into squares and serve. **Carrie’s Tip: My brownies took longer to bake. Set your timer and keep an eye on them. Don’t overbake!
7. Store at room temperature in an airtight container or wrap with plastic wrap for up to 3 days.
(Recipe adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking )
8 oz heavy cream
8 oz GOOD semisweet chocolate chips
1) Place chocolate chips in a heat-safe bowl large enough to hold the chocolate (and the heavy cream you will be adding)
2) Heat the heavy cream in a microwaveable container and microwave for 3-4 minutes, or just until it comes to a simmer, being careful not to let it boil over!
3) Pour the hot cream over the chocolate; let stand for 2 minutes
4) Carefully mix the chocolate and cream until the mixture is smooth and fully incorporated
While your ganache is cooling slightly, cut brownies into desired shapes. Place brownies on a cooling rack that is sitting on a pan that can catch any dripping chocolate. Drizzle ganache over brownies, as desired.
Store any extra ganache in the refrigerator, covered. Reheat in microwave to melt; stirring part way through.
Another delicious use of chocolate ganache: Chocolate Ganache Frosting. Prepare ganache as directed. Allow to cool to room temperature; place ganache in bowl of stand mixer and whisk on high for 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Pipe on cupcakes, brownies, or other desserts… ok, I’m salivating.