Chocolatier is (or was) a magazine and not a baking book but it has plenty of great recipes and up until the magazine folded and got incorporated into a less fantastic publication, I had a "lifetime" subscription for over 10 years. I've tried many recipes from it and was sorry to see the magazine go.
I need to make a bunch of brownies over the next couple of weeks, some to go into care packages I promised to send out and others to bring to friends when I meet them for lunches and dinners over the next 2-3 weeks. So you're going to see a steady stream of care package/goodie bag type treats in the coming days.
I omitted the glaze on this one since I was mailing it in summer weather and didn't want it to arrive in a melted, non-appetizing-looking state at its end destination. Instead, I added dollops of dulce de leche within the brownie itself. This makes it easier to cut and package since the dulce de leche is inside the brownie and not on top. I like taking close up shots of brownies so you can see what I mean by fudgy. You get this look and texture as long as you don't overbake the brownies. I think brownies are one of the easiest things to bake but I've had several friends tell me they find it hard because they have a tendency to overbake them. Overbaking is the death knell of a good brownie. The trick to baking fudgy brownies is to take them out when a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with moist crumbs, not raw batter. You don't want the toothpick to come out clean from the middle. By then it's almost certainly overbaked, especially at the edges. Remember that chocolate sets once it cools so err on the side of underbaking rather than overbaking.
This was good but I think it would've been better if I had used the dulce de leche in a brownie that had more unsweetened chocolate and had a darker chocolate flavor. The basis of the chocolate in this brownie is mostly from chocolate chips so it was more of a semisweet than a real dark chocolate brownie. Still good though.
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
18 ounces (3 cups) semisweet chocolate chips
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons instant espresso
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup walnut halves
Bittersweet chocolate glaze
1/3 cup heavy cream
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 ounce milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 ounce white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1. Make brownies: Position a rack in the center of oven and preheat to 350 F. Line a 9 x 13” pan with aluminum foil so that the foil extends 2” beyond the two long sides of pan. Butter bottom and sides of foil-lined pan.
2. In a medium saucepan, combine butter and sugars. Over medium heat, stir mixture with a wooden spoon for 5-7 minutes, or until butter is melted.
3. Place chocolate chips and unsweetened chocolate in a food processor fitted with metal chopping blade. Process chocolates for 15-20 seconds, or until finely chopped. With motor running, pour hot butter mixture through feed tube and process for 15-20 seconds, or until chocolate is completely melted, scraping down the sides of the workbowl as necessary. Add eggs and vanilla and process for 10-15 seconds, or until combined. Add walnut halves and pulse about 10 times to incorporate them into mixture and to chop them slightly.
4. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake brownies for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted 2” away from center comes out slightly moist. Do not overbake.
5. Cool brownies completely in pan set on a wire rack. Using 2 ends of foil as handles, lift brownies out of pan. Invert onto a cutting board and remove aluminum foil. Reinvert brownies so they are top-side-up. Using a sharp knife, trim sides of brownies so that they are straight and smooth. Place the brownies on a wire rack and set wire rack over a baking sheet.
6. Make the bittersweet chocolate glaze (optional): Do not make the glaze until brownies are cool. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, bring cream to a gentle boil. Take pan off heat and add chocolate. Let sit for 1-2 minutes to melt chocolate. Using a wire whisk, stir chocolate and cream until smooth. Strain glaze through a fine sieve into a small bowl to remove any air bubbles. Cool glaze for 5 minutes, until slightly thickened but still pourable. Pour glaze evenly over brownies allowing glaze to drip down sides onto baking sheet. Spread glaze with small metal offset cake spatula, making sure that the top and sides of brownies are completely covered.
7. Decorate brownies (optional): In top of a double boiler over hot, not simmering, water, melt milk chocolate, stirring often, until smooth. Transfer milk chocolate to a small paper cone or small plastic bag.
8. Repeat above step using white chocolate.
9. Cut a 1/16” opening at tip of both paper cones or plastic bags. Pipe thin straight parallel lines of milk chocolate at ½” intervals across top of brownies. Pipe thin straight lines of white chocolate in between lines of milk chocolate. At 3/8” intervals, draw the tip of a toothpick or metal skewer completely across brownies perpendicular to the piped chocolate lines, reversing direction in which you pull toothpick across brownie. Wipe toothpick tip clean between each pull. This will create a feathered design. Refrigerate brownies for 15 minutes, or until glaze is set. Cut into 15 bars. Store brownies in an airtight container at room temperature.