Sunday, April 22, 2012

Chocolate Stout Brownies

Or the dark, chocolaty truffle dense-ness that has been smothered in a quarter inch of ganache made solely with beer, butter and chocolate.   AKA – the only chocolate you need to consume this whole week, AKA – I lost the stout but came out with HOLY SHIT CHOCOLATE. 

Or, in other words, I should warn you.  These brownies here?  They are chocolaty.  CHOC-O-LAT-TY.  I hope you read that as individual syllables, loud and harsh, because then you’ll get my seriousness of this matter.  Now, don’t mistake this seriousness to imply that these brownies aren’t good.  Because they are delicious.  They are quite honestly dark, chocolaty, truffle dense deliciousness.  But Guinness brownies they are not.

And to me, that was a disappointment.  See, I made these brownies to bring to my really cool friend who lives in Milwaukee.  My really cool friend who lives in Milwaukee and works at MillerCoors (like, you know, the beer company) and will soon be moving out to California to continue working at MillerCoors.  Now, I know as a beer company employee, he’ll still have plenty of beer, but this is a boy who really loves his stout, his IPA’s, his lagers.  Which, consequently, Milwaukee really loves too.  A little bit more so than, let’s say, Southern California.  And I know he’s going to miss it, so I wanted to give him beer.  In a brownie.  That’s not such a weird thing to want, right??

So, fail on that front.  However, on the front of I drank a little more than I should have, these are fantastic the morning after. Chocolate cures hangovers, right?

Chocolate Stout Brownies
Adapted from Bon Appetit's Feb. 2012

These did not earn a hallowed spot in the BGCB. Absolutely delicious, yes. But anything with this much chocolate and butter usually is, right? Plus, as mentioned above, I lost the stout. And if I'm going to put a recipe called chocolate stout brownies in my big green cookbook, I want it to shout stout.

1 c. stout (I used Guinness)
16 oz. bittersweet chocolate, divided
1 c. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 c. AP flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt, divided

For the brownies: preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x9 pan with foil, leaving an overhang. You are going to use the overhang to pull the brownies out later. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, bring stout to a boil. Keep at a gentle boil until reduce by half. Here's a trick. Dip a toothpick in the stout initially and mark how far the liquid comes up to. Use that as your measuring stick to find out when you've reduced by half. You need to end up with a 1/2 cup reduced stout. This will be divided equally between the brownies and the ganache.

Set up a double boiler (I used a glass bowl set over a simmering pot of water. Don't let the water touch the bottom of the bowl!) In bowl, mix 1 cup butter (2 sticks) and 16 oz. of chocolate, coarsely chopped. Stirring occasionally, melt the chocolate butter until smooth. Try your best not to drink it.

In separate bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs and vanilla. Slowly, whisk in chocolate and butter mixture, followed by 1/4 cup of reduced stout and 1 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Next, slowly fold in all purpose flour. Do not over mix. Pour brownies into prepared pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Brownies are done when the top begins to crack and the edges pull away from the sides of the pan. A toothpick stuck in the middle will come out with a few moist crumbs clinging. Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack 20-30 minutes will preparing ganache.

Again in double boiler, melt remaining 4 oz. of chocolate coarsely chopped and 2 tablespoons of butter until smooth. Remove from heat. Add remaining 1/4 cup of reduced stout. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon of salt, whisk until blended. Pour ganache over cooled brownies, spreading and tilting pan as necessary to make sure it's even. Let sit until ganache firms, about 45 minutes. Use foil over hang to remove brownies from pan and slice. Enjoy your chocolate amazingness!

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