A friend of mine emailed me this recipe and asked me to make it and compare notes with her. I don’t usually try new brownie recipes because I have one I’m quite happy with already. I’ll post that one at a later date.
These brownies, which she found on AOL (recipe), are very good. I was a little skeptical because I don’t usually like brownies with frosting. . . they’re sweet enough on their own for me. This frosting is so good! Here’s the kicker: it’s not sweet at all. In fact, all of the kids who tried the frosting hated it, but all of the adults loved it. The frosting is like a barely sweet, barely minty chocolate mousse, and it’s spooned generously onto the cut brownie individually right before serving. This is good on so many levels: the frosting cuts the sweetness of the brownies and adds a creamy element. The fact that the kids hate the frosting doesn’t matter because you don’t frost the whole pan, kids can have unfrosted brownies and grown-ups can lather on the frosting.
I also have to admit that I didn’t read the recipe carefully and had a million things going on while I was making the frosting. . . You are supposed to infuse half a cup of cream with mint, pour it over the chocolate, wait for it to cool then whip the additional cup and a half of cream. *I dumped 2 cups of cream into the pot, infused it with mint, poured it over the chocolate, realized my mistake and freaked out. Then I beat in the chocolate until it was smooth, stuck it in the fridge until it was cold, crossed my fingers and whipped the chocolate cream. . . it totally worked!
The recipe called for chopped chocolate- but I’ll be honest, I hate chopping chocolate. . . it melts whether you do or don’t when it’s over heat. Chop it if you’re melting it with cream, be lazy when using heat.
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for coating foil
- 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 1 2/3 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup fresh mint sprigs, plus more for garnish
- 1/2 cup finely chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
Line a 9-inch square baking pan with 2-inch-high sides with foil. Butter the foil. (this is kind of annoying to do, but boy is it worth it when the brownies are done)
Dump the chocolate and the butter into a bowl that you can use as a double boiler. Melt over simmering water, stirring to combine. Cool until mixture is nearly room temperature.
Whisk in the sugar, vanilla and salt. Whisk in the eggs 1 at a time. Stir in the flour just until blended.
Stir in the 3 ounces of bittersweet chocolate and the walnuts.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan.
Bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 30 minutes. Cool the brownies on a rack.
Combine 1/2 cup of the cream and 1/2 cup of the mint in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. *(see above)
Place the finely chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Set a strainer over the chocolate in the bowl. Pour the minted cream through the strainer and over the chocolate; discard the mint leaves.
Stir until the chocolate melts and the mixture is well blended. Cool to room temperature.
Whip the remaining 1 1/2 cups of cream in a large bowl until soft peaks form.
Gradually fold the chocolate mixture into the whipped cream until well blended but still light and airy.
Using the foil as an aid, lift the brownie from the pan. Remove the foil.
Cut the brownies into squares. Spoon the frosting generously atop the brownies.