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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Ghirardelli Brownies with Chocolate Ganache (aka BEST brownies ever)

Last year, a guy I worked with discovered I loved to bake. Immediately he sent me the recipe for these brownies, promising me that these were the best brownies I would ever taste. He literally emailed me the recipe daily, until I finally decided to appease him and make the brownies. I'll be honest, I wasn't expecting anything outstanding. I've had a lot of brownies in my day and while they're typically good, none knocked my socks off. None until these, that is.

The key to these brownies, besides what I believe is a perfectly concocted recipe, is using high-quality chocolate, specifically Ghirardelli. My co-worker told me time and time again that these brownies would only be successful if I used Ghirardelli chocolate. I have yet to try another brand of chocolate because I'm convinced they won't be as good with anything else.

Fast forward a year, to this month. Linda, a Ghirardelli rep, sent me an amazing sample package of products for me to review on the blog, including bittersweet chocolate baking bars, white chocolate baking bars, bittersweet chocolate chips, and semi-sweet chocolate chips. I cannot wait to try some of the recipes on Ghirardelli's recipe site, but as soon as I got the package, I knew these brownies would be my first baked good! Stay tuned in the next couple of weeks as I continue to bake with the chocolate Ghirardelli sent me and post about it on the blog.

Until then, RUN to your nearest grocery store, pick up some Ghirardelli chocolate and make these! They're perfectly rich and gooey and chocolately. You'll definitely want to share these...your waistline will thank you!

Ghirardelli Brownies with Chocolate Ganache
recipe from ??? (all I have is a photocopy with no identifying information)

**Note that the recipe calls for unsweetened chocolate. I used bittersweet chocolate and less sugar to account for this change. However, the original recipe is below!
For the brownies-
-1 1/4 cups cake flour (don't substitute, this is key to the texture & density!)
-1/2 tsp salt
-3/4 tsp baking powder
-6 oz unsweetened Ghirardelli chocolate, chopped fine
-12 tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
-2 1/4 cups sugar
-4 large eggs
-1 tbsp vanilla extract

For the ganache-
-1 cup heavy whipping cream
-1 bag of Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Line 9 x 13 dish with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Whisk to combine flour, salt, and baking powder in medium bowl. Set aside.
3. Melt chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl set over saucepan of almost-simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth (I just melt over low heat in a saucepan, no double boiler)
4. When chocolate mixer is smooth, gradually whisk in sugar.
5. Add eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition until thoroughly combined. Whisk in vanilla.
6. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, folding with rubber spatula until batter is completely smooth.
7. Transfer batter to prepared pan; using spatula, spread batter into corners of pan and smooth surface.
8. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.
9. Allow to cool in a wire rack.
10. Heat chocolate chips & whipping cream over low heat in a saucepan, stirring constantly until chocolate is melted and mixture is thickened.
11. Pour ganache over brownies and spread evenly (this can be done 10 minutes after brownies are removed the oven).
12. Lift foil and brownies out of the pan. Cut into squares and serve. (these are kind of messy to cut because they're so gooey and dense...but I promise the taste makes up for the lack of perfectly cut brownies!)

Get ready to experience the BEST brownie of your life!

Thanks Ghirardelli for the chance to make these!