I’m so excited for February! This particular month seems like it always comes just in time…just when spring is WAY too far away. The snowdrifts are huge…and only getting bigger…and the thermometer is just not budging, at least not in the right direction (unless, of course, someone has a fever). Enter February. The month of romance, and chocolate, and my birthday. Lots of fun stuff in February! I’m also looking forward to getting an ultrasound this month. On my birthday actually. I can’t think of a better present than catching a glimpse of this new little one, and maybe even finding out whether I should celebrate by buying something in pink or blue!
On that note, let’s usher February in with some chocolate, in heart shape no less. By the way, please prepare yourself for lots of chocolate this month. I am a big chocolate fan and this is the one month where chocolate in excess is allowed, well, expected really. You do expect chocolate this month right? Someone please let me know if I’m mistaken here. On second thought…please don’t.
These brownies are great. They turned out so rich and fudgy which is not always what one expects from a cocoa brownie. The ganache on top…heavenly. I’m a sucker for ganache. Just for fun I cut them into heart shapes and added some pink sprinkles. You will end up with some leftover brownie scraps when you cut them out. I saw that more as an opportunity than a problem. If you don’t want the scraps, or just want the brownies to stretch further, they would be equally delicious cut into squares.
- 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cold large eggs
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.
Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and set the bowl in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and hot enough that you want to remove your finger fairly quickly after dipping it in to test. Remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot.
Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Spread evenly in the lined pan.
Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack.
Lift up the ends of the parchment or foil liner, and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Spread with ganache and cut as desired. I used a cookie cutter to make mine into heart shapes.
Combine 1 tbsp. corn syrup and 3 ounces of heavy cream in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Add 6 ounces of chopped chocolate (I used 60% but semi-sweet would be good too). Let sit for 1 minute and then stir together until smooth. Use immediately.
Source: Best Cocoa Brownies – Epicurious