I’m thrilled to be featured on Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker today. Kristen is one of those sweet, down to earth, mom bloggers who feels like a real life friend. We met via Foodbuzz, and now she’s our Improv Challenge leader…always so kind to and patient with us all. I thought I’d whip up our favorite new brownies…so please visit her blog to check out these insanely chocolaty treats…and find out who asked me if they were “special” brownies when I went back to my alma mater for Homecoming :/
Since we’re talking chocolate, a few weeks ago I had some girlfriends over to demonstrate a couple crème brûlée recipes. I always plan a little something extra for our bake alongs. This time it was a chocolate taste test. I purchased about 10 different semi and bittersweet chocolates. Here are the steps to set up your own tasting:
- Purchase a number of related chocolate products (all milk, similar % of cocoa, same country of origin, etc.). 10 was probably too many…I’d suggest 6 varieties.
- Taste with other people…each palate will discern something a bit different. Encourage conversation.
- Taste the lowest percentage of cocoa chocolate first (we didn’t do this).
- Serve small pieces and label dish (I put a sticker on the bottom of each ramekin to identify the chocolate).
- Provide palate cleansers (I used water and tart apple slices).
- Provide a sheet of paper and pencils for each tester to comment on appearance, snap, aroma, mouth-feel and taste. The Nibble had lots of suggestions on what you might find in each of these categories.
- At the end have each tester identify their most favorite and least favorite chocolate.
Cocoa Brownies…adapted from Alton Brown
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
8 ounces (2 sticks) melted butter
1 1/4 cups cocoa, sifted
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Line 8 x 8 inch pan with non-stick foil (or line with regular foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray). Set aside.
Preheat oven to 300º.
Whisk eggs in large bowl. Add both sugars and whisk till combined. Add remaining ingredients and mix till just combined.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Smooth top with off-set spatula. Bake for 45-50 minutes or till toothpick inserted in center of brownies comes out clean. Cool on rack, then cool in refrigerator for easier cutting.
Makes 16 brownies.