Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tuesdays with Dorie - Little Red Riding Hood & Best-Ever Brownies


Today´s recipe for the Tuesdays with Julia group are “Best-Ever Brownies” by contributing baker Rick Katz. A chocolate brownie can be considered to be an American "invention", it is a flat, baked square or bar. It was developed in the United States at the end of the 19th century and popularized in both the U.S. and Canada during the first half of the 20th century. Brownies are a cross between a cake and a cookie in texture and they are either cakey or fudgy in texture. They only started to make an appearance in Europe a few years ago but since then have become hugely popular with children and adults alike.




The ingredients for these brownies are few. There is, of course, the plain flour, fine salt, unsalted butter, white sugar, pure vanilla extract and fresh eggs but then there is also four ounces ( 113 grams) of unsweetened chocolate and two ounces (57 grams) of bittersweet chocolate. And, of course, you will use the best-quality chocolate that you can because it does make all the difference, the brownies will taste all the more decadent, the better the quality of the ingredients you use.




The preparation of these brownies is somewhat different from other brownie recipes. There is the usual melting of butter and chocolate to ensure a wonderful top “crust”. But half of the egg-sugar mixture is stirred into the melted chocolate and butter and the other half is whipped until it thickens and doubles in volume and is folded into the chocolate mixture very carefully before you can add the dry ingredients with a very light touch.




I made them exactly like written in the recipe but baked them a bit longer because they were still too moist in the center after 25 minutes. I kept testing with a wooden pick until I felt they were ready. This recipe is for fudgy brownies with a soft and chewy center. You do not want to overcook them so, unlike cakes, you do not want a skewer to come out all clean. The brownies should be slightly springy on the outside but still gooey in the middle. Allow to cool in the baking pan, then carefully transfer to a large chopping board and cut into chunky squares. It is seriously tempting to remove them when they are still warm but they are far too fragile to decant unless cold.




Since we had a birthday party planned at our house and the birthday girl had chosen “Little Red Riding Hood” as the party theme, I decided to bake these Best-Ever Brownies for the party. Keeping in mind the theme of the party,  I cut the brownies into small chunky squares and dusted them with some powdered sugar, I placed them in chequered red and white cupcake liners and put a few in tiny hand-woven baskets. The guests were delighted at the presentation!

The kids loved these brownies. They thought they were "excellent" -  chewy, very rich and and fudgy exactly what a brownie should be.




Although we have got so many variations on the classic chocolate brownie recipe - whether you like to add white chocolate, nuts, raspberries, cookies, marshmallows, dulce de leche or cheesecake swirls, or even chili or coarse salt, there is simply nothing quite like a fudgy, dense chocolate brownie.

So after tasting these, we are convinced that if only "Little Red Riding Hood" had known about these Best-Ever Brownies, she would have asked her mother to put them instead of a cake in her basket to bring to her grand-mother!




" I am Little Red Riding Hood and I am taking this cake to my Granny. She is alone at home and sick in bed." *


To see all the other Best-Ever Brownies by the talented members of the Tuesday with Dorie group, please do click here.

The recipe can be found at Monica´s delightful blog A Beautiful Mess - "Thank you" so much for hosting, Monica !




And a huge “Thank You” also to my favorite bookstore in town for letting me borrow "Little Red Riding Hood" for the Birthday Party and the photo session at our house! – "Vielen herzlichen Dank" an meinen Lieblings-Buchladen für das Ausleihen des Rotkäppchens vom Buchverlag “moses.”!








*Translated from the well-known fairy tale "Rotkäppchen" first published by the Grimm Brothers, Jakob and Wilhelm in 1812.

23 comments:

  1. You find the best props Andrea! I think these brownies were incredible, much to my surprise since the title made me suspicious. They look beautiful!

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  2. Your pictures of the brownies and Rotkaeppchen are so adorable and charming!

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  3. Andrea, your LRRH is so cute...and I'd love some of your darling wooden mushrooms! I'm certain the party goers gobbled these up!!!

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  4. Love, love, love you pics with little red riding hood. That was so well done. What a lucky little birthday girl to get all this. The brownies and theme must have been a big hit. Great job.

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  5. what a cute red riding hood! Glad you loved the brownies!

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  6. Awwww - you do find wonderful props and settings for your shoots. And the Little Red Riding Hood theme is just an absolutely adorable idea for a young lady's birthday. I hope her party was everything she dreamed of!
    Once again, beautifully done.

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  7. Awww....I love the little red riding hood theme! Your presentation is just so cute and these brownies make the perfect bites for the little ones.

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  8. What a great post Andrea! I love your little red riding hood!

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  9. Love the party theme and all of your photos! So glad the brownies turned out perfectly for you! :)

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  10. This is so beautiful! You've done a wonderful job setting the stage for some VERY delicious sounding brownies - gorgeous!
    Mary x

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  11. Love your Red Riding Hood--how fun! I agree, she should have put these in Grannys basket. They are delicious.

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  12. What a fun post! Love the photos.

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  13. What a perfect treat for a birthday picnic, Andrea. I'm glad to hear that brownies are popular in Europe too. I don't think I realized they were an American invention. P.S. Little Red Riding Hood is adorable.

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  14. Really enjoyed your post, Andrea! And I love your little Red Riding Hood…so cute!! Looks like you baked the perfect brownie…they look fabulous!! Lovely photos!

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  15. Your post is wonderful and the pictures so beautiful and fun! You have reminded me to add some spunk (or little red riding hood) to mine! Blessings, Catherine www.praycookblog.com

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  16. You win for the most adorable presentation! Every photo is adorable and, of course, the brownies look wonderful as well. I agree with you that it is very important to use really good chocolate here.

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  17. I know that "the guests were delighted" because I certainly was and I didn't even get to taste the brownies. I follow lots of blogs and yours is one of the best...it is not just about a recipe. It is easy to see all the effort you put into each post.

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  18. Andrea, what a lovely presentation. The little forest scene with Rotkaeppchen reminded both of us of a Waldorf school inspired decoration. We homeschooled and were inspired by some of the Waldorf school traditions. Loved your idea of turning the brownies into mini squares. As always a beautiful post.

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  19. These brownies look delicious, and I love the Little Red Riding Hood theme! What a fun party.

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  20. Hi Andrea, here I am, finally!
    Congratulations on your post: it's brilliant! Your pictures should be included in every Little Red Riding Hood book: they're fantastic. So pleased you have such a lovely book shop at hand.
    Replying to your comments in my blog: at the beginning I really thought to skip the recipe: too rich for me, but then I felt like "letting down" the group et voilà. Can you believe me? I started making them at 08:15, knowing my friends would arrive at 09:00! Finished them (well they were still in the oven) and cleaned the kitchen... And no, not this time: it was Tuesday at I had the "knitting girls" ... ihihih! I'm learning to knit socks (my new relaxing hobby).
    All the best, dear Andrea.

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  21. These are just too cute! Such a creative way to share the brownies :) Happy birthday to the Birthday Girl!

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  22. I didn't grow up eating brownies (I started to see it in stores, but not common yet) in Japan, but I enjoy this sweets sometimes as my children likes it. I love your little red riding hood theme party - so cute! Those cupcake liners are perfect for these brownies!

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