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Everything you want to know about chocolate
Climbing the walls for a chocolate fix, I wanted to bake a no-holds-barred, fudgy, chocolaty brownie. I dragged out my battered binder overstuffed with recipes that I've collected over the past 15 years. My husband cringes every time I heave it onto the table to start a recipe search. The cover looks like it's been run over by a semi, and when you open it up, papers fly out, and the smell of old bakery fills the air. There's no order whatsoever to the clippings and scribblings, many of which are faded except for the smudges of chocolate and flour dust.
For years I've threatened to clean it up, but it's become a scrapbook for me. As I turn the pages, I relive the past. "Oh, there's the bread pudding recipe that got me the pastry chef job in Connecticut" and "Ah yes, the Thanksgiving pie menu that kept me up all night slaving away on pie crusts, and almost gave me a nervous breakdown". Good times.
So I flipped and flipped and finally spotted the bright yellow piece of notepad paper with my sloppy hand-written recipe for chocolate truffle brownies. Originally adapted from a recipe from Martha Stewart, these seriously fudgy brownies are the ultimate extreme chocolate brownie.
They're not jazzed up with a superfluous chocolate icing or filled with chocolate bits-because they don't need to be. These brownies are not for the faint of heart, or for those who prefer a cake-ier crumb. And here's why: These brownies are smack full of chocolate (almost a full pound). And with only a mere tablespoon of flour, these brownies are practically flourless, which means that you can't get much chocolaty-er. The lack of flour (which gives structure to a baked good), also creates an extremely moist and tender texture. To temper the sharpness of the bittersweet chocolate, I cut in a small amount of creamy milk chocolate.
What makes these brownies unique, however, is that they're baked in a muffin tin. A fudge batter such as this would have trouble baking properly in a regular pan. The edges would bake up fine, but you'd end up scooping out the middle with a spoon. By baking these brownies in muffin cups, you end up with the perfect ratio of chewy crust to creamy truffle-like center. Sink your teeth into just one of these babies and your chocolate dragon will be purring like a kitten. Be sure to keep it happy with a glass of ice cold milk.
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About the Author: Yvonne Ruperti is a food writer, recipe developer, former bakery owner, and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Easy Artisan Bread. You can also watch her culinary stylings on the America's Test Kitchen television show. She presently lives in Singapore and is currently at work constructing her new blog, "ShopHouseCook".