Thursday, March 15, 2012

Triple Chocolatly Goodness

It's the middle of March, and it snowed the other day. It rained today, but it was a cold monsoon, slushy, icy kind of rain. Since I am still getting over the flu that knocked me out this past weekend, this weather feels extra cold. While I am not up for an outside winter adventure with the kids and I can't luxuriate in a hot bath (at least not until the kids go to bed), I can turn on the oven and play with chocolate. There isn't much better, especially this time of year, than having the oven on, warming my kitchen and infusing my house with the smell of baking chocolate.

While Auggie napped in his super cozy fleece sleep sack, Charlie and I worked on our cold, wintery, wet afternoon projects: brownies (me and her) and painting (her).   Because baking brownies is so easy and almost impossible to mess up, it is one of my favorite treats to bake with Charlie, and because she loves chocolate and loves to stir, this is a perfect yucky day activity.   One of the best reasons to bake for no specific reason, especially in the middle of winter, is the bone warming heat that the oven generates and the soul warming treat that comes out of that oven. Second to that is being able to share our creations with friends and family.

I haven't met anyone who doesn't love these brownies -- even non-brownie people love them.  Actually, one of my nephews isn't a fan, but his reason was that they were "too chocolaty," but I don't view that as a problem--do you?

Here are more photos of our fun this afternoon and, of course, the recipe. I have included the amount for all-purpose flour needed for the traditional recipe--but, the almond meal/brown rice flour combo is, I feel, much better.

Super Fudgy Triple Chocolate Brownies

7 ounces semisweet chocolate in chip form or chopped
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate in chip form or chopped
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into quarters
3 tablespoons cocoa powder 
3 large eggs 
1 cups granulated sugar 200g
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
1/2 teaspoon table salt 
1/2 cup (45g) almond flour
1/2 cup (55g) brown rice flour
(for the Gluten Lover’s use 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour 5 oz rather than the 2 flours above)
5 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Line 8-inch square pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. This makes it easy to remove the brownies from the pan once they have cooled.
In medium heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water, melt the chocolate pieces and butter, stirring occasionally until mixture is smooth. 
Or, melt the chocolate pieces and butter in the microwave. Microwave on high for one minute and whisk. Microwave in 30 second intervals, whisking after each 30 seconds, until smooth.
Whisk cocoa powder into the melted chocolate until smooth. Set aside to cool.
Whisk eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt together in medium bowl until combined, about 15 seconds. 
Whisk warm chocolate mixture into egg mixture.
Lightly fold in flours with a spatula, add chocolate chips, mix until just combined--do not over mix (more of an issue when using all-purpose flour). 
Pour mixture into prepared pan, bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out mostly clean, but with a small amount of sticky crumbs clinging to it, check after 30 to 35 minutes.
Leave in pan until cool.
Use the over hanging foil as handles, gently pull the brownies out of the pan to finish cooling.
These brownies will not cut well if they are too warm. Also, it is best to wipe the knife between each cut. I tend to cut the square into 16 pieces.
These brownies can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated or frozen.