Chocolate Truffle Brownies

Chocolate Truffle Brownies

What’s the best way for a mother to send her child off to college; with a pan of super-chocolatey brownies of course. I had spent days packing for my son Michael, purchasing him some pots and pans, bedding and laundry detergent, as well as a variety of other items I know he’ll never use. I had filled boxes with every and anything a young man would need for his survival out there in the world. It was as if we were sending him off to the most remote region of the universe, when in reality he was only going an hour away to Santa Barbara.  Oh my God, did I pack the electric pencil sharpener?

We loaded two cars and made the quick trip up the Pacific coast to the student housing where he was sharing an apartment with three other guys. I laughed to myself as we entered the apartment. There were three sets of parents unpacking, making beds, setting up tv’s and printers, and stacking a hundred boxes of Kraft macaroni and cheese into the pantry closet. The kids all sat in the living room with their cell phones and laptops, laughing and getting to know one another, while the mothers nervously scurried about.

After roughly four hours in that apartment my work there was done, and I could see the look on my son’s face. “Mom, will you just go!” He couldn’t wait to begin his new adventure…without his mama!  As my husband and I left, I handed him a tray of my chocolate truffle brownies. He had his pencil sharpener, a year’s supply of black sox, and brownies. Mission complete.

Chocolate Truffle Brownies

Chocolate Truffle Brownies

Bon Appetit, July 2010

  • 12 ounces semi-sweet, or bittersweet chocolate ( do not exceed 61% cacao), chopped and divided into half
  • 11 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions

  1. Place the rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line a 9x9x2-inch baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang. This will make it easy to lift your brownies out of the pan when it’s time to cut them. Spray the foil with non-stick vegetable oil spray.
  3. Combine 6 ounces of the chocolate, and the butter in a medium microwave safe bowl. Start microwaving at 25 seconds, then stir, then 20 seconds and stir until the mixture is smooth and melted. Cool the chocolate mixture for 10 minutes.
  4. Whisk sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and salt in large bowl to blend. Then whisk in the chocolate mixture. Stir in flour, then chopped walnuts.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the brownies until a tester inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 26-28 minutes. Transfer pan to a cooling rack and let the brownies cool completely.
  6. When brownies are cooled, bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Place remaining chocolate in a medium bowl and pour the heated cream over the chocolate. Let it stand for 5 minutes then whisk until smooth.
  7. Pour the chocolate ganache over the brownies in the pan and spread evenly to cover completely. A small off-set spatula works well for this.
  8. Let stand at cool room temperature until topping is set, about 4 hours.
  9. Using the overhang foil as an aid, lift the brownies from the pan and fold down the edges.
  10. You can now cut the brownies into squares,  1″x 3″ bars, or into 1″x 1″ squares.

Chocolate Truffle Brownies

Mama’s Tips:

Using better quality chocolate will yield better tasting brownies. Use the best you can afford.

When the brownies have cooled, place them in the refrigerator for an hour for easier cutting.

I like to keep my chocolate truffle brownies in the refrigerator as they turn to a fudge-like consistency. At room temperature they remain more cake-like.

Recipe: Easy


Brownie Cupcakes

Brownie Cupcakes

Growing up in a Philadelphia suburb, I have vivid memories of a restaurant called the Country Squire Diner. It was one of those typical 1970’s diners with large booths. The restaurant had a long counter with round stools, and behind the counter were mirrored display cases with sundae dishes filled with cubed jello or fruit cup. Does anyone even serve fruit cup anymore…or jello? Anyway, what always caught my attention upon entering this place was the revolving display case with pre-cut pieces of cake, endlessly going around in circles.

Now these were huge hunks of cake, usually seven or eight layers. Chocolate, lemon, carrot cake and strawberry shortcake were popular 1970’s favorites. My friends and I would actually order those desserts, one for each of us, and finish them.  Those days are so over.  If you read my blog, then you know I make my desserts now in mini versions. Everything in moderation, right?

My family are big chocolate lovers, so I made these Mini Brownie Cupcakes. They’re not really brownies, nor are they cupcakes, but kinda like if a brownie and a cupcake had a kid, this is what you would get. There’s lots of bold cocoa flavor in these little mini’s. You can give them a dusting of confectioner’s sugar if you like, or maybe a drizzle of melted chocolate. For me, they’re a perfect, little treat.

Brownie Cupcakes

Brownie Cupcake Bites

Adapted from Best Ever Cookie Collection

  • 1 1/2 sticks of butter
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetend coca powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup whole milk 
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line your mini muffin tin with mini cupcake papers, or you could brush your tin with melted butter using a pastry brush.
  3. Melt the butter in a small pan over medium-low heat.
  4. Pour the butter into the bowl of an electric mixer, and using the paddle attachment stir the sugar and cocoa powder in until incorporated.
  5. Add the eggs and vanilla and slowly beat until combined.
  6. In another bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and pinch of salt. Stir with a whisk.
  7. With mixer on medium-low, add flour mixture to the chocolate mixture. Stir in milk until well blended.
  8. Spoon batter into cupcake liners until 1/2 full.
  9. Bake for about 10-13 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Do not overbake these or they will become hard. Remember all ovens are different, so keep an eye on the pan
Yields about 60 mini bites

Recipe: Easy