Tuesday, May 27, 2008

My one true weakness: Brownies

I recently bought the King Arthur Flour Cookbook on the recommendation of MarMar, an accomplished baker. This weekend, for a Memorial Day BBQ at Clan Headquarters, Orpheus and I used it for the first time. I had promised him a cooking project and we decided on a recipe that played to his strengths and palate - i.e. lots of eggs to crack, help from a stand mixer and a tasty batter to lick off of the spoons in the end. Five-year-old chefs have their own criteria for judging recipes.

The result: hands-down, the uncontested best brownies I have ever made. Ehh-verr. I would have to use an unconscionable number of superlatives to do these gooey chocolate bombs justice.

The drawback: the 1/3 cup of corn syrup that the recipe called for. This is a real problem. My objections to corn syrup outweigh my love of pecan pie. But my love of brownies? I don't think so. If trapped on a desert island with only one dessert, it would have to be brownies. Thankfully, Trish sent me a link to making a corn syrup substitute with sugar, which I will try asap!

Here is the recipe:
12 Tbsp (6 oz) butter
6 oz bakers (unsweetened) chocolate
5 eggs
2 tsp vanilla (I used amaretto instead)
17.5 oz (2.5 c) sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 c corn syrup (optional - I usually skip it)
5.6oz (1 and 1/3 c) flour
1 1/2 c walnuts (6-7 oz) optional

Melt chocolate and butter together and set aside. Beat eggs, sugar, vanilla, (corn syrup if using) and salt together for several minutes until pale colored and fluffy. Mix flour into chocolate mixture. Fold into egg mixture. Add nuts. Put in greased 9x13 pan and bake for 35 minutes at 350 until top is cracked and dry but a toothpick in the center comes out gooey. Let cool. Indulge.


annie said...

'smatter w/ corn syrup?

Clio said...

Well, basically I object to calling anything made in a centrifuge "food" (like HFCS), and try to avoid processed foods as much as possible, which is why Phin and I cook and bake. But aside from that, I find it too sweet, but also flat - without any other redeeming flavor. I don't like my sweets too sweet (most processed sweets/baked goods are too sweet for me), and I generally scale back the amount of sugar in most recipes by 1/3. Compared to brown or white sugar, honey, or other sweeteners, I just find CS and HFCS less interesting and less complex, but more knock-you-on-the-head sweet. It doesn't get those nice carmelized flavors when you bake with it. So, I avoid using it.