Alright, I’ll confess – I am a chocolate addict. Thank goodness there isn’t a twelve step program for my family and friends to sign me up for – I would have failed out of it so many times. Anyway, for my 16th birthday , my next door neighbor, who loves to bake even more than I do, gave me the book Pure Chocolate by Fran Bigelow. I haven’t had the opportunity to try every recipe in it, but so far every one I’ve made has been excellent. Be warned though – her recipes are not for the faint of heart! (They’re for chocolate purists who like their goodies deep, dark, and dense.)
One of my favorite recipes from this book are the truffle brownies, which will make you turn your back on any box mix or store-bought imitation you’ve ever tried. Absolutely delicious straight out of the pan, I also use them as bases for more complex desserts – trifles, parfaits, things that are nicely plated. Since they have such a beautifully refined chocolate flavor they pair excellently with a variety of sauces, fruits, ice creams, even an after dinner cup of coffee.
So, after that introduction let’s dive in! For this recipe you’ll need the following:
– 8 oz bittersweet chocolate (you can actually use just about any relatively dark chocolate that you want here…and I often end up adding a bit more than 8 oz)
– 2 oz unsweetened chocolate (this is necessary for that deep rich flavor. No matter how much you are tempted, do NOT substitute another kind of chocolate here)
– 2 sticks (1/2 lb) unsalted butter (softened or room temperature)
– 1 cup packed brown sugar
– 6 eggs
– 2 teaspoons vanilla
– 1 cup flour
– a 9 x 13 pan (buttered or lined with parchment paper)
1. Take all that chocolate, chop it and melt it. You can use either a double boiler or a microwave here. I use a microwave because it’s easier and I don’t have a double boiler. (The reason for melting your chocolate before you start anything else is that it will give the chocolate time to cool so you don’t melt the butter when you finally combine the ingredients.) Here you can see the giant block of chocolate that I started with.
2. Combine the butter and sugar – cream until light and fluffy.
3. Add the eggs 1 or 2 at a time mixing in between.
4. Add your vanilla and mix until light and smooth.
5. Time for the main ingredient – take your melted chocolate and pour it in (if you notice butter starting to melt stop and let the chocolate cool some more). Mix until well combined.
6. Fold in the flour using a spatula – try not to over mix.
7. Tuck in the oven at 325 F for 30 minutes (You’re tester should have dark wet crumbs on it when your brownies are done. One of the tricks that keeps this recipe so decadent is how moist the brownies are.) The picture below is of the batter ready to go in. You may notice that I used a 9 x 9 pan instead of the 9 x 13 recommended above. This is simply because I just moved and have no idea which box my 9 x 13 pan is in, so I split the batter in have and made two batches using the 9 x 9 pan I had on hand.
8. Let cool in the pan if you can resist the temptation – if not, enjoy!