Sweet Dreams of Chocolate and Cheese(cake) – Part 1: Chocolate “Fondant” Brownies

Last night I fell asleep reading about whisks. And how to whisk the old fashioned way (look ma, no electricity!) And how to whisk egg whites. And how to whisk cream. And how to whisk…..zzzzz.

Never would I have thought I would be whisked to sleep by this new hobby. I woke up in a haze, thinking I had just dreamt it all. Doesn’t help that I spent the last 2 weeks indulging in all of my favorite chocolate desserts! I think my blood stream is still saturated with sugar….

Why stuff myself into a diabetic coma? Well, let’s just say there was reason to celebrate! And given this rapidly developing food interest of mine, I decided it was time to bake.

The authorities should consider making it illegal for sugar addicts/ chocoholics like myself to bake. To start with, I couldn’t make up my mind on which of my favorite cakes to make. So I tried to stick to my childhood favorites: Brownies. And devil’s food cake. As an American kid growing up abroad, I idolized these typical american treats! But at that time, we bought Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker straight outta the box (thanks mom!) Now my goal was to make them again, make them myself, make them from scratch, and most of all, make them EVEN BETTER!

But that wasn’t enough of course. As an adult, I’ve become a huge fan of cheesecake, so when I bumped into this delicious sounding pumpkin cheesecake recipe, I could not resist. So why choose?? I set out to do all three in one night. (Ok fine, a night and a bit).

Here is Part I of III of the results:
BROWNIES “FONDANT” (adapted from Cooks Illustrated)

Ingredients:
> 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
> ½ tsp salt
> ¾ tsp baking powder (in French: poudre a lever)
> 170 grams dark chocolate
> 170 grams butter (softened)
> 2 ¼ cups of sugar
> 1 tbsp vanilla extract
> 1 cup of chocolate chips or chunks

Directions:
> Preheat the oven to 170C
> 23cm x 33cm glass pan (more or less) – butter the bottom of the pan, or, even better, cut two pieces of aluminum foil  (one to cover the length, and the other to cover the width of the pan) and place them in the pan so that the ends hang over the edges. Delicately butter the bottom of the aluminum foil.
> In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder.
> Break up or cut the chocolate into small pieces and place in a bain marie with the butter. Don’t let the water boil, the chocolate should not overheat. Stir over the heat until melted and smooth.
> Remove the chocolate from heat – gradually mix in the sugar with a spoon or spatula.
> Whisk eggs into the chocolate/sugar mix one at a time. DO NOT OVERMIX – just whisk one in until smooth, then the next, and the next…
> Whisk in vanilla
> Using the spatula, fold in the flour mixture in three goes, to make sure the batter is mixed evenly – smooth.
> Fold in the chocolate chunks
> Pour the batter into the pan, using the spatula to spread into the corners.
> Bake four 35-40 minutes. Check on it with a toothpick inserted into the middle of the pan. It is done when the toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs. Do NOT OVERCOOK! Better to undercook it in fact, cause then you get the fondant part of it in the middle….

The result? I would add pictures, but we pretty much grabbed spoons and ate the whole thing right out of the oven!! I think we had concensus on these: you’ll basically bite into a gooey dark chocolate dream…..

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2 thoughts on “Sweet Dreams of Chocolate and Cheese(cake) – Part 1: Chocolate “Fondant” Brownies

  1. Eliane Hobden says:

    Miam! What about flourless chocolate cake?

    • Yes! My next project will definitely be testing my grandfather’s cake recipes – I am thinking particularly of trying the “Toni Slices” (flourless chocolate walnut cake with raspberry jelly spread and chocolate frosting…..)

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