Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Brownie Bake-off: Martha's Iced Brownies

Iced Brownies

This recipe is all about the frosting.  It is a ganache made of only two ingredients:  chocolate and heavy cream. Very easy to make.  You could use it to frost any of your favorite brownies or cake recipes.

I recently bought a copy of Martha Stewart's Cookbook at a used bookstore so that I could try this recipe for the brownie bake-off.  Martha started out as a caterer so I thought it might be a reliable recipe.  And I was intrigued that you add the eggs at the end.

Iced Brownies
Makes 16 brownies

1/4 pound ( 1 stick) butter
2 squares unsweetened chocolate
1 cup sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. vanilla extract
2 eggs

Icing
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter an 8 inch square glass pan.

Melt the butter and chocolate in the top of a double boiler or in a 300 degree oven.  (I melted mine in the microwave.)

Remove from heat and stir well.  Add all the ingredients except the eggs and stir thoroughly.  Add the eggs and mix again.
Pour into the buttered pan and bake 30 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean; do not overcook.  They should still be moist and chewy in the middle.  Cool thoroughly.

To make the icing, heat the cream to scalding.*  Pour over the chocolate and allow to sit for a minute or two. 

Stir until melted.
Pour the icing over the brownies, smoothing over with a spatula. 

Allow the icing to set before cutting the brownies into 2 inch squares.

Variation:  for chocolate chip brownies, stir in 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips after the eggs.

*Scalding:  In a heavy bottomed pan on the stovetop, heat the cream just until it begins to boil but doesn't actually.  Bubbles form around the edge.  Stir as it heats up to prevent burning. 

Drumroll:  The tasters gave them an 8 out of 10 on average. Personally, I thought that they were more like a cake, but an excellent one.  These iced brownies are great with a cup of coffee.  I could see this frosting going well on a yellow birthday cake or cupcakes, too.

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