My husband's rehearsals are often where I send my baked goods so they don't stay in the house for us to eat. This week was perfect because they were having dinner together in between rehearsal and their show so I offered to bring dessert. I, of course, was running a bit late so the brownies were barely out of the oven before I had to leave. I figured I would just have to settle for cell phone pictures. My husband posed for me while eating a brownie. Check him out at the bottom. Luckily, the group is small so I was able to bring a couple home and got a good picture.
I really enjoyed making these brownies! I love the way the top crackled and the fruit...oh, it was just fabulous. I am not a drinker of any kind but on occasion I enjoy a good beverage. My favorite drink is an amaretto sour. What can I say, I like the sweet drinks. That said, the only alcohol in my pantry is amaretto. I paired that with dried cherries and lets just say that I should have doubled that part of the recipe for all the cherries I ate before I mixed them in! I didn't get a flame when I tried to ignite the cherries. I think I burned off the alcohol too quickly.
Thank you to Di of Di's Kitchen Notebook for a wonderful selection! Check out the TWD blogroll for more fabulous looking brownies!
French Chocolate Brownies
- makes 16 brownies -
Adapted from Baking From My Home to Yours.
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (optional) I didn't chose this option
1/3 cup raisins, dark or golden I made my own option here and used dried cherries
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum There is no rum in my pantry but there was amaretto!
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped I used semi-sweet chocolate
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons; 6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into 12 pieces
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 300°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, butter the foil, place the pan on a baking sheet, and set aside.
Whisk together the flour, salt and cinnamon, if you're using it.
Put the raisins in a small saucepan with the water, bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until the water almost evaporates. Add the rum, let it warm for about 30 seconds, turn off the heat, stand back and ignite the rum. Allow the flames to die down, and set the raisins aside until needed.
Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Slowly and gently melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and add the butter, stirring so that it melts. It's important that the chocolate and butter not get very hot. However, if the butter is not melting, you can put the bowl back over the still-hot water for a minute. If you've got a couple of little bits of unmelted butter, leave them—it's better to have a few bits than to overheat the whole. Set the chocolate aside for the moment.
Working with a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until they are thick and pale, about 2 minutes. Lower the mixer speed and pour in the chocolate-butter, mixing only until it is incorporated—you'll have a thick, creamy batter. Add the dry ingredients and mix at low speed for about 30 seconds—the dry ingredients won't be completely incorporated and that's fine. Finish folding in the dry ingredients by hand with a rubber spatula, then fold in the raisins along with any liquid remaining in the pan.
Scrape the batter into the pan and bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top is dry and crackled and a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and allow the brownies to cool to warm or room temperature.
Carefully lift the brownies out of the pan, using the foil edges as handles, and transfer to a cutting board. With a long-bladed knife, cut the brownies into 16 squares, each roughly 2 inches on a side, taking care not to cut through the foil.
Serving: The brownies are good just warm or at room temperature; they're even fine cold. I like these with a little something on top or alongside—good go-alongs are whipped crème fraiche or whipped cream, ice cream or chocolate sauce or even all three!
Storing: Wrapped well, these can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.