Monday, August 24, 2009

Experiment #2: (Drunken) Brownies

I got a request from my friend J.K. (a closeted sweet addict) to make brownies and I knew just the recipe that I wanted to try (from my new Tartine Bakery book of course). And so last night after dinner and lots of wine, my chocolate craving surged through me. Drunken and determined, I undertook a last-minute task to bake chocolate brownies. Thank goodness that this recipe was pretty straight-forward and I actually had everything on hand. Sorry, there was no real “pre-lab” or “experimental procedure” preparations on my part; I just starting baking. What happens when a drunken girl bakes? A mess happens.

Brownies (adapted from Tartine)


1 ½ sticks of butter

1 pound of chocolate (Elizabeth calls for bittersweet, but I used semi-sweet chocolate chips, which worked fine)

5 large eggs

2 cups of light brown sugar

¾ cup + 2 Tbs of flour

¼ tsp of salt

1 tsp of vanilla

Nuts (I used pistachios)

1. Pre-heat oven to 350oC.

2. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Once melted, turn off the heat and add the chocolate and stir until completely melted. Set aside to cool.

3. In a mixing bowl, add the eggs, brown sugar, and salt. Using the whisk attachment, beat at highest speed until the mixture thickens. (4-5 minutes).

4. Sift the flour into the egg-sugar mixture and use a rubber spatula to incorporate fully.

5. Add the cooled chocolate to the bowl, mixing from bottom to top to incorporate the chocolate (the chocolate tends to sink to the bottom).

6. Pour the batter into a 13 x 9 pan and bake for ~40 minutes. (You can’t do a toothpick test to check the doneness of the brownies; there’s just too much darn chocolate. If the top looks a bit crusty, then you’re done!). Cool before eating.

Results and Discussion and Conclusion

Having already consumed a large portion of the delicious brownies, I’m amazed how well they turned out, despite having made them in a drunken state. I think that says a lot about how easy the recipe is and that anything with lots of butter + sugar + chocolate is bound to be delicious. But I really think that the light-and-tenderly soft texture is attributed to beating the eggs and incorporating air into them. Upon reflection, I’m not sure if I deflated the batter with my drunken mixing, so perhaps the brownies could have been even more light and fluffy. Nevertheless, let it be known that this recipe yields a most deliciously moist-and-light, tender-and-soft, and chocolatety-delightful brownie.

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