Sunday, January 11, 2009

Brownies with Caramel Creme Fraiche


I remember trying to make brownies as a child with my mom and it being a total disaster. Well, that might be a bit of an over-statement... it's hard for baked chocolate and sugar to turn out horribly wrong, but they were dry, overly rich and just not very good. Maybe it was the French in me at the time.. I really didn't grow up on brownies and didn't really know what to look for when I was making them. When I bought the Baked Cookbook a couple months ago and saw their recipe for what they say are the best brownies in the world, I knew it was time to give these beauties another try. I'm glad I did because they were absolutely delicious and are now high on my list of best brownies out there. I served them warm with caramel creme fraiche and they were a wonderful treat.

Recipe (makes 24 brownies)
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11 ounces of dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon of instant espresso powder
1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
1/2 cup of firmly packed light brown sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9-by-13 inch glass or light colored metal baking pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and cocoa powder.
Put the chocolate, butter, instant espresso powder in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan and let the mixture come back to room temperature.
Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or the brownies will become cakey.
Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a spatula (not a whisk) fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Let the brownies cool completely, then cut them into squares and serve.
Tightly covered with plastic wrap, the brownies kept at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Caramel Creme Fraiche:
A good dollop of creme fraiche
A couple teaspoons of liquid caramel sauce
Mix the caramel sauce to the creme fraiche and serve over the warm brownies. Enjoy!

25 comments:

Noodlegirl said...

That looks soooo delicious! I just had dinner but I am hungry all over again looking at that brownie!

Kaitlin said...

Yummy. Those look absolutely delectable!

Navita said...

ur blog is a haven of delish recipes....glad i stumbled upon it.

couldn't be happier to say "hi".

pigpigscorner said...

Oh wow...they look really delicious!!! Just how I like my brownies to be!

Dawn said...

Don't you love that book?
These are on my list of to-bake.
Stunning photo!

Hillary said...

The caramel creme fraiche sounds like a delicious topping!

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

You're right, it's hard to go wrong with baked sugar and chocolate, but these look like they have the perfect combo of dense cakiness! You've inspired me to go make a batch of brownies this afternoon.

Ingrid said...

My copy of Baked just arrived on Thursday. I've been drooling, I mean reading through it. I haven't quite decided what I will bake first.

LOVE creme fraiche. MMMMM, I can only imagine how much yummier it is with homemade caramel! Thanks for the recipe!
~ingrid

Sara said...

These are beautiful! I've been using creme fraiche more and more lately, it's such a great ingredient.

Dana Treat said...

What a beautiful shot. I want to just grab one of those brownies off my screen! My go-to brownie recipe has been Ina Garten's but I think I'm ready to try something new. I'm glad I have the Baked cookbook!

CookiePie said...

Gorgeous brownies and caramel creme fraiche sounds amazing!

Koko said...

Caramel creme fraiche with brownies- what a neat combo. Looks amazing!

Joie de vivre said...

Did they live up to their name though as being the best brownie in the world?

Kevin said...

Those brownies look soo good!

Cakebrain said...

hubba hubba...chocolate! and caramel too! be still my beating heart!

Jude said...

I'm sure the slight tang of creme fraiche would be perfect with rich brownies. Adding it to the caramel sounds like a great idea.

Cakespy said...

Their brownies seriously are the best. I got them for my parents for Christmas (they ship!). These look awesome!...bet they're so good right out of the oven!

Brooklyn Farmhouse said...

I just bought the Baked cookbook simply due to your lovely brownie pic! I can't wait to try this recipe.

MinervaO said...

I will really have to add this to the list of things to bake. I have issues with brownies too sometimes, either they are too dense, to chewy, to dry, etc. But I keep eating them anyway.

Deborah said...

Your brownies look perfect, especially combined with caramel creme fraiche!

sarah the baker yoon said...

wooaah that looks SO good it looks bad. :) yum!

Lauren said...

Those do look like just about the fudgiest brownies ever. And I love the idea of creme fraiche with brownies, yum!

creativecarryout said...

I thought I found my favorite brownie recipe, but I have a hunch this would come in a really close 2nd. I'm going to give it a try asap
http://oneordinaryday.wordpress.com/

Maris said...

These look amazing - I'm definitely making these sometime! I have a great brownie recipe but you can never have too many!

Eftychia said...

Delicious brownies! They really look delicious. Thanks for sharing!

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