Today in non-Squamish news: brownies.
I received the B&B cookbook from my parents this Christmas and for the past few weeks, I’ve been scoping out the recipes and trying to decide where to begin. The layer cakes look glorious, but I tend to shy away from making cakes because a) they’re hard to share (unless you’re serving to a crowd) and b) stacking cake layers is my baking weakness. One of them, anyways.
I’ve been on a bit of a cinnamon bun kick lately, so the Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread recipe has had a ribbon bookmark wedged in it since, oh, Christmas morning. There’s a flourless chocolate torte recipe that looks aces, as do the Fleur de Sel Caramels on page 192… but where to start?
Brownies, that’s where. For no particular rhyme or reason other than brownies are delicious and this particular recipe is called “Death by Chocolate Brownies”. I can think of worse ways to go.
The story behind these brownies is that a customer inquired as to whether the bakery could make brownies that she could use as a wedding favour and this is the recipe they came up with. This sounds like a wedding I would have liked to attend.
On to the baking. First, the brownies:
Health food, they are not (as evidenced by the three cups of packed brown sugar), but they’re relatively easy to bring together, with only 7 ingredients – most of which you probably already have on hand. The directions are straightforward, except for one: the baking time. The book calls for 45 minutes in the oven. I checked at 40 and the top was extremely wiggly, which is bake-speak for “nowhere close to being done”. Granted, the directions call for a 10 inch square baking pan, and I only have a 9 inch one, so I expected they’d take a little longer than anticipated. They ended up taking a lot longer than anticipated. I checked every 5 minutes or so and stopped counting after half an hour past the original 45 minutes. I ended up pulling them out still slightly underdone because I had things to do and didn’t want to be tied to the oven any longer.
Now, the chocolate glaze:
The recipe calls for a chocolate glaze, which I believe is the difference between these being regular brownies and Death by Chocolate brownies.
The glaze isn’t too tricky to make (although I did have to buy some chocolate for it and really dig around in the back of my cupboards for some corn syrup), but my timing was a little off because I expected the brownies to be done way earlier than they were. As a result, the glaze got thick like icing. I put the metal bowl over a stove element on high and gave it a few quick mixes, and it softened up quickly.
Removing the brownies from the pan went relatively well, but the combination of slightly undercooking them and having poked them a dozen or so times to test for doneness resulted in a rather homely look. Not to worry; chocolate glaze hides all sins.
The brownies were cooled-ish, not completely cooled as directed. What can I say, I’m a glutton for punishment – I even skipped the “put in the fridge for 20 minutes after glazing” step. As such, the glaze got even softer as I spread it on the brownies. This may have been a problem if I was competing in a bake-off or something, but aesthetics weren’t my priority today.
Now for the best part: the taste test. The brownies were rich and moist, and the edges were just the right amount of chewy. They certainly don’t need the glaze, but it does elevate them to the next level of deliciousness.
Best paired with a glass of milk.
(You can find the recipe here if you scroll down, but it doesn’t include the chocolate glaze – I guess you have to buy the book for that. I feel like if I post it here, I will get sued or something. Plus it would take eons to type up.)