Friday, August 1, 2008
Made From Scratch: Almost as good as the box brownies

I'd like to start blogging a bit more about all the things I'm cooking here at #506 in part because I'm a little obsessed with food blogs. But more so because in the last year I've really taken to cooking, and more specifically baking, from scratch. So much so that I sometimes daydream of getting a shiny, new Kitchen-Aid mixer as I'm trying to whip egg whites into stiff peaks by hand (and if you know anything about baking, you're aware that it is no easy feat).

So on that note, I decided to bake some brownies the other day. Now, brownies are one of those things that somehow Betty Crocker and Pillsbury and every other cake mix company has managed to perfect. But the way they do this is by adding a whole bunch of stuff I can't pronounce and therefore, try and shy away from ingesting (thank you Michael Pollan for making me afraid of processed foods).

So I rounded up the ingredients and got to chopping and melting the chocolate, mixing the pastry flour, and popping them in the oven (sounds easy, eh?). Well, they look beautiful but, I have to admit, the box kind tastes better. These came out a little too bitter for my taste--I want a sugar rush! So it's back to the drawing board. I'm not giving up on my "from scratch" recipe but it may take some tweaking and several tries to get it to taste like the box. Poor Chris, he'll be swimming in baked goods until I get them just right.

Almost-as-good-as-the-box brownies

1 1/4 cups unbleached pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon table salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
12 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Combine flour, salt, and baking powder in medium bowl and set aside.
Place chocolate and butter in large bowl. To melt it, heat butter and chocolate in large microwave-safe bowl on high for 45 seconds, then stir and heat for 30 seconds more. Stir again, and, if necessary, repeat in 15-second increments until smooth but make sure it doesn't burn. Whisk in sugar and then add the eggs one at time. Whisk in vanilla. Add flour mixture in three parts, folding with rubber spatula until the batter is completely smooth.
Transfer batter to 13 by 9 baking dish lined with aluminum foil and spread it into corners of pan and smooth surface. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. When they're done, cool for about 2 hours, then remove brownies from pan by lifting foil.

Posted by Kelley at 4:13 PM | 0 comments