Wednesday, August 10, 2011

If You're Going to Eat Chocolate...

I tried to swear off desserts recently. It lasted about 2 hours. I told myself (and Joe) that I wasn’t going to buy anymore ice cream. Actually I have said this numerous times this summer. But then I picked blueberries, so we needed some vanilla for those, and then I had a coupon, so I needed to use that. Do you see how really these things are out of my control?
Well, I finally did clear the freezer of ice cream and I told myself that now would be a good opportunity to go dessert free for a few weeks. But then we realized we had some leftover chocolates from Hawaii, and in a pinch I am ready to make dessert should it come to that. And it did.

I had bought the ingredients to make something chocolaty and delicious when Joe and I were watching our friends’ daughters for the evening. But we live less than a block away from miniature golf and ice cream so any at-home activities for that evening were trumped immediately by those two prospects. The weather threatened rain, and I thought baking would be a good babysitting time waster.
I like to be prepped with games, activities and ideas whenever babysitting. This is probably because I secretly still want to belong to the Babysitters’ Club. That, and the last time I watched the girls at my house we played with chocolate and it went very well. I think kids should be able to let loose when they are with a babysitter, plus if they are all wound up at the end of the evening they go back to their parents anyways. (Sorry Bess!)
The last time I watched the girls we made truffles. I make pretty good truffles and I promise to maybe one day divulge that recipe. When I began telling them about the steps and ingredients for the truffles, the eight year old told me “Oh yeah, my friends and I always say – if you’re going to have chocolate, it should really be Ghirardelli.” I heartily agreed.
As we got into the melting, rolling and forming I realized that this was going to turn into a giant mess. It looked like I took the six year old girl and dipped her in the bowls of chocolate. I also was unprepared for the amount of finger, hand and apparently arm licking of that melted chocolate which lead to an immediate sugar high. At one point the six year old was running circles in my kitchen screaming and licking chocolate off herself. Later she confessed to her mother that the truffles were good for her because they didn’t have any sugar in them – just chocolate and cream.
The truffles turned out fine, and we only ingested a small percentage of the total yield that afternoon. I was much better prepared this second time around to thwart any appendage dipping into melted chocolate while making brownies. But, as I said before mini golf and ice cream are powerful draws for two small girls.

What I am getting at here, is that I had the ingredients for these brownies just lying around. And I really needed something to post this week – and I needed dessert. And as my friends always say; if you’re going to eat chocolate…

Chocolate Raspberry Brownies
as adapted from Sue Lawrence's Scottish Kitchen
These brownies are super rich and not at all healthy thus making them delicious. This recipe comes from a Scottish chef who made these brownies then placed them in a trifle – yowzer. The original recipe called for muscovado sugar but I can never find it here, so I have done some swapping and I think they turn out just as deeply flavored.

6 oz. good quality dark chocolate (60% Cacao is good)
3 oz. good quality Unsweetened chocolate
2 sticks plus 1 Tb unsalted butter
3 eggs
1 ¼ cups dark brown sugar, not hard packed
1 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
6 oz. fresh or frozen raspberries

Preheat your oven to 325°, lightly grease an 8” square pan.

In a small sauce pan melt the butter and chocolates together over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once melted and combined, allow to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until glossy, about 2 minutes. Add melted chocolate to the bowl stirring to combine.

Next add the dry ingredients and fold to combine. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan.

Sprinkle evenly with raspberries and pour the remaining batter over top. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the brownies have set and a toothpick comes out clean.

Let brownies cool and serve.

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