Tuesday, June 3, 2008

TWD: French Chocolate Brownies



This past week, I joined Tuesdays with Dorie, a weekly baking group. I have been reading a number of blogs from people who participate, and knew it was something I would like to join. What could be better than the promise of weekly sweets, while stretching my culinary skills?

The first recipe, French Chocolate Brownies, chosen by Di of Di's Kitchen Notebook, definitely did push me to try something I probably wouldn't have otherwise. First of all, there is the fact that they are homemade brownies. Now, I'm all for made-from-scratch. I'm probably too all for made-from-scratch for the tastes of the people around me. However, those brownies from the box are damn good. So, I leave it to other people around me to bring the brownies (made from the red box, of course), while I concentrate on made-from-scratch goods that are different, or at least where the box varieties kind of suck.

The second "stretch" for this recipe was the raisins. I love raisins. I stick them in quick breads, and yeast breads, and bread puddings. My husband, who was fairly anti-raisin when he met me ("Why ruin a good oatmeal cookie?"), has even come around to the raisin side of things, due to my baking. But, raisins in brownies even made me raise my eyebrows? Why embellish a brownie?

For those who know me, you know that I believe firmly in trying a recipe exactly as written the first time around. That way, I have a feel for what the author intended, and I can tell if the recipe, itself is worthy. All bets are off if and when I make the recipe again. Then, I improvise to my heart's content (my mother's chocolate 10-pound cake comes to mind, the latest incarnation of which was a pistachio-white chocolate chip 10-pound cake). So, with that spirit, I pushed down my doubts and tried this raisin-enhanced brownie recipe.

I'm really glad I did. The rum-flamed raisins (the flaming part was surprisingly fun) served as moist little morsels throughout the already-moist, very smooth brownie. As a matter of fact, the brownies were so smooth and melt-in-your mouth that I dare say the raisins gave me something to chew. Otherwise, the rest could just dissolve blissfully without much help from my teeth.

So, the end result was that the raisins were a good idea. The other end result is that these made-from-scratch brownies were far better than the red box ever even dreamed of being. So, the next time someone says, "Why don't you bring some brownies?" I might not be so quick to decline in favor of something more complicated. These brownies brought brownies back to something that I am willing to make, and with pride.




13 comments:

Christine said...

Welcome to TWD! Say good bye to the red box, homemade all the way! Good job!

Susie Homemaker said...

These look great...welcome to the group! I hope to see more great results from you! (i wasn't a fan of using raisins, but I'm glad to see someone was!)

Carol Peterman said...

Welcome to TWD! I too was a bit skeptical of the raisins, and loved the result. Nicely done.

Di said...

Nice job on your brownies. Welcome to Tuesdays with Dorie!

Jules Someone said...

Welcome to the group! I agree with you on the first run of a recipe. I'll play around after I know what the author intended. Lovely brownies!

Sharon said...

Welcome to TWD! Your brownies look great! Looking foward to seeing more from you!

Melissa said...

Welcome! Your brownies look great!

Mara said...

yay for your first TWD...welcome to the group!!

i used to only do brownies from the box too but now that i have done 2 recipes (both with TWD)..i realize that homemade is so much better! yours look fab!

Rebecca of "Ezra Pound Cake" said...

Welcome to TWD! I'm so glad you liked this recipe. The photos look yummy.

Rebecca
http://www.ezrapoundcake.com

Cecilia said...

The flambe was really fun, wasn't it? I'm not sure if this recipe can replace the boxed version; the two are so different. I'm definitely a fan of this one, though.

Great job with the brownies, and welcome to the group!

SiHaN said...

i want that papery thin crust you have! *pouts*... looks delish by the way. Wld be heaven accompanied with a cuppa cold milk.

Bumblebutton said...

Nice job on your brownies--and glad you enjoyed them... Welcome to TWD, and, guess what?! You've been tagged for a meme!

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

I couldn't imagine raisins in brownies until I tried this recipe, and I loved them!