Thursday, July 28, 2011

Brownies `a la Dorie

Someday I'd like to divide my time amongst more than Los Angeles county.  Maybe something along the lines of having a flat in Rome, a getaway spot in Palm Springs, and a little cottage in Napa.  For the time being, I have my life in my North Hollywood.  If I think about it as a pied `a terre I might feel more like Dorie Greenspan.  Don't know who she is?  Check out a little about her here.   Among all the feats she's accomplished, she co-authored 'Baking with Julia,' as in Child.  For the second time in the past couple of months, I have her 'Baking From My Home to Yours' checked out of the library.

I've only made a couple of recipes out of the book.  I'm working on more.  Today I found her Classic Brownies recipe.  Why brownies?  Because I had an overripe banana to use.  Follow the logic!  It's there!  I don't remember the last time I made brownies.  That may change now since these turned out so well.  Dorie describes them as 'fudgy but not gooey.'  That's all good in my book.  I need a big glass of milk.

Banana Walnut Brownies
(adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Classic Brownies)

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in pieces
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder (optional, but really good--Dorie's words and mine!)
1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt (according to taste)
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 large banana, mashed

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line an 8 x 8 inch baking pan with parchment paper and butter parchment.  Simmer a little water in a saucepan and place a heatproof bowl in pan.  Add butter and chocolate to bowl and stir while ingredients melt.  Remove from heat as soon as butter and chocolate are melted so they don't separate.   Whisk in sugar.  Mixture will be grainy.  Add eggs one at a time.  Add in vanilla and whisk well to combine all ingredients.  Mix in banana and stir well.  Add espresso powder, flour and salt (I kept the salt to 1/4 teaspoon.).  Use a spatula to fold in walnuts.  Pour batter into baking pan and spread evenly in pan.
Bake brownies for 30-33 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Transfer pan to cooling rack.  When brownies cool, remove from pan.  Cut into squares.

I dare you to stop at one.  My magic number was 3.  It's a lucky number!

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