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!
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 :)