I have taken quite the break from my blog and I do apologize. You see, my daughter Lily got married a couple of weekends ago. Those of you who have ever been the Mother of the Bride know what it takes to make a wedding day the best it can be and I think we succeeded. Congratulations to Michael and Lily Belli!
And now for something chocolate! I love Ina Garten! She and I share many of the same philosophies about cooking. Her brownie recipe is the best I have ever tasted. Begin with lots of butter, really good quality chocolate, good vanilla and you really can't go wrong. Yes, there are some decent mixes in a box but it doesn't take that much more effort to make them from scratch and they are so much better. These brownies are more like a flourless cake, fudge-y and intensely chocolate. You could even cut them into rounds and serve as an elegant dessert with whipped cream and raspberries....or not. Love!
Ina's Brownies with options
1 lb unsalted butter
1 lb plus 12 oz semisweet chocolate chips
6 oz bitter chocolate
6 large eggs
3 T instant coffee granules, I use instant espresso granules
2 T pure vanilla extract
2-1/4 c sugar
1-1/4 c all-purpose flour
1 T baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 c chopped walnuts or other nuts, toasted (optional)
1 tsp cayenne pepper or milder chile powder (optional)
zest from a lemon or an orange (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 12 x 18 x 1-inch baking sheet.
Melt together the butter, 1 pound of chocolate chips, and the bitter chocolate in a medium bowl over simmering water or in a large glass bowl or measuring cup in the *microwave. Allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, coffee granules, vanilla, and sugar. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.
In a medium bowl, sift together 1 cup of flour, the baking powder, and salt. Add to the cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the walnuts (if using) and 12 ounces of chocolate chips in a medium bowl with 1/4 cup of flour, then add them to the chocolate batter. Pour into the baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes, then rap the baking sheet against the oven shelf to force the air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not over bake! Allow to cool thoroughly and cut into 20 large squares.
As a caterer for over 30 years, I have established a reputation for consistently creating original menus inspired by the occasion and the season, presenting them with an ease and elegance uniquely my own. Fresh, locally-sourced ingredients are the basis of my creative “from scratch” menus, which range from the classically elegant to rustic and whimsical.
"Love your recipes! Pat made your avocado toast a few weeks ago, delish! I'm taking them to a party in a few weeks, although the mushroom crostata looks pretty darn good!"