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l.o.v.e.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or are colorblind and haven’t noticed all the pink/red crap at every store, you probably know that Valentines’ Day is coming up. I hate to admit it but I secretly love this holiday. I know it’s a commercial holiday, one made for business purposes but I think the sentiments behind the holiday are worth noting. Plus, all the flowers and red/pink stuff makes me giddy. Chocolate & champagne happen to be two of my favorite things ever and I could live off those things, especially if a certain someone showered me with those lovely gifts. Note to my future boyfriend: champagne and dark chocolate will win you MAJOR points.

Besides chocolate and champagne, you know what else screams love and Valentines’ Day? BROWNIES. Yes, you heard me. Brownies. Not storebought ones. Nope, second rate brownies have no place here. I’m talking about gooey, rich, and decadent bittersweet brownies that should be shared only with those that you love. Don’t waste these babies on mere acquaintances or coworkers. Save the good stuff for those loved ones, man! Would you serve your crush some crappy sweets or share with him/her the best things you ever created? That’s what I thought.

I’ve read about Alice Medrich’s simple yet elegant book, Pure Dessert, and finally got my hands on it after a long wait from the library. Every photo and word is so sophisticated and rich, making it a must-have for all bakers and photo-lovers out there. Alice’s recipes uses basic ingredients in ways that enhance their natural properties and flavors. There is no fluff here; just tasty, fresh dessert.  Alice’s new bittersweet brownie recipe was the first one that really caught my eye and I figured that they would make for great Valentines’ Day presents.

The batter comes together quickly, with butter and chocolate melting together before being added in to the flour mixture. I used Trader Joe’s Bittersweet chocolate because not only is a good deal ($3.99 for one pound) but the chocolate’s flavor is really deep and rich. If I had better quality chocolate, I would’ve used it here but I was happy with my Trader Joe’s chocolate. My pound of chocolate had chopped almonds inside and I kept them in the brownie recipe, since they give a nice bite to the overall fudgey brownies. But if you are a brownie purist, leave the nuts out of it.

This is not the recipe for craptastic chocolate; trust me, the recipe will fail if you turn to cheap chocolate. After 25 minutes in the oven, the smell of these brownies will meander through your home, leaving you weak in the knees. Now remember, these brownies are meant to be shared… But I won’t blame you for devouring half the pan. Hey, you gotta take care of yourself, right?!

In my life, I’ve made countless brownies, eaten tons of brownies, and should probably be a brownie connoisseur. Can I just say these are the best damn brownies EVER?! I am not lying. If you want to test me, go ahead and try these. Bittersweet chocolate is my favorite and this recipe uses 8 ounces of this lovely stuff. The texture reminds me of a moist cake-like brownie, but overly fluffy. Does that make sense? I don’t even know if I can accurately describe it. All I know is that these were my dream brownies, the one that I have been searching for. And they get better with time. I left them overnight all wrapped up and they turned in to the best breakfast brownies in history. They became more fudge-like, more dense, more chocolate. Just better, all around.

My one gripe (you knew it was coming) was the top of the brownie. I know many people love the crusty, cracked top, but it kind of bugs me. I mean, it’s hard to get a clean, swift cut when the top starts breaking off. On the other hand, the fallen pieces make for good snacks. So I guess it serves its purpose, and definitely didn’t stop me from devouring the plate of brownies. But word of caution: let the brownies cool! If you attempt to take them out too early, they will fall apart. I know, asking you to wait 30 minutes is like asking you to stop watching American Idol but trust me, it will be alright. I hope you all enjoy your Valentines Day and share some sweets with your loved ones.

New Bittersweet Brownies
Origin: Alice Medrich’s Pure Dessert
Yield: 16 2-inch squares
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 to 30 minutes

Ingredients:
● 8 oz. 70% bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
● 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into several pieces
● 3 large eggs
● 1 cup sugar
● Scant 1/4 teaspoon salt
● 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
● 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (1.2 ounces) all-purpose flour

Directions:
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350˚F. Line bottom and sides of 8-inch square baking pan with foil.
Place chocolate and butter in heatproof bowl and set in wide skillet of almost-simmering water. Stir frequently until mixture is melted and smooth and quite warm. Remove from the pan and set aside.
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla with a hand-held mixer on high speed until the eggs are thick and light colored, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the warm chocolate. Fold in the flour.
Scrape the batter into the lined pan and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack.
Invert the brownies on rack and peel off the foil. Turn right side up on cutting board and cut into sixteen 2-inch squares.

