I followed the rules for once! For Tuesdays with Dorie, I made the chosen recipe – French Chocolate Brownies. What is so French about them? Nothing special except Dorie created the recipe in Paris. I was tempted to go buy rum (I still have yet to buy anything from the liquor store since I turned 21), but my mom hates rum and wouldn’t eat the brownies. I decided since she is going in for (minor) surgery today, I would make them so she would like them.
You can definitely taste the cinnamon, even though it is only 1/8 tsp. It gave the brownies a different taste. Raisins were also a nice addition, but if you hate raisins, sub another dried fruit. I didn’t have any bittersweet chocolate, so I used semi-sweet. The brownies took an extra ten minutes to bake than what Dorie suggested. The top is crumbly when you try to cut them, which I didn’t like too much. They were good, and I would make these again.
I didn’t put the 8×8 pan on a baking sheet and I melted the chocolate in the microwave. No problems there, so do whatever is easier for you.
French Chocolate Brownies
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup raisins
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum (optional)
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
12 tablespoons butter, at room temperature and cut into 12 pieces
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1. 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.
2. Whisk together the flour, salt and cinnamon, if you’re using it.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
Source: Baking: From My Home To Yours, 2006 p.92