French Chocolate Brownies

Because apparently, I don’t think I have enough to do, I decided to join a baking club. (Yes, I’m 26. Yes, I joined an online baking club… Just call me a nerd, it would be easier.)

I joined Tuesdays with Dorie after drooling over the recipes on several of my favorite foodie websites. Last week, my copy of the book arrived and this week was my first chance to make one of Dorie’s special recipes.

The first step in making these brownies was to send Mike out for a bottle of dark rum. This is the smallest and cheapest bottle he could find to supply the 1 1/2 tablespoons needed for the recipe. At least it makes a good page holder. 🙂

I put the raisins in the pan, added the water, and let them cook.

Meanwhile, I took a shortcut and melted the chocolate and butter in the microwave instead of on the stove. It worked just as well.

I beat the egg and sugar together and then added the chocolate mixture. Yummm….

Finally, it was time to add the rum. I added the rum to the raisins and prepared for a big burst of flame.

Unfortunately, all I saw were a few little blue patches in my raisins. After I folded in the dry ingredients, I added the raisins. If I make these brownies again, I’ll be leaving the raisins out. There is a weird texture issue with raisins in brownies…

Here are the brownies, ready to go in the oven.

Here they are, fresh out of the oven.

And here is the large brownie, ready to be cut and made into yummy brownie sundaes!

Overall, it was a successful first attempt — they aren’t the prettiest food I’ve ever made — or the best (raisins in brownies is just odd to me) but it was a fun experiment. I’m hoping that Tuesdays with Dorie will force me outside of my comfort level a bit and I’ll learn a few tricks along the way.

Interested in trying these brownies yourself? The full recipe is below!

French Chocolate Brownies



– makes 16 brownies -Adapted from Baking From My Home to Yours.



Ingredients

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

1/3 cup raisins, dark or golden

1 1/2 tablespoons water

1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons; 6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into 12 pieces

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

Getting ready: 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.

Whisk together the flour, salt and cinnamon, if you’re using it.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Serving: The brownies are good just warm or at room temperature; they’re even fine cold. I like these with a little something on top or alongside—good go-alongs are whipped crème fraiche or whipped cream, ice cream or chocolate sauce or even all three!

Storing: Wrapped well, these can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.

10 thoughts on “French Chocolate Brownies

  1. Looks tasty!

    I joined an online baking club too, The Daring Bakers. I just got this month’s challenge and now I am intimidated.

  2. Welcome to TWD! It is a wonderful group and you will have fun! Love all your photos! Good job on the brownies!

  3. welcome to TWD…great job on the brownies!! seems like everyone got tiny blue flames…hehee. i did raspberries and chambord though, and didn’t bother with the flambe!

  4. Impressive! I’m not much of a baker… I have a hard time with cakes… but I make some mean gooey butter cookies (not my recipe)!

  5. Welcome! (Sorry I’m late to this party!) Great job – and food nerds are the BEST kind of nerds! Take it from one of the nerdiest. 🙂

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