Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Perfect Brownie

My roommate is a pastry chef, and her bakery is known for its enormous dark and milk chocolate brownie squares.  She gave me the recipe.  I've since made these brownies several times.  It's rare that I care to make the same dish over and over again when there are so many new and interesting recipes to try.  But I have a fascination with this brownie recipe.

The recipe takes the elements that make a brownie a brownie, as opposed to a cake or a cookie or fudge, and exaggerates them.  No - the recipe hones in on the crucial essentiality of the brownie, and pays homage to it with a definitive, simplistic product.  You could put this brownie on a tray in a museum under a glass case with a plaque bearing the engraved title "Brownie."

While some brownies lean towards cakey or fudgy, this one owns its core being: that chewy, dense, heavy, moist, bordering on grainy texture.  Nothing more and nothing less.  Also, the color is opaque throughout; no variation in the form of a lighter chocolate chip or a peanut butter swirl or a tan fudge icing breaks the consistent, permeating darkness.

Made with dark chocolate cocoa powder, the brownie is almost black.  It's a beautiful thing, placed on a stark white plate with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a sprig of green mint (which I haven't actually done but wouldn't it be pretty?).

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