Tuesday, June 3, 2008

TWD: French Chocolate Brownies

I couldn't WAIT to make these brownies, after all the buzz about them. Since I can't leave well enough alone, I wanted to doctor up the recipe. I finally decided on adding little York Peppermint Patty Baking Chips to the middle of the batter (which subsequently sunk to the bottom, btw). In case those were bad, I still wanted the original recipe, so I split it in half and used two load pans. I don't know if it was the way I cooked it (semi-burnt) or just the recipe itself, but I did not care for it, at all. Oh, hi butterscotch caramel brownie recipe, you are still my fav!

French Chocolate Brownies
Source: Baking: From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan
Chosen by Di of Di’s Kitchen Notebook
See more TWD bakers here!
Makes 16 Brownies

~1/2 cup all-purpose flour
~1/8 teaspoon salt
~1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
~1/3 cup raisins, dark or golden
~1 1/2 tablespoons water
~1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum
~6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
~1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons; 6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into 12 pieces
~3 large eggs, at room temperature
~1 cup sugar

Getting ready:
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 300°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, butter the foil, place the pan on a baking sheet, and set aside.

Whisk together the flour, salt and cinnamon, if you're using it. Put the raisins in a small saucepan with the water, bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until the water almost evaporates. Add the rum, let it warm for about 30 seconds, turn off the heat, stand back and ignite the rum. Allow the flames to die down, and set the raisins aside until needed.

Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Slowly and gently melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and add the butter, stirring so that it melts. It's important that the chocolate and butter not get very hot. However, if the butter is not melting, you can put the bowl back over the still-hot water for a minute. If you've got a couple of little bits of unmelted butter, leave them—it's better to have a few bits than to overheat the whole. Set the chocolate aside for the moment.

Working with a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until they are thick and pale, about 2 minutes. Lower the mixer speed and pour in the chocolate-butter, mixing only until it is incorporated—you'll have a thick, creamy batter. Add the dry ingredients and mix at low speed for about 30 seconds—the dry ingredients won't be completely incorporated and that's fine. Finish folding in the dry ingredients by hand with a rubber spatula, then fold in the raisins along with any liquid remaining in the pan.

Scrape the batter into the pan and bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top is dry and crackled and a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and allow the brownies to cool to warm or room temperature.

Carefully lift the brownies out of the pan, using the foil edges as handles, and transfer to a cutting board. With a long-bladed knife, cut the brownies into 16 squares, each roughly 2 inches on a side, taking care not to cut through the foil.

Serving: The brownies are good just warm or at room temperature; they're even fine cold. I like these with a little something on top or alongside—good go-alongs are whipped crème fraiche or whipped cream, ice cream or chocolate sauce or even all three!

Storing: Wrapped well, these can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.


  1. My raisins sank straight to the bottom as well. Such a shame this wasn't for you.
    The caramel brownines look fab. Unfortunately unsweetened chocolate isn't available in Australia (and I have yet to crack the bittersweet and less sugar conversion code).

  2. I never heard of Peppermint Patty chips! But I think your favorite brownie sounds divine!

  3. I'm so sorry you didn't enjoy them :( Maybe give the original recipe another shot?

  4. Mmm, I like the idea of adding peppermint patties to the batter!!! I LOVE chocolate and mint together!!

  5. Sorry to hear you did not like the brownies. They look sooo good. Those york bits sound incredible! I bet they would awesome in ice cream. If you were to coat them in flour before adding them to the batter they probably would not have sunk.

  6. Amber- great tip! I had no idea that would help. I'll definitely try that in future!

    I have tried the chips in ice cream, but didn't care for it. I think they are better suited for brownies or cookies. :-)

  7. York Peppermint Patty baking chips?!? Where did you find those? Great idea!

  8. Teanna - I got them a few months ago at the grocery store... but come to think of it, I haven't seen them there since!

  9. My husband would LOVE york baking chips, I'm not quite as big a fan of mint and chocolate.

  10. Did you say butterscotch caramel browneis? HELLO! I need to try that recipe! :)
    Clara @ I♥food4thought

  11. Oh gosh, I sure hope that looking at great food photos doesn't make you gain weight, coz if it does, I just gained 10 pounds! Well done!

  12. butterscotch caramel brownies sound like trouble...in a good way. I love brownies with york peppermint patties in them!

  13. Your mix-ins sounds like the best. YUM!

  14. yum! I love the idea of adding York Peppermint patty chips to brownies! Great idea!

  15. peppermint patty chips? wow, where do you live?! maybe if you had ground them up and melted them with the other chocolate you would have had better success - but what a great idea! sorry you didn't like them - they aren't your typical brownie, so I understand your frustration...

  16. I am sorry you didn't enjoy the brownies. They look good!

  17. At least you got gorgeous pics!

  18. Good gravy, I'd nearly forgotten that York peppermint patties exsisted! Bummer that you didn't like either result. Next time better!

  19. My raisins sank, too. I like your use of the Peppermint Pattie chips...yum!

  20. OMG! salivating at peppermint patty chips! I love peppermint patties! I'll have to be on the look out for them at my local super market. Even though you didnt like them they look great.

  21. Your brownies look delish and your photographs are wonderful!

  22. your brownies look so good, your crust was so much thinner than mine! and peppermint patty chips? yum!