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Archive for January 16th, 2023

Let me begin this post by admitting that I have not had a serious Christmas baking-spree in quite a few years. People are watching their sugar intake, fat intake and intake in general and during the Christmas holidays, we tend to overeat so leaving sweets off the list seems to be a no-brainer. Plus there seems to be plenty of sweets around anyway. This year was going to be no different, I would bake a few things but not the 10-15 items I used to bake back in the day. 

When we were down in Arizona (don’t worry, it’ll all tie together in the end), we hosted quite a few dinner parties and I cooked a lot. But, in order not to have too many leftover pantry items, I decided that I wouldn’t bake sweets but these dinner parties still needed something for dessert. For one such occasion, I bought a Ghirardelli  Caramel Brownie Mix that turned out much better than I imagined, they actually tasted homemade! I can usually taste a chemical flavour in mixes but I have to admit, I haven’t purchased a mix in several decades so I had no idea how far they’ve come along. This mix was so yummy, I brought 2 packages back for a friend who isn’t a baker as a souvenir gift. Because I hadn’t done my marathon Christmas baking in so many years, I’d completely forgotten that my dear friend’s daughter i’s allergic to walnuts and…you guessed it, the mix had walnuts! What a bummer! I felt horrible that I’d forgotten her allergy; my usual Christmas baking had me focused on baking items without walnuts just for her! How could I have forgotten? I blame age, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. So fast forward to Christmas 2022, I baked my friend’s daughter these brownies to make up for my foolish mistake. They are a bit more finicky than my regular brownies, but they have the best texture that is worth the extra step. The changes I made to the recipe are listed in the notes below.

You might think this is an outdated photo, with the Christmas tree in the background, but I have the little tree out all year long!

Best-ever Fudge Brownies

For the original recipe, please click here.

Makes 1 23 cm x 23 cm (9″ x 9″) pan

Ingredients:

  • 165 g sifted all-purpose flour

  • 5 g salt

  • 113 g unsalted butter

  • 118 g semi-sweet Belgian chocolate, coarsely chopped

  • 62 g Belgian milk chocolate, coarsely chopped

  • 200 g sugar, divided

  • 5 mL pure vanilla extract

  • 4 large eggs, room temperature

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a 23 cm square pan with parchment.
  2. Sift together the flour and salt, set aside.
  3. Microwave the butter and two chocolates for 15-second spurts on hi, stirring and carefully watching it to make sure the chocolate doesn’t seize. Add 100 g of the sugar and stir to combine. Microwave for 1 minute on power 4, stir often, and then microwave for two 15-second spurts on high, stirring frequently. Mix in the vanilla and set aside.
  4. Combine the second 100 g of sugar with the eggs in the small bowl of your stand mixer and whisk well by hand. Add half of the egg mixture to the chocolate mixture slowly, making sure you don’t scramble the eggs with the heat of the chocolate. Set aside.
  5. Set the remaining egg mixture bowl onto your stand mixer and mix on high for 3 minutes or until doubled in volume and thickened. Gently fold this mixture into the chocolate mixture and when almost combined, add the sifted flour and salt and fold until combined.
  6. Pour into the prepared pan and bake in the centre of the oven for 23-27 minutes (the centre should just be set). Allow to cool completely and cut into squares.

Notes:

  • The recipe has been changed to metric and some steps have been converted to use the microwave instead of a bain-marie.
  • I used a metal 23 cm x 23 cm pan and my baking instructions have been adjusted to suit my pan and oven.
  • The original recipe used bittersweet chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate but I only had semi-sweet and milk chocolate and it turned out very well.

 

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