Printable Recipe here.

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February 11, 2009 - 9:50 pm

My Gourmet Love Affair - Mmm…the closer Valentine’s Day gets the more I’ve been craving brownies!! These look super moist and delicious, and bittersweet is my absolute favorite for chocolate desserts – I’ll definitely have to make these…
<3

February 12, 2009 - 2:16 am

Helen - Hmmm so delicious looking! I haven’t made brownies in a while, maybe I should. I love Valentines day too, but maybe it’s only because I’m in a relationship. I’m pretty sure if I wasn’t I’d be moaning and bitter, but secretly loving all the cute pink hearts everywhere haha.

February 12, 2009 - 5:53 am

Jennifer - Wow those look so delicious and rich! :)

February 12, 2009 - 6:58 am

Kristin at The Kitchen Sink - That’s a rare (and fantastic) thing for a brownie to get better with time. Too many recipes become dried out. I have to say: I love the rustic, crackly top, but I have enough of my own OCD issues to understand your frustration. : )

February 12, 2009 - 6:59 am

Siri - I love V’day. just for the pure feelings attached to it. this would be my 5th Valentines day together with my boyfriend and I was thinking to making some chocolate recipe. After reading your post, brownies sound so romantic and perfect for the occasion.

Thanks,
Siri

February 12, 2009 - 7:27 am

Kate - Thanks for sharing this recipe! It comes just in time to bake them for my husband (though he’s nuts if he thinks he can’t share..)

February 12, 2009 - 7:32 am

Steph - Those brownies are gorgeous! And I don’t even like brownies (gasp!) But if they are as fluffy as you describe them, I might just have to give them a try.

February 12, 2009 - 8:14 am

Maya - My valentine requested brownies this year. The whole valentine thing seems to get crazier every year.

February 12, 2009 - 8:24 am

radish - Man, what I wouldn’t do for a good brownie. I need to get that book, I really do. I love her stuff. Looks fabulous. I have to write about my brownie experience over the Superbowl Sunday — it was an adventure. But a tasty one!

February 12, 2009 - 8:53 am

Laurel - Chill those brownies (if any are left after they come molten from the oven.) Then try cutting them with a metal bench scraper, it works wonders!

February 12, 2009 - 9:11 am

Danielle - Oh my gosh, I’ve got so much love for brownies it’s probably ridiculous. Thank you for the drool-worthy photos! Enjoy ‘em!

February 12, 2009 - 9:25 am

pickyeatings - Those look fantastic. And yet another reason to love Trader Joe’s…I should have been buying chocolate from there all along!

February 12, 2009 - 11:24 am

Teri Lyn Fisher - These are my favorite pictures of yours so far. I love the red polka dots with the brownies. Im totally going to rock a heart shaped brownie.

February 12, 2009 - 12:54 pm

Deseree - I freaking love brownies and these look devine! I haven’t heard of the Pure Dessert book but after seeing these, I think I may have to get my hands on it.

February 12, 2009 - 3:44 pm

littleboxofideas - What a beaut! Thnx for the recipe & a Happy Valentine’s Day to you :-)

February 12, 2009 - 6:21 pm

brilynn - Mmmm breakfast brownie!
I need to make these.

February 12, 2009 - 6:45 pm

Hayley - Beautiful pictures, and those brownies! Thanks for sharing!

February 12, 2009 - 9:03 pm

Maris - Chewy, fudgy brownies are the best brownies! These sound like the perfect Valentine’s dessert.

February 13, 2009 - 6:05 am

whitneyinchicago - Beautiful brownie pictures! I kinda like the crunchy part on the top, makes them look less perfect and more rustic/homemade.

February 13, 2009 - 1:25 pm

snooky doodle - I have made these brownies and they re delicious and my favourite. Good luck with your future boyfriend hope you ll be showered with chocolate and champagne :)

February 14, 2009 - 6:22 pm

Christina - these are in my oven as we speak! they are smelling deeeelish and i cannot wait to try them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. i love your site and recipes! i strive to make my blog like yours! keep it up!

February 15, 2009 - 5:27 am

HappyTummy - i blogged about these brownies back in december, and i agree–they are fantastic! crusty and crackly on top; rich, dense and fudgy in the middle…best brownies ever!! alice medrich’s pure dessert is my favorite cookbook–i just made her chestnut pound cake and it was to die for.

