I was itching to try another recipe from the Tartine’s cookbook after that Banana Cream Pie with the Caramel and Chocolate. And when i came across Amanda of Fake Ginger‘s beautiful picture on her version of the Tartine’s Brownies, i was sold.
This brownie is probably the epitome of a dense, fudgy brownie. And when it comes to brownie points, this would have scored a perfect 10.
I am not exactly sure how these brownies should turn out. I have heard of an altogether different result from the same recipe. But as far as mine was concerned, this brownie is not much of a looker. It has the surface of a dry, caked up mud, a piece of barren land, unfitting for any form of life.
And it handled very badly too. I mean with that scandalous amount of chocolate (a whole pound, no less!) one wouldn’t have expected anything less. There was even a disclaimer which goes “NOTE: The brownies are ready even when tester comes out wet.” on Divine Baking, another blog which also featured this recipe. Anyways, as predicted, these brownies baked up very soft and delicate, and you have to be painstakingly careful when handling them to make sure it stays intact and not fall apart. Oh, and really, a nerves of steel would come in handy.
But once all that pan to plate transfer is out of the way, do yourself a favour and cut yourself a slice after all that anxiety. You deserve it.
See what i mean? With that amount of flour, the brownies just wont bake up to something structually sound. Of course, it could have been me, being too impatient to let this brownies bake further, or cool some more. The brownie came out pretty much like a chocolate molten cake. No complaints there though. :)
And as for the appearance department, nothing a lil sprinkle of powdered sugar cant solve, especially if you put a lil’ heart to it!
3/4 cup butter
1 pound bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 large eggs
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups nuts, optional for topping
Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. If the heat from the butter does not fully melt the chocolate, put the pan back over the heat for 10 seconds and stir until melted. Set aside to cool.
Sift the flour into a small mixing bowl. Set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Using a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat on high speed until the mixture thickens and becomes pale in color and falls from the beater in a wide ribbon that folds back on itself and slowly dissolves on the surface, 4 to 5 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, fold the cooled chocolate into the egg mixture. Add the flour and fold it in quickly but gently with the rubber spatula so that you don’t deflate the air that’s been incorporated into the eggs.
Pour the batter into the prepared dish and smooth the top with a spatula. If you are using nuts, evenly distribute them across the batter. Bake until the top looks slightly cracked and feels soft to the touch, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
Using a sharp knife, cut into 12 squares, or size desired. The brownies will keep in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 1 week.
The recipe for this banana cream pie has been chilling in my email inbox for a couple of weeks. My good friend happened to have visited the Tartine Bakery and picked up a copy of their cookbook. She scanned the pages for this recipe and sent it along my way. This is not your average banana cream pie, btw. This pie has TWO extra special components that brought this up pie up TWO notches from the average banana cream pies out there – Chocolate and Caramel.
Let me see you through the steps.
First, we have a chocolate covered crust.
Drizzle a bit of caramel over that chocolate
and then of course, we cant forget the traditional vanilla bean speckled pastry cream
But, wait, before i go on, lemme show you my most prized possessions,
My vanilla essence in the makings. :)
I swoon each time i open this jar of scented goodness.
Anyways, so we spoon some of that cream over the caramel and chocolate
Den of course we have the cardinal bananas. LOL
Top it with a generous amount of whipped cream
Now, comes the HARDEST part, refrigerating the pie overnight.
it’s hard, but pls be patient. You WILL be rewarded.
Now, this is not the kind of pie that cuts cleanly. It’s messy, but, really, who gives a hoot?
Are you going bananas over this yet?
Banana Cream Pie, with caramel and chocolate, adapted from Tartine.
Serves 8-12 (10 inch tart)
Flaky Pie Crust:
1 tsp / 5ml salt
2/3 cup/ 150ml very cold water
3 cups plus 2 tablespoons / 455 gr. flour
1 cup plus 5 tablespoons / 300 gr. chilled butter, cut into 1 inch cubes
In a small bowl, dissolve salt in water and keep cold.
To make dough with a food processor: put flour in the work bowl, scatter butter over flour, and pulse until the mixture forms large crumbs, but some of the butter is the size of peas. Add salted water and pulse for several seconds, until the dough comes together as a ball, but is not completely smooth (you should see some butter chunks).
On a floured surface, divide dough into two balls, shape into a 1-inch-thick disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
To fill a 10 inch tart pan, roll out one disk on a lightly floured surface to 1/8 inch thick, rolling from the center toward the edge in all directions, lifting and rotating the dough a quarter turn every few strokes. Cut out a circle 1½ inches larger than the tart pan and carefully transfer dough round to the pan (folding in half, if necessary), easing it into the bottom and sides and pressing into place, and trim the edge with a knife.Line with parchment paper and pie weights or dry beans.
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Bake until the surface looks dry with no opaque areas left, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and remove parchment and weights or beans and return shell to oven for another few minutes. If the center starts to rise, gently pierce with a knife tip. Let cool completely.
1 cup/ 250 ml heavy cream
3 oz/85 gr. bitter sweet chocolate
Set the chocolate into a bowl. Heat the heavy cream to boiling point and pour over the chocolate. Let stand a couple of minutes an gently stir until fully incorporated and glossy. Cool to room temperature. Pour over the cooled pastry shell and refrigerate.
