This week’s TWD recipe was French Chocolate Brownies chosen by Di of Di’s Kitchen Notebook. I have to say – these are some pretty unusual brownies. Granted, Dorie originally intended for them to be more of a cake than brownies, so the texture is a bit different from what I’m used to. However, these were pretty darn tasty and we really enjoyed them! I left out the raisins (Of course -blech!) and pulled them out of the oven a little early – because that’s how I like my brownies – GOOEY! I also added a shot (or less) of Godiva Liquor to the batter, just because I felt like it. After baking and slightly cooling, these were still very ooey gooey on the inside (which only added to their appeal as far as I’m concerned!), but at the same time, they were very light and surprisingly fluffy – almost like a “moussey” texture! And that pinch of cinnamon really added something special, in my opinion! Like everyone else, my brownies had a crust on top after baking (as they should), but I personally don’t like the “crust” so I just picked it off and took my  pictures “sans brownie crust”.

Speaking of pictures……these aren’t very pretty. In fact, I’d go so far as to say they look like POO. But, I’m very new at this whole photography thing (I’m just a yuppee with a nice camera!), and I haven’t quite mastered the art of making food look pretty yet. I really admire those food bloggers who do such clever things with their food and take such beautiful, unique pictures – but for now, I’m just not that girl. But don’t worry – I’ll get there!!

French Chocolate Brownies

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.

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23 Comments »

  1. Don’t worry about the pictures. They look great. yum.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Kelly — June 2, 2008 @ 9:13 PM

  2. Looks yummy, A!! :)

    [Reply]

    Comment by hornedfroggy — June 2, 2008 @ 9:24 PM

  3. Oh, I’m laughing so hard right now… The word "poo" is so funny, especially when it’s in capital letters. Ahem. Anyhoo, I think your brownies look great without the crust. Good job!

    [Reply]

    Comment by rainbowbrown — June 2, 2008 @ 9:25 PM

  4. Could you taste the Godiva Liquer? That sounds like it would be really good. And, don’t worry about the pics. Your naked brownies look perfectly tasty.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Danielle — June 2, 2008 @ 10:06 PM

  5. Can I come to your house and eat your (brownie) crusts?

    All my photos are on my corningware white plates. I tell myself realism has its fans!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Andrea — June 3, 2008 @ 4:39 AM

  6. These look awesome! I have been craving brownies for a couple of days now, I might have to give these a try.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Amber — June 3, 2008 @ 5:33 AM

  7. Who cares what the pics look like if they taste good, right?

    [Reply]

    Comment by Caitlin — June 3, 2008 @ 5:37 AM

  8. The pictures look great! The brownies look even better!

    [Reply]

    Comment by April — June 3, 2008 @ 6:39 AM

  9. I think those brownies look awesome! Yumyumyum!

    [Reply]

    Comment by kimberleyblue — June 3, 2008 @ 8:06 AM

  10. I bet they tasted delicious! My photos are almost always on white Corningware too lol. It’s the recipe that counts, and I’m sure those were amazing!

    [Reply]

    Comment by AnneStrawberry — June 3, 2008 @ 9:50 AM

  11. ummm they look amazing to me!!! there’s no such thing as as a bad looking brownie photo! i used raspberries in mine, yum.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Mara — June 3, 2008 @ 11:23 AM

  12. I think they look yummy – and I bet the Godiva Liqueur added a nice extra nuance to the flavor!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Jayne — June 3, 2008 @ 11:58 AM

  13. Gooey is good-ey. And Godiva liqueur must have been terrific!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Bumblebutton — June 3, 2008 @ 12:53 PM

  14. your brownies look yummy naked. everything is better naked;)

    [Reply]

    Comment by Laura — June 3, 2008 @ 1:18 PM

  15. i don’t think your photos are bad – as long as the brownies are good, who can resist??

    [Reply]

    Comment by Susan — June 3, 2008 @ 3:59 PM

  16. Oh godiva liquor! I love that smell! Your brownies look amazing!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Christine — June 3, 2008 @ 4:35 PM

  17. Love the Godiva Liquor! Your brownies look delicious! Great job!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Heather B — June 3, 2008 @ 7:42 PM

  18. The brownies look fabulous, and your pictures are great also. Good job.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Kim — June 4, 2008 @ 5:11 AM

  19. Godiva chocolate liquor in your brownies…that’s what I’m talking about!

    [Reply]

    Comment by mari — June 4, 2008 @ 6:30 AM

  20. Godiva liqueur? I am so intrigued! I need to go buy some now. HAHA! Great job!

    Clara @ <a href="http://iheartfood4thought.wordpress.com">I♥food4thought</a&gt;

    [Reply]

    Comment by CB — June 4, 2008 @ 6:59 AM

  21. A shot of Godiva liqueur is brilliant!

    Shari@<a href="http://www.whiskblog.com/">Whisk: a food blog</a>

    [Reply]

    Comment by Shari — June 4, 2008 @ 12:05 PM

  22. godiva liqueur – genius! they look great, not like poopy – though i agree that brownies aren’t super photogenic to begin with! the macro setting, good lighting, and a steady hand will help a lot w/the photos :)

    [Reply]

    Comment by Jaime — June 5, 2008 @ 7:13 PM

  23. Interesting article. keep posting.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Belajar SEO Para Pemula — June 11, 2009 @ 8:45 AM

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