Sunday, August 12, 2012

Marshmallow Brownies

I've been on a chocolate rampage lately, meaning I been eating more than my fair share of chocolate. I am particularly obsessed with chocolate cake and love my Microwave Chocolate Cake recipe. It's been my go-to dessert for weeks! This recipe is so easy and quick to make in addition to being quite conducive to my semi-crazy schedule.

Fortunately, I had time to make something chocolately this weekend, the conventional way. I know I've made brownies from scratch before; however, boxed brownies are so good that I often don't think making brownies from scratch is worth my time. While brownies are fairly a simple dessert, making great brownies can be time consuming. I went on a pursuit to find a simply yet delicious brownie and  found an excellent one on Joy of Baking.

While the recipe itself is great, I believe there are a few keys into making gourmet tasting brownies. First key, use quality chocolate. You wouldn't believe what a different it makes but the higher quality chocolate you use, the higher quality and depth of flavor your brownies will taste. This goes for cocoa as well. Try to use high quality, non-alkaline cocoa. It makes a significant difference. I've researched the art of brownie making and chocolate quality is something I've consistently heard. I always disregarded this tip but when I wasn't getting the taste I was searching for, I had to change something in my practice. Secondly, the addition of coffee adds a depth of flavor to the brownie and accentuates the chocolate flavor. While coffee is an optional ingredient in many recipes, I believe coffee makes a good brownie into a great/gourmet tasting brownie. Lastly, add  chocolate chips! I know brownies are already chocolately but the chips gives texture and reiterates the chocolate goodness that brownies are known for. There's something divine about biting into melted chocolate that can really give brownies a heavenly status.

Marshmallow Brownies
modified from Joy of Baking

5 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon ground coffee
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3.5 ounces marshmallow fluff

1. Preheat oven 350 F. Grease an 8x8 pan with nonstick cooking spray or butter.
2. Melt chocolate in a large stainless bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat and stir in cocoa, coffee, and sugar. Whisk in vanilla extract and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in flour, salt, and chocolate chips. Scoop marshmallow fluff on top of brownie batter and swirl fluff around with the tip of a knife until evenly distributed throughout batter. 
3. Pour in prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a little batter and few moist clumps attached. Do not overbake. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Yield: 16 brownies

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