Salted Butter Caramel Sauce:
240 gr. sugar
80 ml water
115 gr salted butter
150 ml heavy whipping cream
In a heavy saucepan set over low heat, combine the sugar and water and heat just until the sugar is dissolved. Add the butter. Let it come to a boil and cook until it reaches a golden caramel color. Remove from the heat and add the cream ( it will splatter and get crazy, but do not fear and trust the recipe). Whisk to combine and put back on the stove. Let it come to a boil again over low heat and cook 10-15 minutes until you reach a nice creamy consistency. Let cool to room temperature.Pour over the cooled chocolate ganache and refrigerate.
2 cups/ 500ml whole milk
1/2 vanilla bean, cut open down the middle, seeded
1/4 tsp of salt
4 tablespoons of cornstarch
1/2 cup/ 110gr. sugar
2 large eggs
4 Tb/ 55 gr. butter, cut in small cubes
Heat the milk, vanilla seeds and salt in a pan and put over medium heat, and bring to a boil.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the sugar, cornstarch and eggs until smooth. Slowly add 1/2 of the milk mixture into the egg and whisk constantly to temper them. Add the remaining milk and return the whole thing to the saucepan. Cook until you get a thick consistency, whisking non-stop. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl, let cool for 10 minutes and then incorporate the butter, one tablespoon at a time, until smooth . Cover the surface with plastic wrap, directly touching the cream, let cool completely.
Layer the pastry cream on top of the chocolate and caramel. Cut 2 ripe bananas in medium-thick slices (you know, not a mouthfull but not disintegrating when you pick it up), and arrange them over the cream, lightly pressing down. Decorate with chocolate shavings and if you really need it, some whipped cream.
Oh, before i go, i wanna thank my good friend, Yenny for scanning all five pages of this recipe and sending it to me! So Yen, if you are reading this, Thank bangets yeahh! LOL
U can’t see the insides of this cake. But it’s marbled, and i was too lazy to take another shot of the interior of the cake.
This recipe came from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s latest book, Heavenly Cakes, titled "Marble Velvet Cake" .
This cake did deliver what the book promises, a velvety, rich and moist butter cake that is part chocolate and part vanilla.
To top all that goodness, i drizzled a generous coating of the optional, but super yumm-eh, chocolate ganache over it.
This chocolate ganache totally won me over. Its glossy appearance turns matte when the chocolate has cooled and dried up. (YES! this chocolate ganache actually dries up in the tropical and humid climate i am in!)
Cool and dry chocolate ganache are a dream come true for me. Cakes with cool and dry chocolate ganache are travel friendly can be delivered messy- free to unsuspecting recipients, which in turn, gives me more room to bake. ^^
85 gr dark chocolate
112 gr egg yolks ( about 6)
242 gr sour cream (1 cup)
2 tsp vanilla extract
300 gr cake flour
300 gr superfine sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
255 gr unsalted butter
1. Double boil or using the microwave, melt the dark chocolate
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the yolks, 1/4 c of the sour cream, and vanilla till just combined
3. In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt on low for 30 secs. Add butter and the remaining sour cream. Mix on low until ingredients are moistened. Raise the speed to medium and beat for 1.5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
4. Starting on medium low speed, gradually add the egg mixture in three parts. Beat on medium for 20 seconds after each additions to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
5. Remove 1/3 of the batter (354 gr) to a bowl and stir in melted chocolate until uniform in colour. Scoop 1/3 of remaining batter onto prepared pan. Top with dollops of half the chocolate batter. Spread gently, but evenly. Top with another 1/3 of the plain batter, then dollops of the remaining chocolate batter. Spread evenly and top with remaining 1/3 of the plain batter, spreading it evenly over the top. Use a regular spoon to marbelize the batter lightly. Dip the tablespoon without touching the bottom or sides and lift up and over in a folding motion, 6 to 8 times, going all around the pan. Smooth the surface evenly.
6. Bake the cake for 50-60 minutes, or until a wire cake tester inserted between the tube and the side comes out clean, and the cake lightly springs back when lightly touched. The cake should start to shrink from the pan after removal from oven. During baking, it will rise above the centre tube, but on cooling, it will level from center tube.
7. Let cool in wire rack for 10 minutes before unmoulding.
Here are three components that made up this cupcake
Coffee, Caramel and Chocolate.
Did i convince u to make them yet?
The frosting was definitely a winner here. It was beaten to a pretty, glossy and stiff consistency and was able to form perfect little mounds when scooped onto the cupcakes. The coffee in the icing was very prominent. It imparted an aromatic and a slight bitter taste to the traditionally way-too-sweet plain 7 meringue icing.
Yes 7 minute meringue icing, it is fat free, cause its all egg whites! Okay, let’s just ignore about the sugar content in meringue icing. For now.
Brown sugar was used for the caramel flavour for this frosting. But i guess the coffee was too strong to let the caramel flavor shine. No one is complaining though. The coffee keeps our tastebuds and sense of smell busy enough.
As for the cake, nah.. definitely not in my top 10 list for the best chocolate cake. The chocolate flavour was pretty weak, and the texture was kinda chewy.. too chewy. The texture reminds me of those steamed chinese cakes. Or one of those eggless cakes with irregular holes and which rely on baking soda to rise.
Will i be making this again? hmm.. maybe not the cake. But the frosting. oh YEAH!
Recipe is from Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Dessert
Frosting recipe can be found HERE