February 15, 2009 - 8:08 am

Farmgirl Susan - I’m always on the lookout for a fabulous new brownie. Looks like I just found it! Loved reading your post – and I can’t wait to try these. : )

February 15, 2009 - 3:35 pm

badhuman - You can make champagne brownies that are out of this world but make sure you line your pan with parchment paper because they are impossible to get out otherwise.

February 18, 2009 - 10:23 am

sarah the baker yoon - woohoo!!
yay you have done the search for the best brownie for me! i will be trying this recipe as soon as i get my hands on some good chocolate! they look deliciiious. :)

February 19, 2009 - 2:51 am

anusha - i just love brownies…. thanks a lot for the recipe…

February 25, 2009 - 12:22 pm

jamieanne - Hello, I just made these brownies and have to agree with you – they are simply amazing! I blogged about them here: http://jamiescupcakes.blogspot.com/2009/02/bittersweet-chocolate-brownies.html

Thanks for the sharing the recipe! :)

March 15, 2009 - 6:29 pm

Mel - I just made these after seeing them on a friend’s blog and they are awesome! I’ve even taken photos (which I never do when it comes to food)

April 23, 2009 - 6:25 am

the real thing « Slow Like Honey - [...] recipe and seeing Anita’s post about the cake, I knew I had to try it. Plus, her book gave me the best damn brownies I’ve ever tasted in my life, and those raspberry chocolate chunk muffins were phenomenal as [...]

May 23, 2009 - 4:24 pm

ThatsSoYummy - I just LOVE chocolate brownies…. I love chocolate period but not the point.

These look to die for!!!! YUMMY! :-)

September 4, 2009 - 7:39 am

jb - hi there, saw your recipe and love to try it out soon. but i have one question. im using a convention oven with top and bottom heating elements. which one should i use? i also heard that convention oven should use 3/4 of the time as compared to a conventional oven. so may i know which type of oven are you using?

September 24, 2009 - 12:07 pm

meaghanking - If you don’t like the crackly top, stop beating them once the eggs are fully incorporated, rather than the 2-3 minutes in the recipe. The crust is formed because the egg whites stabilize and create a meringue.

I over-beat mine because I love the crust so much!!

October 18, 2009 - 10:09 am

Short and sweet « Slow Like Honey - [...] for this short post. I made the famed Baked Brownie over the weekend and they were damn delicious. Alice Medrich’s New Bittersweet Brownie is my favorite brownie recipe but this one comes to a close second. I prefer a rich, bittersweet [...]

November 16, 2009 - 6:38 pm

Dan Wilkinson - Turned out great! Didn’t have unsalted butter, so I used regular butter and left out the salt. Also baked for 5 extra minutes. Highly recommended though…especially if you use good quality chocolate.

December 29, 2009 - 6:29 pm

rodriguez - These are the absolute BEST! I covered them with bittersweet coffee ganache and people at work devoured them like pirhanas.

February 5, 2010 - 11:20 am

Brownies with a Kick « A Blissful Bite - [...] If you would like to try Alice Medrich’s New Bittersweet Brownie recipe, click on over to Slow Like Honey. Leave a Comment No Comments Yet so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this [...]

April 8, 2010 - 1:04 am

Amaretto Coffee Brownies « Addictive & Obsessive's Blog - [...] Joy the Baker / Bitchin’ Camero /  Slow Like Honey [...]

April 15, 2010 - 6:42 am

New life « Slow Like Honey - [...] (new babes aren’t easy), I baked some rich and decadent brownies. I was going to stick to my favorite recipe but I wanted to give Karen Demasco’s book, The Craft of Baking, a test drive. While they [...]

July 18, 2010 - 2:05 pm

Leisa G - only have bittersweet in the house, so I’m trying this today.

November 20, 2010 - 9:12 am

gaaarp - Oh, wow. These look so good. I am definitely Twitterbaking these today!!

December 3, 2010 - 1:27 pm

Sarah - I came across your blog while searching for a bitter sweet brownie recipe. Let me just say I’ve memorized it and have been making them on a weekly basis. They seriously rock. My step-dad, who doesn’t get impressed by much, said they’re the best he’s ever tasted in his life :) Thank you, thank you for sharing this recipe! The title of L.O.V.E. is SO appropriate. I look forward to trying more of your recipes :)

December 24, 2011 - 12:55 pm

Felicia Sullivan - Author, Foodie, Rockstar » » Blog Archive » scrummy treats: mixed chocolate nutella brownies! - [...] Adapted from Amanda of Slow Like Honey’s recipe with modifications 4 oz (1/2 cup) 70% bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped 4 oz (1/2 cup) [...]

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