Learning about food, photography, and writing. Sharing what I find.


Friday, January 8, 2010

Brownies and a New Lens - The Perfect Day

Ok, fine. I didn't take these brownie photos with my new lens. UPS only arrived 3 minutes ago. But, to celebrate its arrival, I'm going to tell you about the equally exciting brownie recipe I stumbled upon a few months back. We all win! I get to fiddle all night with my new Wide-Angle Lens and you get to spend the evening cooking up your favorite new guilty pleasure.

Side Note: I've been using a fixed 50mm lens since my 12-year-old zoom lens bit the dust, and I can't express the joy of being able to zoom again. Don't get me wrong; I love the fixed lens and it will probably remain my choice for food-photography, but I spent an entire 1/2 year running across dangerous European streets to get full shots of duomos and statues and castles and such. Praise God for wide angles! A BIG "Thanks!" to all the Christmas-contributors to this much needed purchase.

Now on to the good stuff. Do you see those brownies above? Well, you should taste them, too. I should start by saying that I am fully committed to an old family recipe for "normal, everyday" brownies. And, yes, in my house, brownies were/are very regular visitors. The gorgeous items we're talking about today are more like "special occasion brownies." In fact, I hesitate to call these new things "brownies" at all because they are really somewhere closer to a Lava Cake or a Fudge Cake. All that to say, they are not for the faint-of-chocolate-heart.

Here it goes (This recipe is taken from Le Pain Quotidien, a fantastic international bakery chain with long, family-style tables and a recipe at every seat. I lucked out on my first visit there, discovering this recipe and never looking back):

Makes 14 Brownies:
  • 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I say the darker the better, but they recommend 60-64% cacao. Roots has blocks of organic dark chocolate, which I have used in combination with a bar or two of Green & Black's or Ghirardelli Special Dark.)
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbs. butter, cut into small pieces (Don't faint on me.)
  • 5 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/3 cups superfine sugar (I blend granulated sugar in the food processor for a minute or two because I don't have superfine sugar in my pantry. Don't use powdered sugar.)
  • 3 Tbs. pastry or all-purpose flour

  1. Roughly chop the Chocolate into pieces.
  2. Transfer to your double-boiler or a medium-sized bowl and add the Butter pieces.
  3. Place the bowl/boiler over simmering water and stir until the two ingredients have melted together.
  4.  Mix well, transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
  5. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  6. Sift the Sugar and Flour together.

  7. Fold dry ingredients into Chocolate mixture.
  8. Add the Eggs and mix well (The consistency here is like nothing I've seen before . . . almost rubbery and definitely gelatinous. Threw me off, but the results are undeniably delicious).
  9. **Cover and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes (The batter will thicken as it stands).
  10. Line a muffin tin with cupcake papers.
  11. Scoop 1/4 - 1/3 cup of the batter into each paper-lined cup.
  12. Bake 30-35 minutes (The brownies will puff up a lot and then fall as they cool. Beware of overcooking! The final product should be very moist in the center. Kinda lava-cakey).

They are best when served warm, as per usual with brownies. I would venture to say a nice scoop of Vanilla Bean ice cream would be a lovely garnish. Don't worry about having some leftover, either. They warm up nicely for as many days as it takes you to finish them off! Just look at them. They are waiting for you and my lens is waiting for me.


  1. I think I might try these tonight! 5 eggs shocks me, but I trust you...
    ...oh, and I'm super jealous of your lense-it came awfully fast, huh?

  2. One-day free shipping! (Advertised as 2-day, but I guess it came from somewhere nearby). I'll post new pictures as soon as I have gotten used to the lens...it zooms in the opposite direction as my Canon did. Ah!

  3. Divine. Rich, warm, melt in your mouth chocolate yumminess. I was unsure about the ratios of ingredients (only 3 Tbsp flour???), but they came out perfect! Thanks, Gracie!

  4. Grace--I love the photos of the ingredients along the way, as well as the end product.
    Bethany--We'll be right over!