Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Recipe Time #19: Midnight Brownies w Ganache Glaze

One of the things I love about the food industry and community is how giving and generous its members are, and there's no finer case in point than the events that sprang forth in light of the Haiti disaster. When I first heard about the quake, I knew that a few charity events will soon follow. But I certainly didn't expect such a large scale and outpouring of goodwill from everyone involved, who opened their pantries, ignited their kitchens, mobilized their resources and organized like-minded folks to pool efforts (and cooking skills) for an all around feel good, and taste great, spectacle.

Pre-opening display at bakesale
The first of such events I had the pleasure of participating in (well, asides from patronage) was the Cookies Without Borders bake sale organized by the No Cookies Left Behind folks. I'm surprised to be approached to contribute a dish, since baking isn't really my strength (not big on exact measurements and having to patiently wait and NOT meddle while it's in the oven.)
Midnight Brownie Batch w Ganache Topping
But I still managed to whip up some midnight brownies topped with a dark chocolate ganache glaze, adapted from this flourless chocolate cake recipe at Epicurious. Incredibly fudgy, not-too-sweet and pretty forgiving to make; it's definitely a dessert made for a strong brew of tea, a darker roast of coffee, a nice stout or just warmed up (and topped with vanilla ice cream!)

Ingredients (for 9" x 13" pan, approx. 20 brownies):

For brownies
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips (or finely chopped pieces from a block) - aim for 55%-75% cacao content
- .75 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 5 large eggs, room temperature
- 1.5 stick unsalted butter, chopped into small cubes (extra as needed for greasing pan)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For ganache topping
- 3 ounces heavy whipping cream
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips or fine pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease baking pan w butter or cooking spray
2. Heat butter in saucepan, as soon as it's completely melted; turn off heat and immediately add bittersweet chocolate and vanilla extract - stirring/whisking vigorously until completely melted and uniform
3. Remove saucepan from stove and add eggs, one at a time; mixing until egg is incorporated before adding next one
4. Add sugar gradually (quarter cup at a time), again, mixing until incorporated before adding next batch; repeat with cocoa powder
5. Pour the batter mixture onto the baking pan, using a spatula or spoon to help scrape the bottom and sides of saucepan
6. Bake in center rack of oven for approx. 30 minutes, or until a toothpick poked in center comes out relatively clean
7. Once baking's completed, let cool for at least another 15 minutes before cutting; when ready to top with ganache glaze, start prepping the below

Ganache glaze topping
1. In a saucepan (if using the same saucepan as brownie batter, be sure it's is completely dry before proceeding) bring the heavy whipping cream to a simmer
2. Turn off heat, remove from stovetop and again, quickly whisk until the mixture is event
3. Glaze away and enjoy (FYI, the ganache will harden a little as it cools down)

For another variation, use the vanilla cream cheese frosting recipe from my dessert pizza - which is what I did for bite-sized versions of these brownies for the Stir It 28 charity cocktail party.
Cookies Without Borders bakesale
And of course, the sweetest news is finding out that Cookies Without Borders raised over $5,000 in just a few hours. That, and all the other goodies I brought home, certainly puts a smile on my face!


Diana said...

I vote for the warmed up with ice cream method! :)

Is it April yet??


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...