So when I got back from my 30th birthday trip, I decided to recreate some brownies that my friend Bai made my first night in Cali. Didn’t work. I don’t know what happened. Maybe the sugar didn’t melt into the chocolate the way it was supposed to, perhaps putting them in the refrigerator when the recipe said store at room temperature did it. But whatever it was the brownies were hard, and all stuck together like cement. It was gross. AND very inedible.
So last night I decided to re-recreate these suckers!
Here is the recipe:
(FYI I was totally going to type it all out until I realized Bai sent it to me over email! Yay copy and paste! 🙂 )
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
1 cup (4 ounces) pecans or walnuts, chopped medium (optional)
1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) cake flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped finely
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into six 1-inch pieces
2 1/4 cups (15 3/4 ounces) sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 325 degrees. Cut 18-inch length foil and fold lengthwise to 8-inch width. Fit foil into length of 13 by 9-inch baking dish, pushing it into corners and up sides of pan; allow excess to overhand pan edges. Cut 14-inch length foil and, if using extra-wide foil, fold lengthwise to 12-inch width; fit into width of baking pan in same manner, perpendicular to first sheet. Spray foil-lined pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2. If using nuts, spread nuts evenly on rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven until fragrant, 5 to 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.
3. Whisk to combine flour, salt, and baking powder in medium bowl; set aside.
4. Melt chocolate and butter in large heatproof bowl set over saucepan of almost-simmering water, stirring occasionally, until smooth. (Alternatively, in microwave, heat butter and chocolate in large microwave-safe bowl on high for 45 seconds, then stir and heat for 30 seconds more. Stir again, and, if necessary, repeat in 15-second increments; do not let chocolate burn.) When chocolate mixture is completely smooth, remove bowl from saucepan and gradually whisk in sugar. Add eggs on at a time, whisking after each addition until thoroughly combined. Whisk in vanilla. Add flour mixture in three additions, folding with rubber spatula until batter is completely smooth and homogeneous.
5. Transfer batter to prepared pan; using spatula, spread batter into corners of pan and smooth surface. Sprinkle toasted nuts (if using) evenly over batter and bake until toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into center of brownies comes out with few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours, then remove brownies from pan by lifting foil overhang. Cut brownies into 2-inch squares and serve. (Store leftovers in airtight container at room temperature, for up to 3 days, or, ahem, in the freezer until your resistance gets the better of you.)
So yea. When I started mixing the sugar into the melted chocolate, it was looking really lumpy AGAIN, but I didn’t freak out….I just continued. Also, Bai gave me a few tips before starting this time- try using cake flour as opposed to regular flour, it will be fluffier, and this tip he gave me while in California- use high-end chocolate. It does make a difference. Seriously. Aside from dinner today, brownies was all I ate. I love them.
Long story short, they did turn out. Though I didn’t wait for them to cool completely, so they are all in like weirdly shaped clumps in the tupperware, but they are fantastically good weirdly shaped clumps, so no worries! 🙂
Oh, before I forget, funny story! While in San Fran, I discovered that Ghirardelli Chocolate is made there. Sooooo good! Which is the chocolate Bai used to make his brownies. So when I got back, naturally I tried to find some here. I tried everywhere! grocery stores, Wal-Mart, Pharmacies, Bulk Barns. You named it, I tried it. I then went to Facebook to appeal to friends to see who knew where to get some! Well, I learned a couple of things then.
1. There is a lindt warehouse in Mississauga. Dangerous!
2. Roger Leavens is a man of his word.
Roger is a friend of my husband. (Well ok, he is my friend too :P) Anywho, he lives in the Tdot, and replied that he would mail me some. 2 days later, I got an Xpress post package delivered FULL of chocolate!
Keep in mind there are 2 bars missing that I used to bake with! It was an exciting piece of mail to say the least! I also ended up getting a belated birthday gift from my sister in-laws of ghirardell chocolate too, which was also very exciting. I guess Facebook can be good for something after all! 🙂