I firmly believe that everyone has a nemesis food. Something that you've tried to make again and again and no matter how you tweak it and readjust and start over, it just never turns out. I have struggled with my nemesis food for years and years, but finally, after many trials and tribulations, struggles, cursing and tears, I have at last succeeded…. I have created Brownies!
I don't know what it is about them but they stick to the pan or they come out as soup or they are horribly dry. I really can turn brownies batter into anything except brownies.
So, when I owed a colleague at work some baked goods and he said brownies were his favorite, my heart sank. I figured I was probably going to have to wuss out and go to the store and buy some. But I decided it was worth one more try, and try I did. I found a really simple basic brownie recipe, mixed it up, put it in the oven and then ran away and refused to look at it. When the timer dinged (my timers ding, not beep, it makes me happy) I peeked in the oven and to my amazement, the brownies looked okay. I cooked them for two more minutes and then pulled them out of the oven.
Once they had cooled, I got everything out of the pan. There was a little bit of falling apart but I was able to smoosh them together. Then I used a thick chocolate peppermint ganache which helped to hold everything together. Then it was a couple of hours in the fridge to have everything set. They turned out to be perfect and yummy.
I'm so gosh darn proud of myself! So what is your nemesis food?
Dark Chocolate Brownies
Adapted from How to Cook Everything, by Mark Bittman
2.5 Ounces Good Dark Chocolate
8 Tablespoons Butter
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 Cup Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Pinch of Salt
Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease an 8x8 Baking Pan with butter or cooking spray.
Put the butter and chocolate in a saucepan over low heat and stir until melted and combined. Mix this into the sugar and then add the vanilla and the eggs. Mix the flour, salt and baking powder together and mix very gently. Try not to overmix. Pour into the pan and bake for 30 minutes.
You can leave these plain or frost them. I like to make a thick ganache out of cream and dark chocolate and flavor it with a little peppermint.
Makes about 12 small brownies or 9 large.