Brownies have so much going for
them; great flavor, easy to make, and so versatile. The simplest brownies are made
with just melted chocolate, butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and flour. Delicious,
of course, but you can also take a brownie to the next level by adding a layer
of frosting. And that is what we do with these Chocolate Brownies. We start with
a brownie that has a deep chocolate flavor and a dense fudge-like texture
and top it with a smooth and glossy Chocolate Ganache. This transforms it
into a dessert so good that I am not sure whether we should call it a square
or a candy.
Brownies can be made with
cocoa powder, semi sweet chocolate, or unsweetened chocolate. Each will
make a brownie with its own unique flavor and texture. These Chocolate
Brownies use unsweetened chocolate which gives them an intense chocolate
flavor as unsweetened chocolate is chocolate in its rawest form and is
just ground cocoa nibs that have been refined and contain between 50-55%
cocoa butter (cocao fat). They are very similar to the Katherine Hepburn
Brownies only they contain more flour and double the amount of unsweetened
chocolate which gives them a more fudge-like texture and an even stronger
chocolate flavor. Again, as with most brownies, they are simply made using
one bowl and are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out
with has just a few moist crumbs. Once the brownies have completely
cooled, they are frosted with a Chocolate Ganache. Ganache is a mixture of
cream, butter, and semi sweet chocolate and is wonderfully smooth and
creamy with a glossy texture. I like to store these brownies in the
refrigerator which makes them all the more fudgy. Serve them cold
or at room temperature.
Chocolate Brownies: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165
degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line the bottom and sides of an 8 inch (20 cm)
square baking pan with foil.
Melt the chocolate and
butter in a heatproof bowl (I prefer stainless steel) placed over a saucepan of simmering water.
Remove from heat and whisk (or stir) in the sugar. Next, whisk in the vanilla extract and
eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Finally, stir in the flour
the prepared pan and bake for about 22 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into
the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Remove from oven, place on a wire
rack, and let cool to room temperature.
Ganache: Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized heatproof bowl. Set
aside. Heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. (Can also
heat the cream and butter in the microwave.) Bring just to a boil. Immediately
pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand, without stirring,
for a few minutes. Stir gently (as you do not want to incorporate air into the
ganache) with a spoon or whisk until smooth. Let
cool slightly and then spread the ganache over the
brownies. Place in the refrigerator to chill until firm (a couple of
hours). Then cut into squares. I like to store these brownies in the refrigerator. They can
also be frozen.