Sunday, June 26, 2011

True to Its Name

With my in-laws tucked safely on a plane back to Delaware, we accepted a friend's invitation to come over for steaks last night. I've had my eye on Robert's Absolute Best Brownies (pg 196) from Ready For Dessert for months now. The title struck me as a taunt, daring me to try it, daring me to disagree.  Tasting for best brownie is just the kind of challenge I'm up for, but it seemed wiser to bake them and bring them elsewhere, should the recipe fulfill its promise. I've indulged a lot this week. I don't need to eat an entire tray of brownies.

If you prefer cake-type brownies, these won't impress you. There's barely any flour in here (1/4 cup), so these brownies more closely resemble a dense, rich, flourless cake. Mine stayed kind of wet and fudgy (not raw, but not quite solid) on the bottom, so I'm not sure if that's how it was supposed to turn out, or if I could have left it in the oven for a few more minutes. The instructions say to bake "until the center feels almost set, about 30 minutes. Don't overbake." I stuck a fork in it at 30 minutes, and it came out coated in chocolate, so I left it in for another five minutes, but I was afraid to leave it longer than that. The instructions also say not to remove them from the pan until they're completely cool, but I had to remove them sooner, because I ran out of time. I thought an hour would do. I was wrong. The fact that it was still warm may account for the fact that the bottom hadn't set yet when I cut them and transferred them to a plate.
I'm so glad I only kept two of these at home. I wouldn't have the self-control not to eat them all.
These were, in fact, the best brownies I've ever made. Rich and dense and bittersweet-chocolatey, with toasted pecans mixed in for texture and crunch, they put boxed mixes to shame. I experienced a creme brulee type of satisfaction when my teeth broke through the crispy, paper-thin crust.

I should have followed Lebovitz's suggestions for cutting perfect brownies, because I DESTROYED these, but I didn't have time to freeze them and then dip a serrated blade into hot water and wipe it down in between each slice. I win no points for presentation. Oh well.

Conclusion: Love at first bite. This is my new go-to brownie recipe. Lebovitz suggests a variation which involves dried cherries. YES, PLEASE!!

Now, I'm going to have to shelve this book for a bit. I can't eat this much dessert. Sniffle.


  1. As long as they taste fantastic, who cares how it looks?

  2. I'm with Yummy, you can bring me mashed up brownies all you want as long as they're tasty :)

  3. i am glad you shared them, and shelved the book for a while !