Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Testing, testing...

Over the last 36 hours, I've tested 3 brownie recipes, trying to get a cocoa-based brownie that is just right for me. Chewy, chocolaty, melt-in-your mouth, and just exciting enough with the basic ingredients. Over the last year, I've probably tested 8 or 10 different recipes. What I really want is a base to build off of. I like a thick brownie, loaded with chunks of chocolate and occasionally some nuts, but I need to get the basics right first. And I want a cocoa-based brownie because pretty much everyone has cocoa in their house, but we don't all keep stashes of unsweetened or bittersweet chocolate for melting. So the recipe would be great for sharing. Which is what I love to do with recipes, of course!

So I've tweaked and tweaked, and hopefully I'm on my last tweak. If you see a brownie recipe here in the very near future (oh-hopefully 24 hours!) that will mean this last tweak was just right. I know it sounds like a delicious feat, but it's actually a bit difficult to figure out exactly what's just not quite right with this recipe or that brownie. I think, perhaps, that I am very close.

I've mentioned in the past that I love the box of Hershey's brownies you can sometimes find at Costco, which is, in fact, Betty Crocker Supreme triple chunk brownies. (I think it's Betty's, but it's definitely from whatever company makes the Supreme line of brownie mixes.) They're very good if you make them with melted butter instead of vegetable oil. One of the best brownies out there, really. But I want my own recipe. Call me vain. Or cheap. Or crazy.

Well, honestly, it is a labor of love. I do love chocolate, and I have no trouble admitting it. Brownies are one of the best forms of chocolate. For proof, I could present at least two, maybe three people that I know who don't like chocolate but will eat a brownie any day and enjoy it. Brownies are definitely one of the world's most beloved treats. At least America's.

Anyhow, when I get all this figured out, I'll pass along the recipe. And by figured out, I mean I'll have a recipe that will be delicious, irresistible, and adaptable to whatever you like adding to your brownie. And delicious plain. (I once had brownies with chunks of peanut butter cups in them. You can probably guess how good they are, and how guilty I felt afterwards!)

Hope you hear from me soon! Happy summer cooking!


Seth and Sarah said...

I don't know if you're interested or not, but Zingerman's has some pretty amazing brownies. In fact, they call them Magic. Well, a simple Google search revealed the recipe. They published it in a copy of Midwest Living Magazine. You can find it on their website under Magic Brownies. ( Or a transcribed version, possibly more accurate that way, on this blog:

Anyway, I know those are tasty brownies. And I'm sure they're almost as good as what you'll finally come up with!

Heidi said...

I can't wait! I have also been on a search. One thing that I read somewhere was adding Hershey's syrup. Just a thought.

BTW, I am going to Zingerman's next week!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe you didn't tell me about the brownies with peanut butter cups in them. You must have felt guilty indeed!

Anonymous said...

If anyone is looking for good cocoa. Pernigotti Cocoa is my favorite cocoa. ( Sometimes you can find it at Williams-Sonoma. It has a wonderful deep chocolate aroma with a bit of vanilla.

mmmmm Zingerman's brownies. Heidi I have to say I'm a bit jealous. Have a reuben for me and a brownie!

Rachel said...

Well, it will definitely be another day or two. I do love Zingerman's brownies, so I'll have to try this before deciding. They aren't particularly chewy, though, which I really like. Mark also pulled a previous brownie out of the freezer which we liked better than the ones from the last few days, so I need to remake that one (to be sure I know which recipe it is). So, two more brownie recipes before I decide.

It's actually a good idea to make them all at once, because I can't possibly eat a whole pan of brownies 5 times over in a week. I just sample one or two and I've pretty much had enough. Maybe that's a sign I haven't found the perfect brownie. :(

Rachel said...

I meant to say I really like a chewy brownie, not that I really like that Zingerman's brownies aren't chewy.