Monday, March 1, 2010
Week Five: Black-and-White Brownies
One of the reasons I chose the recipe I did, aside from the use of buter and the lack of fussy instructions, was the option for “black and white” brownies. The directions looked friendly and simple: Make the batter, pour half in the pan, add the melted butter and chocolate to the remaining half, pour it on top of the white batter and spread evenly.
On Monday night, indulging in visions of cleanly striated brownies, I pre-measured what I could (flour, sugar, cocoa, salt) and pre-cut the butter to speed Tuesday morning’s process. Around 6:15 Tuesday morning, I whisked the eggs with sugar, added flour, salt and vanilla, melted the butter, and combined it with the cocoa. I poured what I judged to be half the batter into the pan and added the chocobutter stuff to the remaining half.
On Wednesday morning, I took my second stab at the recipe, portioned the butter properly between the vanilla and chocolate batters, and got a much more brownie-like result. The chocolate part was still a little denser than I wanted it, probably because I left myself with less than half batter when I added the chocolate, but that didn’t prevent my co-workers from going apey over them.
Difficulty: Easy-peasy. Despite the fact that I don’t own a stand mixer, I hereby pledge that I will make these instead of box brownies unless I’m in an absolute rush, or craving the plasticky goodness that can only be achieved via Duncan Hines.
Do-Over: Most definitely, though I’ll try an all-brown version, and maybe a vanilla version, and may play with a margarine/butter mix and noodle with the flour/egg ratio to lighten the texture a bit.
Adapted from Craig Claiborne’s New York Times Cookbook, revised edition, ©1990, page 715.
Preheat oven to 350 and melt 5 T. butter. Whisk or beat ¾ c. sugar and 2 eggs in a large bowl until foamy. Add 1 t. vanilla, ½ c. flour, a pinch of salt, the butter, and mix well. Melt 2 T. butter, add 6 T. cocoa, and stir until smooth (it will be thick). Pour half the batter into a greased 9” x 9” pan, add the chocolate to the remaining half, and pour in, swirling and spreading as desired. Bake 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out nearly clean.
For all-brown brownies: Increase butter to 9 T., use 12 T. of cocoa, and add to entire batch of batter.
To substitute unsweetened baking chocolate in the black-and-white recipe: Melt 2 squares; add 5 T. melted butter to batter before dividing, then add melted chocolate to remaining half.
To substitute unsweetened baking chocolate in the all-brown recipe: Melt 4 squares with 5 T. butter; add to batter just before pouring into pan.