Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Firsts...


This was my first Tuesdays with Dorie challenge/ adventure.  It was also my first time to make brownies from scratch, my first time to flambe anything  (rum soaked raisins). . .


my first time to chop chocolate 
. . .

and my first time to use my new KitchenAid mixer. . .















I made French Chocolate Brownies with rum soaked raisins.  I didn't try them because I don't like dark chocolate, but they received pretty good reviews.  I used semi-sweet chocolate instead of bittersweet and I still thought the batter was not sweet enough.  I was worried about the texture after reading some of the comments on the TWD site, but they looked gooey and good.  I liked the idea of a crust on top.  My friends at work thought the raisins were a great addition.  Overall, I was pleased, but I am more excited about next week's strawberry tart since I've never made a tart.  It will be my first tart.  













French Chocolate Brownies

- makes 16 brownies -
Adapted from Baking From My Home to Yours.

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 fraiche 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.





17 comments:

Marie said...

Congrats on your first challenge and your first flambe experience!! Well done! They look delicious! Ohh, I hope you like the tart! I tried to pick something that was fresh and light and very late spring early summer like!

Annemarie said...

Nice job!! Welcome aboard!

April said...

Your brownies looks great! I'm so jealous of your Kitchen Aid!

Cafe Johnsonia said...

Welcome! You did a great job!

Susie Homemaker said...

These look great...welcome to the group! I hope to see more great results from you! (don't you just love the mixer? I adore my new one!)

Rose said...

Isn't the kitchen aid nice? :)

Carol Peterman said...

Welcome to TWD! What a great success with the brownies. This group will help you rack up all kinds of new baking experiences - it's a lot of fun.

Di said...

Welcome to TWD! It looks like you did a great job on your first recipe. I'm sure you'll have the opportunity for many more firsts. =)

Jules Someone said...

Welcome! Glad we could be a part of so many firsts. Nice brownies!

PheMom said...

Welcome to the fun! Great job on your first challenge!

Sharon said...

Welcome to TWD! And congrats on all the firsts! I don't care for dark chocolate either, but these brownies were great!

Mara said...

yay for a lot of firsts with a yummy result!!! i broke my KA last week with the brioche so i am jealous of your nice new one!! welcome to the group.

berlin46 said...

Welcome! Your photos look great!

Jacque said...

Wow, lots of firsts! Kudos to you :) They look delish!

Rebecca of "Ezra Pound Cake" said...

Welcome to TWD! That was a lot of firsts. Congratulations!

Rebecca
http://www.ezrapoundcake.com

Garrett said...

Welcome to the group! The first flambe experience is definitely the best ;-)

Bumblebutton said...

Congratulations on all of your firsts! And, perhaps I shall be the one to tap you for your first meme? You have been tagged!!