Tuesday, June 3, 2008

TWD: French Chocolate Brownies & My Blog's Birthday!


This week's recipe was french chocolate brownies, chosen by Di of Di's Kitchen Notebook. I wasn't too intrigued at first, but I'm so glad I made them! And I just realized that June 3 (today) is my blog's birthday! So it's a good thing I made brownies to celebrate. ;) I can't believe it's been a year already. I feel like I should say something more but I'm not quite sure what. I can say that I love being a part of the food blogging community and that there are so many amazing, caring and inspiring food bloggers!


I had my first taste of these brownies at 5:30am the day after making them. I wanted to bring some brownies to work, and the first piece I cut for myself ended up kind of falling apart. So I just ate it which was not so smart in retrospect considering the fact that I was barely awake and not able to totally enjoy it.


I was skeptical of adding raisins to a brownie, as I'm sure many other people were. But I thought I would trust in Dorie, and just see how it turned out. Well I was right about the raisins - kind of weird. You're supposed to flambé them, but my rum wouldn't light on fire (I thought it was supposed to be easy to light alcohol on fire?) so I kind of want to try the brownies again if I can figure out how to flambé properly. Aside from that though, these brownies were so very delicious. They're incredibly moist and somewhere between a chocolate cake and a brownie. Not the dense kind of brownie though, which usually I favour. At first I thought they could've been more chocolate-y but really they're quite perfect just the way they are, and they're not too sweet. I have no idea if the 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon really made a difference in flavour.


I had to take the brownie photos with my cute new dish! I have no idea what I'm going to use it for but I had to have it.

Other TWD recipes I've made:
Pecan Honey Sticky Buns
Orange Berry Muffins
Pecan Sour Cream Biscuits

French Chocolate Brownies
Adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours

Makes 16 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

Preheat the oven to 300F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with 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 metal 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 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, 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.

72 comments:

The Food Librarian said...

These look great! Happy Blogbirthday!!

Sarah said...

Happy blog birthday and I agree that your dish is super cute! Great job on the brownies!

Engineer Baker said...

Happy blog birthday!

chelley325 said...

Happy Blog Birthday! Great way to celebrate :)

kimberleyblue said...

Yours look really rich and chocolately - they look great!

Magnolia Wedding Planner said...

Wow ! they look delicious! And the add of raisins makes them even more delicious to me :-D
Thanks for the recipe and I always eat my breakfast at 6.00 am ..is that the reason I don't even remember what? :-D
Kiss
SIlvia

Hannah said...

Oh, looks nice and fudgy! The bowl is really cute, too. :)

Deborah said...

Happy blog birthday!! I can't wait to see what the next year brings. (And that dish is soo cute!!)

Celine said...

already one year old? time flies! happy blog-a-versary, Ashley!

April said...

Your brownies look delish! I love the dish!

Andy said...

Those brownies look great and happy birthday! And I am with you, raisins are a little weird in brownies.

jennifer said...

that bowl is super cute! your brownies look tastey too!

jennifer
www.oyecookie.com

VeggieGirl said...

Happy first-year blog anniversary!! How exciting!! Mine will be coming up at the end of this month :0) Keep up your blog, Ashley - I love it!!

Those brownies look phenomenal, period. Great job, as always! And yes, that bowl is TOO cute :0)

bakingwiththeboys said...

That dish IS adorable. Happy anniversary to your blog.

CB said...

Happy 1 year blogiversary!
Clara @ I♥food4thought

Ricki said...

Happy Blog Birthday! That is quite a milestone--and quite a wonderful way to celebrate. These look totally mouth-watering.

Amy said...

Oh, I love that dish! Your brownies look great!

Melissa said...

Happy Birthday Blog! What a cute bowl!

Marie said...

Happy Blog Birthday to you! Your brownies look fantastic! What an adorable dish!!! I thought it was real at first!

Mara said...

happy bloggiversary!!! very cute bowl and those look divine, toss some ice cream on them and hand them to me!

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

Happy Birthday eat me, delicious! Love the dish and the brownies look yummy too!

Rebecca said...

Happy Blog Birthday! Cuuuuute dish.

Christine said...

Happy Blog Birthday! I love that bowl where did you get it? Great job on the brownies!

Lisa said...

A very happy birthday to you! What a fine way to celebrate. I would not have thought raisins and brownies, but here we have it. Lovely.

Annemarie said...

Happy blog B-Day! Cute little waffle bowl!

Kevin said...

Happy blog birthday!! Those brownies look really good! I had never thought about adding raisins to brownies... azuki beans yes but not raisins. I will have to try.

Heather said...

Happy blog birthday! Your brownies look delicious! Great job!

Tracy said...

They look great ... but I don't think I could hack raisins in brownies.

Cute dish -- all you need is a big dollop of ice cream on top!

Jaime said...

they look great! i love the bowl! i couldn't taste the cinnamon either, guess my palate isn't so distinguishing ;) but i did enjoy the cherries i put in mine (hubby said it was just eh)

oh, and happy bloggiversary :)

steph- whisk/spoon said...

happy blog birthday! (i forgot all about mine...i'm a negligant blog mum!) perfect brownies!

lemontartlet said...

Love your bowl! Happy blog day chick, your brownies are nice!

Susie Homemaker said...

digging the new bowl - the brownies look great in it! (so now you have a reason to have bought it - it photographs well!)

Dolores said...

Happy blog birthday. I LOVE the way you plated these... makes them so festive.

ovenhaven said...

Happy blog birthday! I totally love the bowl! It's so fun :D The silly and groggy me actually thought it was a real wafer cone with dripping chocolate syrup from the first picture. Either it's way too realistic, or I'm just too hungry :P

EAT! said...

love the brownies and the ice cream cone dish. i had a similar one when I was growing up that i ate ice cream out of all the time!!

Johanna said...

very cute dish! and the mound of chocolatey brownies look right at home in it. Congratulations on a good year of blogging

Parker said...

Happy Blogging Birthday! Love the rum in this recipe.

bakersbakery said...

What a wonderful treat for you blogging birthday!!!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Happy blog birthday!
I would never add raisins to brownies - even if it's Dorie's idea. :)
These look ultra good!

Di said...

Happy (belated) blog birthday! Your brownies look scrumptious in that bowl. Oh, and I had a heck of a time with the flambeing, too. I think there wasn't enough rum. I didn't have any trouble with it when we made the snails, but there was twice as much rum for those.

Priscilla said...

Conrats on 1 year of blogging! Those brownies look delicious!

PheMom said...

Happy Blog Birthday! Love the brownies all stacked in that cute bowl!

Bellini Valli said...

The cute new dish is going to be to display all your wionderful treats for us to enjoy:D Everyone seems to have loved these brownies so that makes them a keeper:D

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Happy Birthday to your blog! Your brownies look terrific and I love that bowl. What to do with it? Ice cream!

Jacque said...

I just saw those bowls in the mall yesterday... can't remember if it was Williams Sonoma or The Great Indoors. I wanted them so bad but had already spent my share. Anyway, love the bowls!

Your brownies look scrumptious!

Shari said...

Love that bowl! Happy Blog Birthday!
Shari@Whisk: a food blog

ostwestwind said...

Happy Blog Birthday, the brownies are just right to celebrate this.

Ulrike from Küchenlatein

The DeLadurantey Sisters said...

Cute bowl!

Homecooked said...

These look so yummy! Happy Birthday to your blog :)

Mansi Desai said...

I've baked this before and absolutely loved it! yours look great!

Happy Blog Birthday!:)

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EFT Video said...

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