Friday, September 22, 2006

Alice Medrich's Classic Brownies

I so wish I could own a copy of Cookies and Brownies by Alice Medrich. For $80.00 for a 120 page book, however, coupled with my meager income as a graduate student, makes it very hard for me to shell out this much money. Instead I was lucky enough to grab a copy from the library, so for the next 3 weeks, I hope to certainly take advantage of this! Her technique of making the brownies, called the "steve's ritual" which involves baking at a high temperature for 20 minutes and then plunging it into a cold environment such as the freezer or pan filled with ice water, results in the best brownies ever! Usually I'm not overly fond of brownies because they're either too sweet, too dry, too soft and unable to hold their shape, too chewy, etc. But these were perfect by my standards! A slightly crispy and crunchy crust with the absolutely most smooth, creamy interior! I can't wait to make them again! But be warned, they are dangerously addictive and it's very easy to eat the whole pan if you're not careful!

Classic Brownies
Adapted from Alice Medrich's Cookies and Brownies

8 Tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 cup)
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1.25 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup walnuts or pecan pieces (optional) <--I left this out

1. Preheat oven to 400 F
2. Melt butter and chocolate. Stir in sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the flour and beat with a wooden spoon until the batter is smooth and glossy, about 1 minute. Add in the nuts if using. Scrape the batter into an 8X8 metal pan that's been lined with foil.
3. Bake for 20 mminutes. Meanwhile, fill a roasting pan or large baking pan with ice ubes and water. When brownies are ready, remove pan from oven ad plunge it into the ice bath. Let sit until cool before cutting it into 16 pieces

I do not keep ice aroud so I stuck it into the freezer and it cooled in about 20 minutes. Also, I cut it into 12, not 16 pieces :)


evan said...

oh gosh diddy!! did u say $80?? like in US$? OMG, that's like a hundred over bucks in singapore dollars! nevertheless your brownies look really really good & moist. think i'm making this soon. thx for the recipe dear =) im glad u shared it coz not many ppl will actually share from a book they bought.

Little Corner of Mine said...

Oh my gosh, your brownies look soooooo yummy! So fudgy rich and sinful. Ok, going to copy down this recipe, thanks for sharing! :)

angie said...

Ooooooh, this looks so GOOD! So dark and fudgy!

Precious Moments said...

help!!! I want a piece of that fudgy brownies!!! looks soooo tempting.

thanks for sharing. this is going to be my "bake list"

Lingster said...

hi.. Need a tip from you...

I tried the brownie receipe to the T but somehow realize there is some sugar which was still not melted, also 20 minutes didnt bake the brownies to perfection despite me using better judgement to bake it slightly longer.

Can you advise when you say beat the batter with a spoon until smooth do you mean it as the sugar get melted down totally? My fixture albeit smooth the sugar grains just refuse to melt down.

also how would you gauge the brownie is done?

The taste was heaven on vanilla ice cream though! I couldnt share it with friends but I had a good time eating it by myself! =)

Thanks for sharing the receipe

diddy said...

thanks to everyone who enjoyed this!
Lingster, Perhaps you can try sifting the sugar to get rid of the large clumps first? I just beat mine with a spoon. Also, you can bake it 5-10 minutes longer, but if you want a gooey, fudgy brownie, you shouldn't do it any longer than this. If you're going for the cake like brownie, you can degree the oven temp and bake it for's all about what type of brownies you like! i love fudgy ones so slightly underdone is what I'm going after :)

Anonymous said...

I have a question regarding Alice Medrich's classic brownies - you stated that the recipe you posted was adapted - were all of the entries adapted or just those stated?


Lingster said...

Thanks for the tip.. I use normal sugar and despite shifting they still seems sort of coarse that's the trouble..As such i trust the sugar got to be melted totally before baking right? I will attempt it again. You are right it was sorta fudgey but mine was a little gooey at a small portion of the brownie. I guess is a lava cake concept. Thanks!!

diddy said...

The ingredients are exactly as posted, except I didn't use nuts, and I didn't have a ice water bath so I stuck it in the freezer. Lingster, my sugar was fine...perhaps you can try whizzing the sugar in a grinder first?