Friday, June 22, 2012

Is it ALL about the chocolate?

There are so many different brands of chocolate available in the market today and at so many different price points.  Usually, when I make brownies, I use Bakers’ unsweetened chocolate and their one bowl brownie recipe.  I always thought these brownies where good, dense, and yummy.  I am not a huge chocolate connoisseur, so I just assumed the chocolate flavor was sufficient.

A few months ago, I brought brownies into the office for Valentine’s Day.  The brownies slowly went through the week, but by Friday, I had to throw away at least 2 brownies.  I work in a small office, but treats, good treats, are never not consumed.  I took this to mean, the brownies were not up to my usual standards.  I have not made brownies since.

Then, I discovered these little Jet Puffed Mallow Bits and instantly knew I wanted to create rocky road brownies.  It is said that to do the same thing and expect different results, is the definition of insanity.  I did not want to insanely create another perceived “fail” brownie attempt.  After reviewing the recipe and seeing that it mirrored a lot of other brownie recipes; and reading reviews of the chocolate, which are less than favorable in a lot of places, I decided the chocolate was the variable that needed to change.

I wanted to use another brand of unsweetened chocolate, keeping all other aspects of the recipe the same.  At my local grocery store, the only other brand of unsweetened chocolate they had was the uber expensive, though decadently yummy, Scharffen Berger chocolate.  After paying two arms and a leg for the chocolate bar, I used it in the brownie recipe.

The batter seems oiler than normal when I mixed it up, but I refused to throw it out!  I paid too much for this chocolate.  I baked up the brownies, let them cool, and cut them.  They were not oily at all AND they tasted amazingly chocolaty (in a good way).  I brought them to my office, hoping for a better reception than the last brownies I made.  The office loved them.  They got moved up to 3rd favorite on one of my co-work’s list of things I have baked.  They got moved up to 1st on the list of one of my mom’s co-workers.  I guess it is all about the chocolate.

The add-ins to these brownie are special as well.  The Mallow Bits (think crunchy marshmallow pieces from hot cocoa packs) provide an interesting and pleasant texture to the brownie.  They do not dissolve away like regular marshmallows, but are not completely crunchy like they are before baking; they are chewy.  The almonds and chocolate chips both provide a nice texture to the brownies as well.  Mixing half the add-ins into the batter and topping the brownies with the other half truly make them special.  They look like what they are, a rocky yet yummy road to travel!

Rocky Road Brownies

1 Brownie Recipe (I used Bakers’ One Bowl recipe, with Scharffen Berger Unsweetened Chocolate)

More or less to taste:
1 container of Mallow Bites
1 1/2 cups Sliced Almonds
1 1/2 cups Mini Chocolate Chips


1. Make brownie batter as instructed.

2. Stir in half of the add-ins.

3. Pour brownie batter into prepared pan, lined with parchment.  Spread out the batter into an even layer.

4. Top brownie batter in pan with the remaining add-in sprinkled generously across the top.  Press down on the add-ins slightly to ensure they adhere.

5. Bake the brownies as prescribed in the recipe you have chosen.  The add-ins should add little, if any, time to the baking length.

6. Let brownies cool completely before removing from pan with the parchment sheet handles and cutting into pieces.  Note, if the chocolate chips are taking a while to setup (when I made these it was 90 degrees outside), place the brownies in the fridge to allow the chocolate to set, then remove, cut, and enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment