Eddie’s sister used to make cocoa brownies back when she was in High School. He talks about the smell of chocolate coming from the oven, spending time with his sister as a boy and wolfing down something truly scrumptious. With the move back across the Country recently behind us and our money spent we’d been on a budget and well, at times, sort of short a few ingredients in the kitchen now and then. It was one of those times earlier this year we had a family dinner to attend that he remembered his Sister Lorrie’s cocoa brownies… and our stash of Venezuelan chocolate El Rey we picked up in Texas. It was a hit that he repeated for dessert on Easter last week. For his version lightly crunch some pecans and add to the ganache topping and let cool until firm.
- Vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, diced
- 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
Chocolate Ganache (source):
- 6 ounces high-quality dark chocolate chopped
- 5 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Fold 16-inch-long piece of foil to 8×16-inch strip; place in 8x8x2-inch metal baking pan, leaving overhang on 2 sides. Repeat with another sheet of foil in opposite direction, lining pan completely. Oil the foil with vegetable oil (Dr Seuss moments are rare but fun).
- Stir butter and chocolate in heavy large saucepan over very low heat until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat; whisk in sugar, then eggs, 1 at a time. Whisk in espresso powder, vanilla, and salt; sift flour over and stir to blend well. Transfer batter to prepared pan.
- Bake brownies until puffed and dry-looking and tester inserted into center comes out with some moist batter attached, about 35 minutes; cool completely in pan on rack.
- Put the chocolate chips in a large heatproof bowl.
- Bring the cream to a boil in a medium saucepan.
- Just before the cream comes to a full boil, pour the cream into the chocolate chips and whisk together until smooth.
- Add the butter and stir until smooth and shiny.
- Place plastic wrap directly over the surface to prevent a skin from forming, then let stand at room temperature overnight to cool.
- Store in the refrigerator, covered, for up to three weeks.