Sunday, August 15, 2010

Frosted Brownies

This one I ate for breakfast.
This recipe is straight from the Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate least the old one. The new recipe on the can is a little different. These are my VERY favorite brownies. Although they taste fine without the frosting, they will knock your socks off if you do the frosting. You can just cut the frosting recipe in half for one batch of brownies...or you can double the brownie recipe and bake it in a 9 x 13 inch pan to accommodate the frosting. : )

Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate can usually be found in the baking section of the grocery store, near the baking cocoa. You Californians can get a nice 3-pound can of the stuff at Smart-and-Final for about $12.99. Grocery store prices range from $4.55-$5.79 for a one-pound can in CA or IA. My Iowan friends can get a one-pound can at SuperTarget for about $4.25.  I used to get my Ghirardelli ground chocolate at Supertarget, until they raised the price from $4.25 a can to $6.59.  I might just be making fewer brownies now.  Sigh.

The brownies are deep, dark, and fudgy. 

Brownies (San Francisco Double Chocolate Brownies)

  • 2 eggs @ room temp. 
  • ½ cup sugar 
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract 
  • ½ cup butter, melted & cooled 
  • 1 cup Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate*
  • 2/3 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped nuts (optional) 
Preheat oven to 350°F. Using a spoon, stir eggs with sugar and vanilla. Add melted butter. In a separate bowl, mix the ground chocolate with flour, baking powder, and salt with a whisk. Stir flour mixture into egg mixture. Spread evenly into a buttered 8” pan (or a pan lined with parchment paper or non-stick foil). Sprinkle nuts evenly over the top and press lightly with the palm of your hand. Bake 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool. Frost with Empress Frosting (half a recipe of frosting covers one recipe of brownies) Cut into squares. Makes 16-20 brownies.

Empress Frosting

  • 1/3 cup half and half 
  • 1 ½ Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate*
  • ½ cup butter, cut up 
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp. Sugar
In 2-quart heavy saucepan, heat half and half with butter and sugar, stirring until blended. Add ground chocolate, mixing with wire whip until smooth. Heat on medium-low until mixture is thick and shiny and runs off the spoon like syrup and the first bubble appears on the surface (160°F). Do not boil or overcook frosting. Cool 5 minutes, add vanilla. Place pan of frosting in a bowl of ice and water (or snow in the winter). Beat slowly with spoon until frosting holds shape. Frost cake. Refrigerate to set frosting. Makes frosting for and 8-inch layer cake.

*If you do not have Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate, substitute half sugar and half unsweetened cocoa powder. So, for the brownies, you would use 1/2 cup cocoa powder and a total of 1 cup granulated sugar; for the frosting, you would use 3/4 cup cocoa powder and a total of 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar.

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