Monday, October 03, 2005

Mondays with Maida - Fudge Brownies

Page 78 in the old book / page 125 in the new book

While there are still a number of chocolate bar cookies ahead, strictly speaking, this is the last of the brownies. This recipe is very similar to the All-American Brownies, but with double the chocolate, an added dose of sugar, and one more egg. Walnuts are listed as an optional ingredient and Maida notes that the brownies are equally good with or without the nuts. With my office clearly divided on the preferred nut in brownies, I decided to leave them out. Unlike the All-American Brownies, these brownies are mixed in a mixer.

I have been lining the pan with either parchment or foil, even when the recipe only recommended buttering the pan. This guarantees that the cake will come easily out of the pan. This recipe recommended dusting the buttered pan with breadcrumbs, so I decided to try it without the parchment. I held my breath as I pried the finished cake from the pan. It resisted a little, but in the end it came out of the pan cleanly. Next time I think I'll just stick with the parchment - less heartburn.

I thought these brownies were very good, but not significantly better than the All-American Brownies. Since they had to be chilled prior to cutting, I ate my brownie cold. I think the fudginess was probably accentuated by chilling, so my sample was especially moist and chewy with a crumbly, crunchy top. Yum! By the way, if you haven't already, have a look at Niki's take on this recipe - talk about moist and fudgy!

Leaving out the nuts worked for some, but not all...

Suzanne: "When Cathy told me these brownies didn't have nuts, I thought, 'oh no', since I like brownies with nuts. Actually, the brownies were better without nuts since the texture was chewier. I enjoyed the fudge brownies. Rating - 4.5"

Denny: "I'd give them a 3.5, but also would rename them to Norman Rockwell' Brownies. Rating - 3.5"

Laura: "Moist, chocolate and fudgy: what more can you ask for in a Brownie? Rating - 5.0"

Phil: "Starts with a thin cake like layer with increasingly moist and richer chocolate strata. If you don't like nuts this may the best choice so far. But we samplers are here to serve and willing to continue to consume & rate all comers : ) Rating - 4.7"

Overall rating by the panel - 4.4

Next week - Chocolate Mint Sticks

Nutrition Facts


Nic said...

Impressive results from the panel. I'm thinking that leaving out the nuts was a good choice. Something very fudgey and chewy might not be quite as nice when interrupted with nuts.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photo!! :)

Cathy said...

Hi Nic - thanks! I agree - I didn't miss the nuts at all in these.

Hi Alice - thanks!!

Reid said...

Hi Cathy,

Absolutely sinful. While I like brownies with nuts, these look just wicked without them. Why did you have to do this to me...ahh, I guess I'm going to do more baking this weekend! *sigh*

Cathy said...

Hi Reid! Do what I do - bring it to work! Or, stick most of it in the freezer so you can't eat it without a little forethought. Only problem is, I'm becoming increasingly adept at eating frozen baked goods. (And let me tell you, frozen brownies are pretty great!)

Niki said...

I think no nuts is the way to go with these. Did you take that photo when the brownie was frozen or cold? They look much more dense and cakelike than my version!
I bet they were well enjoyed!!!

Cathy said...

Hi Niki! Yes, I cut these after they'd been in the freezer a little while and the photo was taken shortly after. The one I ate (cold) was very dense and fudgy. I didn't have one the next day, so I don't know if the texture was the same at room temp. I didn't get a lot of comments on these (aside from the solicited ones from the cookie panel) - maybe everyone is tiring of brownies (is that possible??).

Anonymous said...

Just a general brownie comment--I have very good luch with buttering the pan and then dusting it with a mixture of cocoa and granulated sugar. The brownies come out very easily.

Cathy said...

Hi Mary - I made a cake recently that called for buttering the pan and dusting it with cocoa. It worked like a charm (of course I still put parchment in the bottom and then buttered and dusted that - I am so paranoid when it comes to cakes). Anyway, I think using cocoa with chocolate things is a great idea!

Anonymous said...

This is a really good brownie to serve a la mode and with chocolate fudge sauce. MMMMMMMMMFudgeBrownies!!!
Pie Susan