Friday, February 24, 2006

I heart Brad

I have a confession. A crush, really. And no, it's not Brad Pitt. (Well, it was once, but I was a bit younger, and that was before the sous chef I work with told me he has terrible B.O.)

It is a brownie. But not just any brownie. It's the "Better-than-Brad-Pitt Brownie". This brownie from the recently shut Polka Dot Cake Studio in New York city is fully addicting. I swear I don't even have a sweet tooth. I might, however have a Better-than-Brad-Pitt Brownie tooth now.

I found the recipe in a recent addition of Chocolatier magazine. The article features many of New Yorks favorite bakeries, patisseries, and such, offering a recipe from each. And I'll admit, the name of these brownies peaked my interest. Could a brownie really be better than Brad? (ok, so I may still have a little crush) I had to find out.

These brownies get their amazing texture by being baked for a short period of time, then chilled in the refrigerator. This sets the texture into what is closer to fudge than the bar cookie many brownies are. Texturally speaking, they are to a brownie, what a cheesecake is to cake.

They are already on my menu sitting next to a chocolate peanut butter crunch cake and salted peanut ice cream.

I rarely feature a recipe, but since I have now made them twice in two days, I thought I'd share it with the world. And find a healthier way to celebrate these brownies than eating 8 of them in a row. (ok, 12, but I cut them small) Since the world can no longer go get these brownies from The Polka Dot Cake Studio, as Lovescool tells us, we can bake these brownies in tribute as often as we want.

Better-Than-Brad-Pitt Brownies
Polka Dot Cake Studio

14 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped (I used bittersweet)
1/4 cups cocoa powder
12 oz butter, softened (1 1/2 cups)
3 cups granulated sugar (if you use bittersweet, only use 2 1/2 cups)
1 tsp salt
6 eggs, at room temperature
2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
1 3/4 cups chocolate morsels (10 oz)
2 cups walnuts

Preheat oven to 300
Butter a 9 by 13 inch pan and line the bottom with parchment

1. Melt the chocolate and cocoa powder together in the top of a double boiler, or in the microwave in 5 second intervals.

2. Cream the butter, sugar, and salt for 2 minutes until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition and scraping the bowl down.

3. Add the melted chocolate and mix until the color is even.

4. Add the flour in 3 additions, mixing gently. When all the flour is incorporated, fold in the chocolate chunks and walnuts and mix well.

5. Pour into the prepared pan and spread the batter evenly. Bake at 300 for 25 to 30 minutes. The top will look set and papery, the middle will feel very soft, and the edges will have just started to pull away from the sides of the pan. Do not overbake.

6. Cool the brownies on a cooling rack on the counter until completely cooled, about 1 to 2 hours. Then chill them in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours. The chilling is the most important part as it sets the fudge like texture.

7. You can glaze them with chocoalte glaze and scatter nuts over them at this point, but I like the papery top as it is characteristic of a brownie, and the flavor is so rich as is, I cant see how you would want too much more.


8. Cut them small because they are very rich.


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