Cocoa Brownies with Chocolate Ganache & Pecans

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.

Ingredients

Brownies (source):

  • 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

Process

Brownies:

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Chocolate Ganache:

  1. Put the chocolate chips in a large heatproof bowl.
  2. Bring the cream to a boil in a medium saucepan.
  3. Just before the cream comes to a full boil, pour the cream into the chocolate chips and whisk together until smooth.
  4. Add the butter and stir until smooth and shiny.
  5. Place plastic wrap directly over the surface to prevent a skin from forming, then let stand at room temperature overnight to cool.
  6. Store in the refrigerator, covered, for up to three weeks.

Pecan-Brownie Pecan-Brownie-Ganache

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