Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Chocolate Stout Brownies

Last week I saw a recipe by Claire Thomas on the Huffington Post for beer brownies, cooking with booze always excites me for some reason and I had never heard of beer brownies before. After checking out many recipes, which often seemed to be the same recipe with slight variation I went about making my own. One recipe that showed up often had white chocolate chips in it, which seems kind of weird to me (not a fan of white chocolate) and one blogger complained that his brownies didn't taste of beer, which they don't, nor do I think they are suppose to.

Supposedly the beer adds a more complex flavor to the brownie, I'm not sure I get that in the ones I made (recipe below) but I thought it was fun cooking with beer and they are damn good brownies.

In my version I've put an emphasis on local products calling for Brooklyn Brewery's Chocolate Stout and Taza's stone ground Mexican chocolate. Also I find it near impossible to find a chocolate chips I like, mostly they are semi-sweet and I prefer something that is at least 70% chocolate so I use chopped up Scharffen Berger 70% (you can buy large 9.7 ounces baking bars for about 10 bucks a good thing to have in the larder as they also make great eating).

Finally I made this as an adult dessert (as opposed to a casual kids snack) just so you know what you're getting yourself into ;-)

Chocolate Stout Brownie recipe

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Butter and flour a 9 x 13 pan.

Toast 1 1/4 cup of pecans for 5-7 minutes - until they begin to smell and have browned oh so slightly. Let cool.

Over simmering water place a bowl with 8 T unsalted butter, 1 round of Taza Mexican chocolate (they are 2.7 ounces and come in several flavors I used vanilla bean, guajillo chili or cinnamon chocolate both would work as well) roughly chopped, 1 ounce roughly chopped 70% chocolate and 2 T of instant espresso stirring occasionally until melted and completely combined, remove from heat and stir in 1 cup of Chocolate stout (or whatever dark beer you are using) place aside and let cool.

In a separate bowl add 1 cup of flour, 1/4 cup coco powder (again I use Scharffen Berger) and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

In a big bowl (I used a standing mixer) whisk together 4 large room temperature eggs, 1 cup white sugar and 1 cup brown sugar until thick and well combined (a minute or 2 with an electric mixer 3 or 4 by hand)

Roughly chop 1 cup of the pecans reserving the 1/4 cup for garnish.

Starting and ending with the dry ingredients alternately add the flour and chocolate mixture to the egg and sugar. When just combined add 2 teaspoon of dark rum (whiskey or vanilla extract both work as well). With a spatula or wooden spoon, add the chopped pecans and 1 cup of chopped 70% chocolate.

Baked in prepared pan for 35 minutes. Don't over bake. Let cool to room temperature.

Serve with unsweetened whipped cream and a whole toasted pecan.

Best served at room temperature.


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