Sunday, May 17, 2009

Holy Expletive Brownies (with Strawberry Milkshakes)

Don't even think about judging me for posting two different brownie recipes over the span of a single week. Don't pretend like you don't love brownies and when you make a pan and they're gone all you want is some more brownies. Don't act like all brownie recipes are created equal, either. And, for the love of pete, don't skip this recipe.

Unless you like stale, cakey brownies, in which case this dessert is not for you. They're gooey, they're deeply chocolatey, and they are worth every single calorie. Also, they are best thick, so if you don't have a small enough pan (say, 4-inch square at the largest), use a cupcake tin sprayed down pretty heavily, and fill the molds at least 1/2-full. Actually, the brownie pictured here is a little on the thin side....

Holy Expletive Brownies
(adapted from The Little Black Book of Chocolate by Barbara Benjamin; start to finish time about 40 minutes)

2 1/2 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 oz unsweetened chocolate
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
pinch salt
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup chopped pecans
  1. Preheat oven to 350ยบ. Combine butter and chocolate in a small saucepan or a microwave safe bowl. Melt them together slowly over low heat on the stovetop or in 20-second increments in the microwave, until you can stir it smooth. Let cool slightly.
  2. In a bowl, whisk eggs until foamy. Add sugar, vanilla and salt and whisk just until combined (don't overbeat). Gradually add chocolate mixture, whisking all the while. Add flour, again whisking just until combined. Stir in pecans.
  3. Pour into small greased baking pan, about 4-in square max. You want it good and thick. Bake for 20 minutes, then start checking for "doneness." Take it out when the batter has has set up in the middle but a toothpick inserted in center does NOT come out clean--it will continue to cook a bit as it cools. Depending on your oven, you may need to give it another 5 minutes or so. Exercise your will power for at least 10 minutes before digging in.

Maybe you noticed the strawberry shake in the background of my picture there. Here's a pretty simple "recipe" that serves 2 people just perfectly: combine 1 cup frozen strawberries, 1 cup ice cream and 1 cup milk in a blender. Voila. It's not a bowl you over, face-imploding diner shake, but it gets the job done.

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