Monday, February 24, 2014

Frosted Brownies II

Frosted Brownies II

I had to repost this recipe with the main change being the type of cocoa used. I used to swear by Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate, and I technically I still do. I love the stuff; but it's gotten too expensive for me to use regularly. I can buy it from Amazon for a pretty good price, but then I'll have a three-pound container of it, and I'll make TOO many brownies. My waistline does not need that. 
At any rate, I may be one of the only people in the world who notices the difference between the Ghirardelli ground chocolate an other brands of cocoa powder. If you try this recipe here, I'm sure you'll be pleased. These brownies, as with the originals, have a great dense texture without being raw or gummy. They're thick, almost cakey, but not quite. To me, it's the perfect brownie texture, and they still have a deep chocolatey flavor. The frosting seals the deal for me, adding more sweetness and moist chocolatey goodness.
As you can see in the pics below, I only put nuts on part of the brownies. My intended audience is what helps me decide how much of the top will have nuts. This batch was just for the family, and although my one son prefers no nuts, he will still eat the nutted version. I bake the nuts on top instead of mixing them in for two reasons: #1 The flexibility mentioned already and #2 The nuts get slightly toasted on top so they have a toasty flavor along with a definite crunch. Mmmm...

Frosted Brownies II
    --Adapted from Ghirardelli

  • 2 eggs @ room temp. 
  • 1  cup granulated sugar 
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract 
  • ½ cup butter, melted & cooled 
  • 1/2 cup ground cocoa powder
  • 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 flour, cocoa powder, 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 Cocoa Frosting (half a recipe of frosting covers one recipe of brownies) Cut into squares. Makes 16-20 brownies.

Cocoa Frosting

  • 1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons half and half 
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons ground cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, cut up 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In 2-quart heavy saucepan, heat half and half with butter, stirring until blended. Add cocoa and sugar, 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.

Before frosting

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