July 28, 2010

Rick Katz's Brownies for Julia

I recently found this recipe while looking for a brownie recipe to bring to a barbecue.  I knew I wanted fudgy brownies with no nuts or frosting.  While searching one of my favorite food blogs (http://www.traceysculinaryadventures.com/) I found this one.  She actually got the recipe from another website (http://chocolatechic.wordpress.com//) which is where the actual recipe can be found.  I patterned my recipe after this recipe and did as she did and these brownies are very very good.  The only thing I will caution you on is they are SUPER fudgy and even gooey in the middle.  I even cooked mine longer then indicated and used a larger pan knowing they'd be thinner and they were still very gooey in the center.  The edges were the texture I would expect in a brownie however and these didn't last very long at my house. In case you're wondering about the name of these brownies, Rick Katz is a Boston based Pastry Chef and Julia is the one and only Julia Child.  More of the story below.

I didn't have the unsweetened chocolate bakers squares at my house, but I did have the unsweetened cocoa powder and luckily it give the conversion chart on the back. The picture above is the cocoa powder and shortening needed for the conversion.


Luckily I did have the semi-sweet baking chocolate squares so this part required no math (thank goodness).


Butter, cut up as requested per the recipe.  Who am I to argue with a pastry chef after all.

All the chocolate and butter goes into a double boiler (or a bowl over a pot of simmering water) and stir until it's completely blended - but not too much so the butter doesn't separate.

mmmmm, chocolate!  Once the butter and chocolate have melted together add 1 cup of the sugar. Is it combined?  Good, now remove it from the heat and add the vanilla.

Now pour the melted chocolate into a large bowl.

This next part I didn't take any good pictures so bear with me.  Add the remaining 1 cup of sugar to the bowl of your mixer with the whisk attachment. Add in all 4 eggs and whisk them together until combined. Now, ready carefully - pour half of this egg/sugar mixture little by little into the warm chocolate (slowly so you don't cook your eggs). Mix them together slowly but constantly. Now we're caught up to the picture above.

With the remaining half of the egg/sugar batter, whisk together on high until the mixture has doubled in size. Carefully fold this egg/sugar mixture into the chocolate mixture. Stop short of blending it completely together.

Sprinkle your dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture little by little.

Gently stir until you can no longer see the dry ingredients.

Good, now pour this into a pan. 

Remember, I used a larger pan so they'd be thinner and maybe not as gooey in the middle as a thicker brownie might be.

Into a 350 degree oven for somewhere between 20 and 25 minutes.  I put mine in for 25 minutes and they were still nice and gooey so I guess it'll depend on how hot your oven is and your elevation.

Cook until the top looks dry, but when you insert a toothpick it comes out sort of wet and gooey.

I didn't have a lot of time to let these cool as I should have since I had to take them to a barbecue but I think they were fantastic all the same.  The original recipe says if you let them cool they'll set and you'll be able to cut them easier than the picture above.

Here's the story behind this recipe, and the recipe directly from ChocolateChic's blog.   

Dorie writes “In 1995, when I was working with Julia Child filming the PBS series Baking with Julia and writing the companion book, Boston-based pastry chef Rick Katz was running the prep kitchen in Julia’s basement. Working between the washing machine and the dryer, Rick was in charge of getting the recipes of each of the twenty-six visiting chefs ready for their close-ups. An ordinary human would have had his hands full, but superman Rick always found time to make us extra little goodies, among them these very dark, very fudgy brownies. The way he prepares the batter is different from any other brownie recipe I know. Half of the eggs and sugar are mixed in with the chocolate, while the other half are beaten until they double in volume and are as light as a sponge. Whipping the eggs creates the surprisingly creamy, soft and definitely fudgy texture.

Here is the recipe:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, coarsly chopped
2 oz. buttersweet chocolate, coarsly chopped (I used semi-sweet)
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and set the rack to the middle. Put a 9x9 inch pan (I used 9x13) on a baking sheet.  Whisk your flour and salt together and set aside.

Put a heat safe bowl over a pot of simmering water, don't allow the water to touch the bottom of the bowl.

Cut your chocolate and butter and add them to the double boiler (that's the bowl on top of the pot of water) ;).  Stir the chocolate and butter until it's combined - do not overcook.  Add 1 cup of sugar and mix well, then remove from the heat and add the vanilla and transfer to a large bowl.

In a mixing bowl add the remaining 1 cup of sugar and the eggs.  Use your whisk attachment and whisk these together.  Take 1/2 of this mixture and gently pour into the warm chocolate mixture while stiring so that your eggs don't cook from the heat of the chocolate.  Whisk the remaining sugar/egg mixture on high for about 3 minutes or until it's doubled in size.  Fold this egg/sugar mixture into the chocolate gently using a spatula. Fold until almost combined but not fully. Sprinkle the dry ingredients into the mixture and fold these in until you can no longer see the flour.  Pour the mixture into the pan and bake for about 20-25 minutes. The top should look dry, but when you test the middle with a toothpick it should come out slightly gooey.

Now cool and then cut and enjoy!

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