This past weekend Robert and I made a Valentine’s Day dinner together. On the menu was artisan bread, garlic-roasted gulf shrimp, roasted asparagus, scalloped potatoes au gratin, t-bone steak, and these chocolate ganache brownies with homemade vanilla bean ice cream. It just isn’t Valentine’s day without chocolate and it wasn’t difficult to decide what I’d be making for dessert. One of Robert’s all time favorite treats is brownie sundaes, and I knew he would love this classic dish.
Robert was in charge of making the ice cream (with the new ice cream maker we got for Christmas) and I tackled the brownies. Both the brownie and the ganache recipes are from Martha Stewart and the end result is a sinfully rich and fudgey brownie. As soon as you taste this-and as you are blissfully adding copious amounts of heavy cream and butter to the ganache and brownie batter- you know it’s going straight to your rear end, but I have to tell you… it’s worth it. Every last bite.
It was a special occasion meal and we ate very lightly all day so we could really enjoy it. I’ve read before that hunger is the best seasoning for food, which is very true. What is also very true is that hunger is the best catalyst for the effects of red wine, which inevitably leads to a lot of laughing and a much messier kitchen than normal. :)
Everything was really delicious and Robert and I have come to the agreement that cooking together is one of our favorite hobbies. For as much time as we put in the meal, we decided it was important that we take time to savor it. And I’m glad we did.
Have a great week, everyone!
Chocolate Ganache Brownies
Yield: 9 large brownies
For the brownies
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the ganache
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line a 8 inch square pan with parchment paper, allowing about a 2 inch overhang.
2.Place the butter, chocolate, and cocoa powder in a medium bowl. Place the bowl over a simmering pan of water, allowing the ingredients to melt. Remove and stir until smooth. allow to cool slightly.
3. Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. ut sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and mix on medium speed until pale yellow, about 4 minutes. Add chocolate mixture; mix until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix, scraping down sides of bowl, until well combined.
4. Pour batter into pan. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes, or until a cake test comes out with a few crumbs (but not wet). Allow to cool completely.
5. Make the ganache. Put chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat cream in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until just simmering. Pour over chocolate; let stand 5 minutes. Add in butter and gently stir until smooth. Allow ganache to cool, stirring every 10 minutes, until slightly thickened, 25 to 30 minutes.
6. Pour the ganache over the brownies and spread out evenly. Allow to chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes until the ganache becomes firm. Lift up the parchment from the pan to remove the brownies. Cut and enjoy!