Friday, January 25, 2013

Quintuple Chocolate Brownies

Way back, last summer, I was invited to join a blogging mastermind group. These girls are godly women who write really well. Several of them have published eBooks, and they all make me feel very welcome, but definitely a newbie in the blogging department. Not that they are not gracious or wonderful. I am just a newbie.

Now that I've totally dug myself into a huge hole, and put my (bare) foot in my mouth, all I have to say is, that some of these amazing woman are helping me out big time by sharing their wisdom here on my blog while I am gone.

Sheila has two blogs. Seasoned Joy (here) is a life style blog. The Deliberate Reader (here) is a blog devoted to books and book reviews. Sheila is a voracious reader. And her reviews supply additions to my ever growing "to read" list.

We had the opportunity to meet IRL in October at the Influence Conference. 

Without further ado...Sheila

I grew up baking with my mom, and it's still one of my favorite hobbies. I love being able to create what I'm craving, and I love experimenting to try and find the "perfect" recipe.

One of my absolute favorite cookbooks is Baking: From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan. She's got fantastic desserts of all kinds (and despite the title, not everything in the book is baked; there are puddings and ice creams that never see an oven). It's always a treat to try something new from it.

I recently highlighted it as one of my top cookbooks, and if you saw my cookbook collection you'd realize just how much that is saying. In other words, LOVE. THIS. BOOK. I raved about this book so much during one of my mom's visits that she ordered one for herself before she even left so that it would be waiting for her when she got home. 

We talk about recipes in it all the time and refer to it simply as "Dorie," as in, "I tried that Swedish visiting cake from Dorie, and it was delicious." The worst recipe I've tried from the book has simply been good, rather than great. But mostly they are great. Fantastic. Luscious. Amazing. 

And for all that, I've still barely scraped the surface of what's available in the book. I tried going through it and making a list of recipes I still want to try. Just in the first section alone, I came up with 26 recipes for muffins, scones, biscuits, cakes, breads, and buns. At that point I stopped making the list because it would have been easier to list the recipes I wasn't interested in attempting. 

One of my favorites is Quintuple Chocolate Brownies. I am a brownie fanatic and am super picky about brownies. They cannot be cakey at all. They need to be borderline gooey (or, to be honest, all the way gooey.) And of course, they need to be super chocolately. Happily, these brownies fit the bill. 

They are visually stunning (my photo does not begin to do them justice) with their white chocolate glaze topping brownies studded with nuts and chocolate chunks. They are glamorous bars! As is so often the case, I didn't follow the recipe exactly (especially when it came to the glaze), but these are my modifications: 

Quintuple Chocolate Brownies (slightly modified from: Dorie Greenspan Baking: From My Home to Yours pp. 99-100) 

For the Brownies: 
1/2 cup all-purpose flour 
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon espresso powder 
1 stick (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pieces 
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped 
1.5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped 
1.5 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped 
1.5 Tablespoons water 
1 cup sugar 
3 large eggs 
1 teaspoon pure vanilla 
6 ounces milk chocolate chips 
1 cup chopped pecans 

For the Glaze: 
6 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped 
1/3 cup heavy cream 

Getting Ready: 
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with foil, spray the foil with baking spray. 

To Make the Brownies
Stir together the flour, cocoa, salt, and espresso powder. Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and add the butter and three chopped chocolates . Keeping the pan over low heat, warm just until the butter and chocolates are melted. Stir gently, and when the mixture is smooth, set it aside for 5 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, beat the sugar into the chocolate mixture. Next, stir in the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla. You should have a smooth, glossy batter. Gently stir in the dry ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated. Finally, stir in the milk chocolate chips and the nuts. Scrape the batter into the pan, smoothly it carefully. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out streaked but not thickly coated. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let the brownies rest undisturbed for at least 30 minutes. 

To Make the Glaze: Put the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring the heavy cream to a boil and pour it over the chocolate. Wait 30 seconds, then, using a rubber spatula, gently stir until the chocolate is melted and the glaze is smooth. Hold a long metal icing spatula in one hand and the bowl of glaze in the other. Pour the glaze onto the center of the brownies and use the spatula to nudge it evenly over the surface. Let cool completely to allow the glaze to set. Or if you're me and impatient, cut into them immediately and shrug over the distortions it causes in the glaze.

Thanks, Sheila, for what looks like an amazing brownie recipe! I will be sure to try it out when I get back!