Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Tuesdays With Dorie - French Chocolate Brownies

Last week, as usual, I was looking forward to learning what this week’s pick would be for our Tuesdays with Dorie rendez-vous. Di, of Di’s Kitchen Notebook chose French Chocolate Brownies.

Ah, brownies. One can never have too many recipes for a good brownie. And this is no ordinary brownie. It’s contains 6 ounces of gorgeous chocolate and is chock full of boozed up raisins. Yes, raisins, boozed up, with rum. Tell me, how can this not be good? So, knowing a good thing when I see one, I doubled the raisins in the recipe, therefore, doubling the rum as well. Then, after plumping up some golden raisins and warming up the rum, I lit a match, flambéed said raisins and watched the most beautiful light show I’ve ever seen, in my very own kitchen. That was one cool moment my friends. I was so nervous though, I almost had a shot of rum afterwards to calm my nerves, but as it was 9 in the morning, I refrained myself.

As with any chocolate dessert, the brownies smelled divine and the worst part of making these was, of course, waiting for them to cool enough to be cut and devoured. After having a small taste, I realized that the rum flavor wasn’t very pronounced so I decided to whip up some rum scented cream. Yes, more rum. As I said how can this not be good? It can’t!

These were some of the most incredible brownies I’ve ever had, their texture is perfect, they taste fabulous and the rum scented whipped cream is just the best thing I could think of to make these even more grown-up. Of course, regular whipped cream, which is what I served the kids, would be great too. Just not as much fun. Thanks Di, this one’s a keeper! For a taste of what the rest of the gang thought of these babies, check out the Tuesdays with Dorie blogroll!

French Chocolate Brownies
- makes 16 brownies -
Adapted from Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan.

Ingredients
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1/3 cup raisins, dark or golden
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons; 6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into 12 pieces
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sugar

Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 300°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, butter the foil, place the pan on a baking sheet, and set aside.

Whisk together the flour, salt and cinnamon, if you're using it.

Put the raisins in a small saucepan with the water, bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until the water almost evaporates. Add the rum, let it warm for about 30 seconds, turn off the heat, stand back and ignite the rum. Allow the flames to die down, and set the raisins aside until needed.

Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Slowly and gently melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and add the butter, stirring so that it melts. It's important that the chocolate and butter not get very hot. However, if the butter is not melting, you can put the bowl back over the still-hot water for a minute. If you've got a couple of little bits of unmelted butter, leave them—it's better to have a few bits than to overheat the whole. Set the chocolate aside for the moment.

Working with a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until they are thick and pale, about 2 minutes. Lower the mixer speed and pour in the chocolate-butter, mixing only until it is incorporated—you'll have a thick, creamy batter. Add the dry ingredients and mix at low speed for about 30 seconds—the dry ingredients won't be completely incorporated and that's fine. Finish folding in the dry ingredients by hand with a rubber spatula, then fold in the raisins along with any liquid remaining in the pan.

Scrape the batter into the pan and bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top is dry and crackled and a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and allow the brownies to cool to warm or room temperature.

Carefully lift the brownies out of the pan, using the foil edges as handles, and transfer to a cutting board. With a long-bladed knife, cut the brownies into 16 squares, each roughly 2 inches on a side, taking care not to cut through the foil.

Serving: The brownies are good just warm or at room temperature; they're even fine cold. I like these with a little something on top or alongside—good go-alongs are whipped crème fraîche or whipped cream, ice cream or chocolate sauce or even all three!

Storing: Wrapped well, these can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.

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66 comments:

Di said...

You can never go wrong with more rum. =) I wish I had thought to double the raisins. They were very tasty, and I wish there had been more of them in my brownies. Actually, maybe I should triple the raisins--then I could just eat the extra ones.

Engineer Baker said...

Rum-scented cream sounds fabulous with these - great idea!

Sarah said...

You had me at rum cream...mmmm! Looks great!

Isabelle said...

c'est drôle lyb, car moi aussi ça me stresse +++ de flamber...je serais du genre à jeter l'allumette dans la casserole et me sauver dehors !
tes brownies sont super réussis !

Marie said...

Your brownies look fabulous dahlink!! I Loved the rum flavoured raisins and thought they were incredibly moist and delicious myself! I may take your cure and double the raisins next time!

Madam Chow said...

RUM scented cream?! What's a few extra calories (and booze) among friends? Lovely!

kimberleyblue said...

Mmm, rum brownies! Yours sound fantastic, especially with that cream!

Good idea about doubling the raisins (and rum!).

Manggy said...

Hey, those look fantastic! And very substantial too! Agh, it's been a long time since I've had a straight-up chocolate dessert... All this wholesomey fruitness will kill me! I gotta answer my craving! :)

Brilynn said...

I love TWD, these brownies really are great. Ever since getting Dorie's book I've loved experimenting with flaming different dried fruits in alcohol. Prunes and armagnac are excellent as well!

Teanna said...

Wow! Those look GORGEOUS! Thanks for the warm welcome! I'm looking forward to seeing more!

Bellini Valli said...

You ladies are doing Dorie proud. Brownies with raisins and rum wouild be my kind of twist:D

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

LyB, you crack me up!! I wasn't sold on the idea of rum raisins, but I take it all back, cause they were good!

Annemarie said...

ooooh...chocolate, whipped cream & raspberries...fabulous!

Amy said...

Oh, rum scented cream, I may have to make some! Your brownies look delish!

CB said...

Rum whipped cream? GENIUS! J'aime les framboises :)
Clara @ I♥food4thought

Teanna said...

