Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Julia Child's Brownies

Oops! Sorry! If you saw this page looking blank earlier, it's because I didn't mean to hit publish. I was making a place holder of all the yummy stuff I've made recently and need to blog about. So, here goes!

This past week I pulled out my Baking with Julia cookbook. Frannie had been bugging me to make croissants because I refused to buy her the Pillsbury version in a can at the grocery. I wanted to see what it takes to make them from scratch. (Dang! A whole lot of time!) But somehow along the way, I looked to see if Julia had a brownie recipe. I sorta thought she might be above that, but I was pleased to see she wasn't.

This recipe was quite a bit unlike other brownie recipes I've made and everyone around here thinks it's to die for!

1 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp salt

2 sticks unsalted butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 ounces semi sweet chocolate

2 cups sugar, divided
1 tsp vanilla
4 eggs

Mix the flour and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

Chop the chocolate roughly and combine in a microwave safe bowl along with the butter, cut in pieces. Microwave on 50% power for 2 minutes. Stir. If chunks of chocolate are still there, but the bowl back in the microwave for another 30 seconds. (This time, 100% power is fine.) Once fully melted, add one cup of the sugar to the chocolate mixture and stir to combine.

In a separate bowl, combine the remaining one cup of sugar with the eggs. Whisk briefly to combine. Add about half of this egg/sugar mixture to the chocolate mixture, mixing as you go so the eggs don't set from the heat. (Normally, the dorky math me weighs the batter so I can add EXACTLY half. I have weighed my IKEA bowls and written the weight on them in sharpie so I can subtract that weight from my bowl + batter weight to find just the batter weight. All you non-math people, come back into consciousness now. We're heading back to the recipe.)

Using a hand mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk the remaining eggs and sugar until light and fluffy and double the original volume - about 3 minutes.

(Side story number 1: Check out my gorgeous new hand mixer! I love it, but it came to me in a painful way. Frannie and I were making pound cake, and while I went to the other room to check the internet on how to modify the recipe for smaller pans, Frannie continued with the mixing. She asked if she could add an egg. "Sure!" Then she asked if she could go ahead and mix it in. "Of course!" Then I heard screams. Frannie was mixing in the egg when her long blond hair got caught in the beater as she was leaning over the bowl. It twirled up and smacked that beater, still beating, into her nose and forehead. I heard the screams and ran in and pulled the plug from the wall - only because I'd heard of the exact same thing happening to a little girl while her dad was supervising the month before. Well, Frances healed, but the mixer did not. The beaters would no longer line up, so I had to order a new one. I LOVE it.)

Gently fold the light fluffy egg/sugar mixture into the chocolate. When almost incorporated, fold in the flour mixture.

Pour into an ungreased 9x9 inch pan. Glass or ceramic is best.

(Side story number 2: I have searched and searched for a 9x9. Everywhere I look I see 8x8. But I was in Target the other day and hooray! found a 9x9. I was super excited until I decided they just measured from the top instead of the bottom. Dang liars.) Oh! Another math geekiness moment. The first time I made these, I had no 9x9 pan, so in order to replicate it, I roughly calculated the area of the bottom of my other pans to come as close as I could to 81 square inches. I ended up with an oval Emile Henry pan that worked perfectly! See math helps you in life!)

Bake at 350 degrees for 23-28 minutes. (I check around 23, but always go the full 28 for my oval pan and  33! for my 9x9 pan that I've determined is really more like an 8x8.)

Enjoy! These brownies are amazing!

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