Friday, September 7, 2012

One Expensive Brownie!

Regular followers of this blog may know that I've been on a quest for that elusive go-to brownie recipe:  a fail-safe, delicious crowd-pleaser that has a thin crust on top and a rich fudgy interior.

This one's pretty good, but it has a major flaw:  you'll need to pony up fifteen bucks just for the chocolate!

I originally saw this recipe, called Full Moon Brownies for on the Huffington Post. It calls for all the usual suspects in a brownie recipe, but instead of baking chocolate, you use 2 3-ounce bars of Vosges brand Black Pearl Exotic candy bars. I happened to walk by their store on Madison Avenue, so I stopped in to try some, and I'm here to tell you these candy bars are almost worth their hefty $7.50 price-tag. In addition to dark chocolate, the ingredients include ginger, wasabi, and black sesame seeds, which hit you at the very end of the bite and add both crunch as well as richness to the chocolate.

You melt the chocolate with a half-pound of butter--yes a half-pound--and stir in a bit of cocoa butter for good measure. Then in go eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt, and at the last, a bit of flour to bind it all together.

The recipe says to line a pan with parchment, then line it with tin foil. What for?  I just lined my pan with tin foil. It also says to bake the brownies for 35 minutes, yet when I took out my brownies at 30 minutes, they came out rich and fudgy in the center, but the ends were a little overdone. Next time, I'd check them at 25.

Still, after trimming the ends, I had a rich, satisfying brownie with a deep chocolate flavor. I noticed that the brownies on the Vosges website look thinner than mine, which I find often happens when I bake brownies. Maybe I'm just brownie-challenged?

Full Moon Brownies

2 3 oz Bars Black Pearl Exotic Candy Bars
8 oz unsalted butter
3 tbsp cocoa powder
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
1 cup all-purpose flour

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 8 inch square baking pan, line with 2 pieces of aluminum foil perpendicular to each other so that you can lift the brownie out of the pan with ease after they have been baked.
2. Place chocolate and butter in a medium sized, non-reactive metal bowl and set over simmering water. Stir occasionally and whisk in cocoa powder until smooth, set aside.
3. In a mixing bowl, briefly whisk together eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt for about 30 seconds. Add warm chocolate mixture and then mix in flour just until combined. Be careful not to over mix.
4. Pour batter into prepared pan and cook for 25-30 minutes.
5. When finished, let brownies cool for at least 1 hour before removing from pan. Cut into 1 inch squares and share. Brownies can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated up to 5 days.

Yields: One Pan of Brownies

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