Heaven help me, I’ve gone over the edge for today’s Chocolate Monday. I started with a simple recipe for brownies and then I went to the dark side … and you are going to be happy to follow me! 🙂
This recipe is the result of a couple of oops. I wanted to have a caramel and nut sauce poured over the top, but today was one of those days when everything when wrong. The brownies were baked in a pan too big for the amount of batter making them much thinner than I had anticipated, and the caramel sauce burned when, for some reason, my normally very consistent burner decided to get hotter on one side than the other.
So I stepped away from the stove, took a deep breath, and tried to figure out how to punt to make this into a fun dessert we would all enjoy. And that is how these brownies became double-deckers assembled with melted chocolate in between!
Sometimes when you want to change a dessert into something special, it is a matter of adding a second component or converting it into a totally different dessert. Cookies are always wonderful alongside a scoop of ice cream and hot fudge sauce. A cake can become a trifle with a little whipped cream and a pretty bowl. Caramel candy, with a little extra cream and lower cooking temperature, becomes a sauce that will have you swooning.
In this case, the skinny brownies were cut into rectangles, dipped in melted chocolate, and stacked, becoming luscious and decadent – I dare anyone to resist these beauties!
If you want to repeat what I’ve done, use a 9×13-inch pan. If you want thicker brownies, use a 9-inch square pan. With the larger pan you will get more pieces, but stacking them will cut that number in half. Both will give you deeply fudgy brownies that everyone will be raving about.
With all the melted unsweetened chocolate, these are extremely intensely flavored. I think they would be even better served with some vanilla ice cream or lightly sweetened whipped cream. It will help cut the chocolate a little and add a lightness the brownies can use.
If you have true chocoholics in your family, this is the dessert for them. Kids and adults alike will be clamoring for seconds. Be sure to have hot coffee on hand to cut the sweetness and intense chocolate.
Have a fabulous week and Happy Chocolate Monday!
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
You can use a double boiler to melt the chocolate if you want, but I find that my heavy-bottomed pans do a great job of protecting the chocolate and I can skip one step.
If you pour the batter straight into the pan without letting it rest, it is very thin. Let it sit for 20 minutes and it becomes thick and rich. Timing is everything in GF baking! I know some bakers who will mix up doughs and batters several days in advance and keep them in the refrigerator, covered, until time to bake. I am never that patient, LOL.
- 1-1/2 sticks (12 tbsp) butter, cut into pieces
- 3 oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
- 1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend
- 6 oz (1/2 standard bag) semisweet chocolate chips, preferably Guittard or similar quality brand
- Combine the butter and chocolate in a medium heavy saucepan and melt over low heat, stirring frequently until smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool a little (so you won’t scramble the eggs when you add it in the next step).
- In the bowl of your standing mixer, beat the eggs and both sugars on low speed just until smooth. (For gluten-free, beat the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy - this will help add lift and structure to the brownies.) With the mixer running, vey slowly pour in the melted chocolate mixture (tempering the eggs slowly), mixing until fully incorporated and then beat in the salt and vanilla.
- Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add half of the flour and beat on Low until blended in, then add the second half and again mix slowly to blend. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes. This is especially helpful with gluten-free baking - the flours need more time to fully absorb the liquids.
- Put a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Line the pan with a sheet of parchment long enough to create handles on either end of the pan. This will help you remove the brownies from the pan later.
- Beat the batter on medium for about 10 seconds to “wake” it up again. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth until it covers nearly the entire bottom of the pan. It will fill in the corners as it bakes. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center meets a little resistance and comes out with moist crumbs attached. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool thoroughly. Run a knife around the edges to release the brownies.
- Using the parchment to help, lift the brownies out of the pan and set on a cutting board. If the parchment doesn't lift easily, place the pan over low heat on the stove - chances are the butter in the bottom of the pan has firmed up and a little heat will release the parchment much more easily. Using a sharp heavy knife, cut the brownies into 32 pieces. Pair them up, matching the sizes as closely as possible and placing them on a sheet of parchment set next to the stove.
- In a saucepan, melt the chocolate chips over low heat, stirring until smooth. Turn off the heat but keep the saucepan on the burner. Dip the bottom of one of the brownies in the melted chocolate and set it on top of a matching brownie, sandwiching them together. If you use a fork to dip the brownies, you can push them into the chocolate, coating one edge and giving the brownies more coverage. Leave them on the parchment for at least 15 minutes to allow the chocolate to firm up, holding the two pieces together.
- Serve at room temperature. On hot days, keep them in the refrigerator until just before serving so the chocolate doesn’t melt.
- The brownies can be refrigerated, tightly covered, for up to 5 days or they can be frozen, well wrapped, for up to 2 weeks.
- Yields: about 32 pieces; 16 double decker brownies.
- * Make sure the bottom of the thermometer is submerged in the boiling candy but not touching the bottom of the pan.
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