The Baked Brownie with Easy Chocolate Ganache

    My husband’s birthday was last week and when I asked him what kind of cake or dessert he wanted me to make he told me he wanted brownies.  I was appalled!  With all the desserts I make, he wanted a plain old brownie.  Now, I normally just make Hershey’s brownie recipe, but I had just seen BrownEyedBakers top 10 brownie list and wanted to go with one of those.

    I chose the Baked Brownie because I’ve heard so much about it and wanted to see if it was worth the hype.  I couldn’t believe the amount of chocolate in it but I went right along and made it.  I wasn’t sure when it was finished because the center was so moist even when it was cooked. 

   Once the brownies cooled Frank asked if I could put ganache on top, so I did.  These brownies were out of this world!  They are by far the best brownie I had ever eaten.  Moist, sweet, fully of chocolate, sinful.  The ganache on top put me over the edge!  My husband loved them and enjoyed sharing them with friends who thought they were awesome as well.  No more Hershey’s brownie recipe for me!  This is my new “go to” brownie recipe.

The Baked Brownie(adapted from Brown Eyed Baker)
1 1/4 c. flour
1 t. salt
2 T. cocoa powder
11 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (or you can use dark chocolate)
1 c. butter, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
5 eggs
2 t. vanilla

For the ganache:
1 c. chocolate melts
1/2 c. sweetened condensed milk

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter the sides and bottom of a 9 x 13 pan (or two 8 x8 pans).  Line the pans with parchment paper.

2.  In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, salt, and cocoa powder.  Set aside.

3.  In a medium saucepan bring a half pan of water to a simmer and set a large mixing bowl on top of it.  In the bowl put the coarsely chopped chocolate and the butter.  Stir until completely melted and smooth.  Remove from heat but leave the bowl on top of the saucepan.  Add in the sugar and brown sugar.  Whisk until completely combined and then remove the bowl from the saucepan.

4.  Add the eggs to the chocolate mix and stir until well combined.  Mix in the vanilla until just combined. 

5.  Stir the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture until everything is just combined.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.  Bake for 30 minutes, or 35 if using the 8 x 8 pans,  rotating the pan halfway through baking.  Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack until completely cooled. 

6.  In a microwave safe bowl heat the chocolate melts and sweetened condensed milk for 30 seconds.  Mix well.  Put in for additional 10 seconds at a time until it is totally melted.  Pour over the cooled brownies and spread quickly.  Let cool 2-4 hours or until the ganache becomes firm.
7.  Left the brownies from the pan using the parchment paper.  Cut into squares and serve.  Store at room temperature in an air tight container or wrapped in plastic wrap.

Note:  To make these into brownie bites simply fill 24 mini muffins cups 2/3 of the way full and bake for 15-17 minutes.  Leave the tops plain and spoon a small amount of ganache on top of the brownie bites.

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