Those look gorgeous! Thank you for the warm welcome! I can't wait to see what make next!

Mara said...

mmmm i love me some rum. i did raspberries and Chambord this time but i could see adding the raisins and maybe diced pecans in the future. love your last photo, so pretty!

Mary Ann said...

They look amazing!

Nikki57 said...

Now I NEED rum scented whipped cream. MMMmm

nicisme said...

Brownies with rum and raisins? Sounds like a great combo to me. Super photos too!

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

Beautiful brownies! They look totally droolworthy. I agree that waiting for them to cool is the hardest part!

Cafe Johnsonia said...

My favorite part:

"I almost had a shot of rum afterwards to calm my nerves, but as it was 9 in the morning, I refrained myself."

hee, hee

I left the rum and raisins out--not because I don't like them. I just like my brownies plain. But now I may have to rethink things...

PheMom said...

If Jack Sparrow wanted a brownie I'm pretty sure he would make a rum, I mean run, for your house. Chocolate + Johnny Depp - now how can that not be a good thing! ;) Beautiful job!

Jess said...

Wow - those look amazing. Especially with the raspberries.

rainbowbrown said...

So, so glad you enjoyed the falmbé. I hear you on the doubling of the fruit. Yours sound great!

Helene said...

I could not resist. Yummy.

Linda said...

wow...rum in the brownies and the whipped cream...you might as well have had the shot of rum! :) beautiful photos and delicious results!

noble pig said...

You had me at Rum scented whipped cream! Yum.

Aimée said...

THANKS, Lyb! I want to do a brownie bar for a summer party and am looking for recipes of spectacular brownies. Yours will be included!

Donna said...

Rum! Rum! And more Rum!
Great looking brownies!

Grace said...

you naughty gal! snockered raisins + snockered whipped cream + copious chocolate = one happy, extra-(perhaps overly-)friendly grace. :)

diva@theSugarBar said...

that looks like the perfect brownies! lovely.

Lucy said...

Those brownies look outrageous, and bet the taste as good as they look..... chocolate & rum YUM!!

Jaime said...

beautiful! rum whipped cream? yum! i am not sure why some of us got a thicker, harder crust and some had a thinner, nice crust like you did?

Rebecca said...

Rum-scented cream? Well, that got my attention. ;)

Gretchen Noelle said...

Love the rum whipped cream idea!

lemontartlet said...

Drunken brownies would've been a better name then French brownies. Love your brownies chick!

Joy said...

I love the side view picture with the chocolate wall and golden raisins peaking out. Just lovely!!!

Melissa said...

Yours look great!

Heather said...

Your brownies look delicious! Great job!

Kayte said...

How beautiful was all of this? Great creative ideas and wonderful photos...not to mention how the food must have tasted. Thanks for sharing!

Elle said...

Raisins aren't something I'd ever think of to put in brownies, but I think I may have made a mistake! Thesenlook amazing, ans especially with the cream!

likesprinkles said...

Since when is 9 am an inappropriate time for a shot of rum? ;)

Your pictures are gorgeous as usual! You impress me every week.

Kevin said...

Your boozed up raisin brownies look really good!!

Carol Peterman said...

Rum whipped cream, brilliant!

Ginny said...

yummy! I really need brownies now!

ostwestwind said...

Rum whipped cream, how decadent is that? Your brownies look delicious

Ulrike from Küchenlatein

noskos said...

Job well done, they look great!

bakersbakery said...

What a nice contrast your golden raisins offer to the dark chocolate.
So pretty.

Andrea said...

Mine didn't last long enough to whip cream to serve with them! Nice touch.

Patricia Scarpin said...

I love gooey, dark brownies like these, LyB! I wouldn't have gone for raisins, though. :)

Garrett said...

Oh yay, another rum lover! I agree that the rum raisins were fabulous in this...I'll probably add extra next time. Taking a shot at 9 in the morning isn't *that* bad, as the saying goes, "it's 5 o'clock somewhere."

Alfie said...

Yummy! - what's not to like about chocolate brownies. Now I'm craving these, they look gorgeous!

Shari said...

Those raspberries just "pop" in that picture. Very nice! Wow, rum cream sounds delicious.
Shari@Whisk: a food blog

Susan of Bismarck's Favorite said...

Wow, those look good. I agree that the raisins and rum should be doubled. And I love the rum whipped cream - great idea!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Oooh, gorgeous brownies. And they've got boozy raisins, too? Bonus!

Aardvark Cakes said...

Mmm must def try the rum cream idea - don't we all sound like a bunch of big drinkers rather than bakers! Hx

Fira Marina said...

These really do look fabulous! I'm so glad you found my blog today! Now I'm going to sort through all of your delish recipes!

Best Wishes!!!

Kim said...

Those are some serious looking brownies. Fabulous!

Liliana said...

Great looking brownies. They must have been so delicious with the rum-scented cream!

Gigi said...

I loved how kept adding rum to the recipe! Too funny. Awesome looking brownies!

RecipeGirl said...

Dorie makes some pretty darn good brownies! Now I'll have to try these too. Love the rum!

Jayne said...

Beautiful job!

Robin said...

I wish I'd doubled my raisins as well. I love raisins! I'm glad you were brave enough to flambe, I got my husband to do it for me because I was chicken hahaha

Dolores said...

chock full of boozed up raisins

My dear you have a wonderful way with words. Great job!

Cinnamon said...

Try using real Cinnamon in your recipe and reduce on the sugar. You could also avoid the toxic effects of Coumarin in Cassia.

The Cinnamon that we buy in the US is actually Cassia which could be toxic.

Please click the link uder my name to read more....