I love chocolate. And I love chocolate desserts. But oddly enough, I'm not really a fan of chocolate cake. Way too often it's kind of dry and just not that chocolatey. Of chocolate desserts (and maybe all desserts) my favorite is brownies. Intensely chocolatey, moist & fudgy brownies. Maybe with nuts, but more often not. Maybe with chocolate chips or chunks added. Or peanut butter chips. Mmm.
Like chocolate cake, there are different style of brownies. They vary in texture and chocolate intensity. It's taken me a while, but I think I've narrowed down the sort of recipe that makes the kind of brownies I like best. I haven't made this a formal search (like my blogging friend Megan) or done double-blind taste tests (like my friend Nancy). I like brownies made with chocolate instead of (or in addition to) cocoa powder. And I like the results from recipes that just stir in the sugar and eggs (as opposed to whipping them together then adding the chocolate to them). I'm sure there are other things that contribute to my favorite type of brownie, but those are the ones that stick out.
My favorite brownie recipe right now is the Fudgy Brownies from The Essence of Chocolate, but there are others that I like as well (from Bittersweet and The Art & Soul of Baking). But I'm always happy to try a new recipe. That brings us to this week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe. The choice this week is from Lisa of Surviving Oz. Lisa is not a regular member of TWD. But she's the person responsible for designed our fantastic new logo (check it out on my sidebar!). So she got to pick this week's recipe, Tribute to Katharine Hepburn Brownies. Dorie must really like brownies--there are a dozen different recipes in BFMHTY. I know, because I looked at them all while trying to settle on my TWD pick last year. To date, I've only made three of them, so I was looking forward to trying a fourth.
The significant thing about this week's recipe is that it doesn't include very much flour--only 1/4 cup for an 8" square pan. And Dorie added a bit of cinnamon and some instant coffee to change the flavors up a little. I don't like cinnamon with my chocolate, so I left it out. And I don't have instant coffee, either, but I do have instant espresso powder, so I used that (1 teapsoon). The recipe calls for cocoa powder (I used Scharffen Berger), rather than chocolate in the batter. But some chopped chocolate gets stirred in at the end--I used a 100g bar of 67% chocolate from my extensive stash (thanks to my wonderful husband who buys me chocolate for all occasions). And the recipe calls for a cup of nuts. I don't usually like nuts in my brownies, but I decided to go ahead and put them in this time. I used pecans, since that's what I had in the freezer (plus I like them better than walnuts).
The only 8" square pans I have are Pyrex, so that's what I used. Rather than lining the pan with parchment, I used non-stick foil. I love that stuff for making brownies. I ended up baking the brownies for about 35 minutes. I made them on Saturday (the 4th) for a party/potluck that we were going to that evening. I wasn't thinking, and I tried to cut them before they were really cool enough. The chocolate chunks were still quite melty. So I stuck them in the fridge, hoping that they'd firm up before we had to leave.
The verdict? There were lots of other desserts to choose from at the party, but almost all of the brownies disappeared very quickly, so I guess they were a hit! I made some blondies as well, and they all got eaten as well. Jamie didn't try the brownies, since he wasn't sure if his throat was up to dealing with the nuts in them. I did get a small piece to sample. They were very chocolatey, but softer in texture than my favorite. The pecans were a good addition. I doubt this recipe will go into my regular rotation, but I did enjoy them.
Want to give them a try for yourself? Head over to Lisa's blog for the recipe. Be sure to check out the Tuesdays with Dorie blogroll to see what everyone else thought of this week's selection. And here's a picture of the girls, since I haven't shared any in a while... =)