Saturday, June 26, 2010

Classics with a Twist Part 3: Brownie-Caramel Sundaes

Though probably apparent by now, I am addicted to baking. For one dinner party, I baked bread, the dip, the lasagna tart, and of course I had to bake dessert to complete the meal :) I wouldn't dream of sending my guests away without serving a proper dessert! I love baking anything, but I have a particularly strong predilection for baking sweets. Though I do prepare quite a few non-baked desserts, I thoroughly enjoy the process of baking desserts just as much as I do eating them :) And, not to boast, but my friends especially enjoy my baked goods.
When it comes to classic American desserts, brownies win hands down. Though brownies exist in both cake-like and fudge-like forms, I only care for fudgy brownies. Oh so rich, dense and chocolatey, what's not to enjoy about this all-time fudgy favorite? I hadn't baked brownies in quite a while, and I was craving them when it came time for C.'s wlecome back dinner. So I thought the dinner party provided the perfect excuse to whip up a batch of these incredibly rich, luscious brownies, adapted from Ina Garten's recipe for Outrageous Brownies, and that it would also prevent A. and I from eating the whole pan by ourselves (which, I must say, happens quite often :) Of course, since I had selected classics with a twist as the theme for the get-together, plain brownies simply wouldn't do. Serving brownies with vanilla ice cream has become quite the fad as of late, so I decided to spruce up this combination with a simple caramel sauce to create these incredible brownie sundaes. Wow, this was one heavenly dessert. Simple, but astonishngly elegant and exquisite. Of course, you can serve the brownies by themselves, and they will still taste world class. In any case, I will bake these brownies over and over because I just can't get enough of them :) And I guarantee, you will too!
Brownies: (Adpated from Ina Garten's Outrageous Brownies)
2 sticks unsalted butter
1/2 pound(1 and 1/3 cups) plus 6 ounces (1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips
3 ounces(1/2 cup) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3 extra-large eggs(I used 4 large eggs)
1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1.5 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1.5 cup chopped walnuts

Caramel Sauce, recipe below
Good quality vanilla ice cream, enough for each sundae to have a small scoop

For the brownies:
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 9" x 13" baking pan.
Melt together butter, 8 ounces of chocolate chips and unsweetend chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, at 50% power, in 30-second intervals until completely melted. Stir in-between intervals. Let it cool slightly.
Stir together eggs, coffee powder, vanilla extract and sugar in a large bowl. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.
In another bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Fold this into the cooled chocolate mixture gently, until completely mixed in and no lumps of flour remain.
Toss the walnuts and remaining 1 cup of chocolate chips together with 2 tablespoons of flour in another bowl. Fold these into the brownie batter. Pour the brownie batter into the baking pan.
Place pan into preheated oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the brownies have slightly pulled away from the edges and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few dry crumbs, but no liquid. Do not overbake! Mine were done in 25 minutes. After 15 minutes of baking time, rap the pan against the oven shelf to release the air from between the pan and the brownie dough. Let the brownies cool thoroughly, and refrigerate them overnight.

Caramel Sauce: (Recipe from Simply Recipes)
1 cup sugar
6 tbsp. butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup water

Have all ingredients ready to use. Heat sugar and water on medium-high heat in a heavy-bottomed 2 quart or larger saucepan. Begin to stir vigorously with a wooden spoon or whisk as soon as the sugar starts to melt. Stop stirring when the sugar begins to boil. You can swirl the pan a little, though.
As soon as the sugar is completely melted and is a dark amber color, add the butter and whisk until it melts. Take the pan off the heat, count to 3, and slowly pour in the cream, continuously whisking. The mixture will foam up considerably when you add the cream, so be careful. Whisk until the sauce is smooth. Let the sauce cool for a couple of minutes, and then transfer it to a glass jar. Let it cool to room temperature. You can refrigerate the sauce for up to 2 weeks.
(See the post on Simply Recipes for pictures.)

When ready to serve sundaes, cut the brownies into small to moderate-sized pieces. They are rich, so do not cut them too large. I got about 20 medium-sized brownies total. Warm enough caramel sauce for serving. Top each brownie with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream, and drizzle the ice cream and brownie with caramel sauce. Serve immediately.


Sushma Mallya said...

Def a worth trying one, looks so yum and tempting..

Priya said...

Woww irresistible sundae, definitely worth to try...yummmy..

Umm Mymoonah said...

Wow! Looks too good, who would say no this yummy looking sundae.

Swathi said...

This is absolutely delicious sundae. Very nice one.

Rachana said...

Droolworthy Sundae! I so wish to have this now...mouthwatering!

Charenn29 said...

Nice recipe, this is really yummy. There is nothing to argue about. Keep posting stuff like this i really like it. thank you for sharing this recipe..

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