Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thomas Keller's Brownies - Ad Hoc at Home

***Okay, folks...There is a special place in my heart for all things chocolate. And now, these brownies have taken up a large part of that special place. Close your eyes and imagine chocolately goodness...warm out of the oven. The first bite is heaven, and the second bite is even better. Halfway through your first bite, you hit a pocket of gooey goodness (a.k.a.: a warm chocolate chip).

You can open your eyes now...

Thomas Keller has done it again with his simple recipe for brownies. The best part about these insanely fantastic brownies are the bits of chocolate that are stirred into the batter before baking. They explode in your mouth as you take that first bite.

But...please prepare yourself...This recipe calls for THREE sticks of butter....Yes, I said THREE. I had to pick my chin up off the floor too after reading that. I think that I even heard my arteries let out a faint yell "NO! Don't do it!" It seemed like such a large amount for only 12 brownies.

When it came time to add the butter, I could not do it...I mean, seriously? THREE? I decided to add only TWO sticks of butter. This resulted in a lot of breath-holding and wondering if I had completely ruined the brownies that were supposed to be so amazing.

The verdict? They were still insanely fantastic!!! These have certainly earned a spot in the "Top-Rated Recipes" category.

I found that these brownies keep well and reheat wonderfully. I can imagine that they'd be almost sinful with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Okay...that's enough...I must go eat a brownie now...

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened alkalized cocoa powder
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs
1-3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
6 oz 61 to 64% chocolate, chopped into chip-sized pieces ( about 1 1/2 cups)
Powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350F. We use a 9-inch square silicone mold, because it keeps the edges from overcooking; if you use a metal or glass baking pan, butter and flour it. Set aside.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt; set aside.

Melt half the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Put the remaining butter in a medium bowl. Pour the melted butter over the bowl of butter and stir to melt the butter. The butter should look creamy, with small bits of unmelted butter, and be at room temperature.

In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, mix together the eggs and sugar on medium speed for about 3 minutes, or until thick and very pale. Mix in the vanilla. On low speed, add about one-third of the dry ingredients, then add one-third of the butter, and continue alternating the remaining flour and butter. Add the chocolate and mix to combine. (The batter can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.)

Spread the batter evenly in the pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until a cake tester or wooden skewer poked into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs sticking to it. If the pick comes out wet, test a second time, because you may have hit a piece of chocolate chip; then bake for a few more minutes longer if necessary. Cool in the pan until the brownie is just a bit warmer than room temperature.

Run a knife around the edges if not using a silicone mold, and invert the brownie onto a cutting board. Cut into 12 rectangles. Dust the tops with powdered sugar just before serving.

Source: Ad Hoc at Home by Thomas Keller


Anonymous said...

Those look so gooey and yummy!

Carolyn Jung said...

These are insanely good! I've had the pleasure of actually enjoying them at Ad Hoc. And my husband is so hooked on the recipe, he's made these brownies four times already. ;)

Sara Tea said...

this look TOO good. must try now.

chefany said...

Thank you so much for this recipe!! I absolutely adore these brownies... I had them at his bakery in Yountville and immediately fell in love with them...
On my way to my kitchen...drooling...

Maria said...

I need to try these! And SOON!

Celesta said...

maybe a silly question, but what is vanilla paste?

elie said...

I have a question about the sugar quantity: "1-3/4 cups sugar" is it 1 + 3/4 cups? or a choice between 1 cup and 3/4 cup?

i'm looking forward to hearing from you as i wanto to make this yummy brownie tomorrow.

10x, elie.

Stephanie said...

Those look amazing!! I will definitely have to try them!

Celeste said...

Thanks everyone!!! :-)

Celesta - Vanilla bean paste is much thicker than vanilla extract. It's actually a thin syrup. However, I've never used it and simply used vanilla extract in this brownie recipe.

Elie - The recipe should be read as 1 + 3/4 cups sugar...or almost 2 cups total. Sorry about that!

Ellie said...

One more question - as i already have some really dark chocolate (85%) at home, i would like to use it instead of the 61%-64% chocolate in the recipe? Will it make a negative difference?
Thank you :)

Ellie said...

One more question - will my using a 85% chocolate instead of the required 61 - 64%?

Thank you

Celeste said...

Ellie - I'm sure that you could use the 85% chocolate instead. However, the brownies will have more of a bitter taste with the higher cocoa percentage...It will just depend on your preference. My husband loves dark chocolate.

Also, you can counter-balance that bitterness by adding chocolate icing to the top of the brownies...while they are still hot out of the oven. My sister and I made these again over the weekend and we added store-bought frosting. By adding it while they're still hot, the icing melts a little into the brownies...YUM! They were almost fudge-like!

Zia Elle said...

Wow, it looks great!!!!
I looove chocolate!
And this cake is more than heaven!!!

Andrea said...

I just made these because they looked so good (and I'm not much of a brownie fan). Let me just say that they are "beater-lickin' good!" They're in the oven right now - I can't wait to taste the final product.

Ladyberd said...

I can't agree with you more. I just made these and my husband and I swear we'll never make another brownie recipe again. But I wouldn't expect less from Chef KEller!