Saturday, September 13, 2008

Brownies and Mocha Slices

Mocha Slices and Brownies

These days, most of my baking happens in the morning. I take morning photos on the windowsill because it's the only place that gets enough light.

I tried two chocolate recipes because the kitchen is well-stocked with several types of cocoa and chocolate. I went a little overboard in the Strip District last week...

I liked the brownies; they were fudgy without that undercooked, greasy texture that comes with too much butter fat. I ate my them plain, but you can do fancy things with them. The recipe is from A Passion for Ice Cream. Anita at Dessert First has tried some of the recipes- she takes great photos.

The mocha slices are an old favorite that I put in my Christmas cookie box a few years ago. The espresso powder, cocoa nibs and cinnamon give the cookies a dark, fruity flavor that pairs nicely with the cocoa. They're relatively soft and chewy. The original recipe coats the dough-logs with sparkling sugar, but I usually omit it. It also suggests storing the logs in a paper towel roll to hold their shape, which I never do.

I definitely ate my fair share of brownies, but now I'm tiring of chocolate. We'll see what I end up cooking next week.

Brownies
adapted from Emily Luchetti's A Passion for Ice Cream

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
5 ounces (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I used dutch-process, which worked well.)

To make the brownies: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan and line it with parchment paper. Melt the chocolates and butter in a double boiler over hot water. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar. Whisk in the melted chocolate mixture. Sift together and then stir in the flour, salt, baking powder, and cocoa powder. Spread the batter in the prepared pan.

Bake until a skewer inserted in the center, comes out fudgy and not dry, about 20 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. Run a knife around the inside edge of the pan. Place a cutting board on top of the pan. Invert the pan and board. Remove the pan and carefully peel off the parchment paper. Cut and serve.

Mocha Slices
adapted from Martha Stewart Magazine
Makes about 4 dozen

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup cocoa nibs
Coarse sanding sugar

Sift together flour, cocoa, salt, espresso powder, and cinnamon into a large bowl; set aside. Put butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle; mix on medium until pale and fluffy. Mix in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Stir in cocoa nibs.

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface; roll into a 2-inch-diameter log (I suggest dividing the dough and making 2 logs- much easier to manage.) Wrap in parchment; transfer to a paper towel tube to hold shape. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or up to overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap log, and let soften slightly at room temperature, about 5 minutes. Brush with water, then roll in sanding sugar. Cut log into 1/4-inchthick rounds. Space 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
Bake until centers are set, about 10 minutes. Transfer to wire racks; cool completely. Store in airtight containers at room temperature up to 2 days.

1 comment:

Snooky doodle said...

hmmm yummy brownies :-)