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Friday, March 23, 2012

Ghirardelli Brownies with Chocolate Ganache

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This is another one of those recipes from the early days of The Sweets Life that demanded to be resurrected. Honestly, these brownies probably deserve to be blogged about once a month or so until every single one of my readers had made them. Make them exactly as written--I truly believe the recipe has been perfected. The cake flour, the Ghirardelli chocolate, the ganache...all necessary!

I've been told they taste like fudge, without offering the heaviness that sits in your stomach after a large piece of fudge. I've been told they are the perfect brownie, a statement I have a hard time disagreeing with (although these sweet and salty brownies give them a run for their money!).
Based on the way the recipe was written, I believe this is probably a Cook's Illustrated recipe, although I know the ganache was the addition of a co-worker's mom...and I truly believe the topping makes the brownie! Wherever they're from, bless the person who determined this perfect ratio of ingredients!

One Year Ago: Vacation Eats-Nashville & Charleston Part I
Two Years Ago: Arizona Recap

Ghirardelli Brownies with Chocolate Ganache

-1 1/4 cups cake flour (don't substitute--this is the key to the texture & density!)
-1/2 tsp salt
-3/4 tsp baking powder
-6 oz unsweetened Ghirardelli chocolate, finely chopped
-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 Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position. Preheat oven to 325F. Line a 9 x 13 dish with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
3. In a large heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of almost-simmering water, melt chocolate and butter. Stir occasionally, heating until melted and smooth.
4. Remove from heat and gradually whisk in sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, whisking after each addition. Whisk in vanilla.
5. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, folding with a rubber spatula until batter is completely smooth.
6. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Using a spatula, spread batter evenly, making sure to fill into the corners of the pan.
7. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs. Remove from oven and place dish on a wire rack to cool.
8. Place chocolate chips in a large bowl. Heat whipping cream in a small saucepan just until it starts to bubble. Pour warmed cream over the chocolate and allow to sit for 1 minutes. Stir until chocolate is melted and smooth before pouring over brownies and spreading evenly with a spatula (can be done after brownies have been cooling for 10 minutes).
9. Lift brownies out of the pan with the foil. Cut into squares are serve. Brownies will keep, covered, for 3 days at room temperature.