July 9, 2009

Cakey, Fluffy, Nutty, or Gooey?

When it comes to brownies, mine must have a bit of substance; not too cakey, not too fluffy, nor too gooey. I like texture from nuts and globs of melting chocolate.

Back during my Macrina Bakery days, we used to make a chocolate souffle type of brownie. Rich and filling, I could only eat a quarter of this brownie due to the sweetness. A brownie that disintegrates in your mouth. So fluffy, it became known as chocolate cotton candy. Not fully satisfying for me as I expect a bit of bite from my brownie.

I've played around with many of Alice Medrich's recipes from Bittersweet, as she is a chocolate genius. She has several variations using different types of chocolate. Although hers are divine, my sweet-tooth still wasn't fully satiated.

So the search continued.

Recently, one of my peers had a batch of brownies for an event. Oh they were heavenly....the perfect consistency, cakey, but not too cakey....gooey, but not too gooey....sweet, but not cloyingly so...nutty, but not too nutty. Really the best bits from all brownies swirled into one brilliant brownie!

Turns out, to no surprise the recipe is from one of my favorite foodies, Ina Garten. A recipe inspired by the Soho Charcuterie Cookbook's recipe for "Chocolate Globs." Ina Garten's Outrageous Brownies. Her recipe...well really, it's quite perfect as is, but even more so with only half of the walnuts. Add pecans or almonds for a slightly sweeter nutty taste or leave out the nuts for a decadent chocolaty treat. I tried leaving out the instant espresso, as I had a brownie craving and didn't have any in the pantry. Instead, I used a splash of freshly brewed coffee; not at all the same! This is a perfect example where the addition of espresso, really enhances the rich dark chocolate.

When baking, if you pull out a bit before you think they are done, you are left with melting globs of gooey chocolate delight, if you let bake a little longer, don't fear you'll have a cakey brownie studded throughout with melting bits of chocolate.

Thank you Ina!

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