My dad celebrated his birthday this past weekend and like any great dad he celebrated by helping my husband Kevin build a deck.
So like a good daughter I decided that alone was worth a pan of brownies just for him. Now my dad is a fan of very dark chocolate, in fact the darker the better in his opinion, so I wanted to make a dark chocolate brownie for him to enjoy.
Now I’m familiar with the concept of using stout beers to enhance the overall flavour of chocolate baking and I decided that this would be the time to experiment as my mission was to produce the darkest brownies I’d ever made before. Bolstered with my recent success using Rickard’s White in my Chicken Fajitas I decided to go with the Rickard’s Dark as my beer and began to assemble my experiment.
I dusted the recipe my mother calls “Worth the migraine” (chocolate gives her migraines) and decided to play with it.
I started with assembling my flavour quartet which ended up being Rickard’s Dark, 6 ounces of 70% cacao in 1 ounce chocolate squares, semi-sweet chocolate chips, and dark chocolate chips made from 50% cacao.
I started with combining my flour and cocoa. You could add a 1/4 teaspoon of salt at this point but I held it back as I was using salted butter in the recipe. My dad suffers from high blood pressure so I knew that leaving the salt out would be a good idea and I was counting on the beer to enhance what I was trying to accomplish.
While preparing my chocolate and butter for melting I realized I needed 8 ounces of the chocolate squares and I only had 6. So I brought out my kitchen scale and used some semi sweet chips to make up the short fall of 2 ounces. Also used the semi sweet chocolate here because I felt the 50% cacao would be perfect sprinkled on top to add a melted chocolate component to every bite.
Now I found I had two road blocks to my melting chocolate.
1) I have failed more than once in my attempts to make melted chocolate without having the chocolate seize on me so I was concerned I couldn’t get the chocolate the way I needed it.
2) I lack a proper double boiler.
For #1 all I could do was take it slow as I attempt to melt and be sure to whisk continuously.
For #2 I took one of my metal mixing bowls and kept placing them on the bottom pot of my steamer set until I found one that fit nicely and then set the water to boil. Once it was boiling I placed the bowl on the top of the pot and started furiously whisking my chocolate and butter while they melted. Once I have it completely melted I pulled the bowl off and it kept the chocolate warm until I wanted to add it to my egg and sugar mixture.
Another lesson learned from this recipe was how to bring eggs to room temperature Usually you would bring them out overnight but trust Kevin to tell me that if I placed my eggs in lukewarm water for 30 mins or so they would be room temperature.
The reasons that the eggs should be at least room temp becomes clear with this next step…
With the warm chocolate being combined with the eggs and sugar you definitely didn’t want your eggs to start cooking.
After adding the chocolate to the eggs/sugar and combining them I added the flour and cocoa mixture.
Finally I poured in my beer…
And it foamed up like crazy at me as I turned on the mixer and there was a small wave of beer over the edge of the bowl but in the end I had this lovely batter shown above.
I am still loving the parchment paper trick of lining my baking pan with at least 2 inches of parchment up over the sides of the pan for easy removal from the baking pan and a clean pan when you are done.
I didn’t get to taste this creation as my dad got to take the whole pan home. It was his birthday after all. But he did share with me that they were cake like in texture, which is the perfect brownie texture in his opinion, and very rich and moist.
I named these brownies after the new Star Trek movie coming out this week in honour of my dad being a long time Trekkie fan.
Into Darkness Brownies
In honour of my Dad! A good guy who loves Star Trek and helps to build decks on his birthday.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 unsweetened cocoa powder
- 6 tablespoons butter, room tempurature, cubed (I only had salted in the house so used that and omitted extra salt)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 ounce 70% cacao baking squares, chopped
- 3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
- 4 large eggs, room tempurature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/4 cup Rickard’s Dark beer
- 1 cup 50% cacao chocolate chips
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa and salt (if using) until well combined.
- Melt butter, chopped very dark chocolate, and semi sweet chips in a double boiler (or fashion one from a metal bowl and a pot of boiling water) and stir until it is thoroughly melted, over low heat.
- Remove from heat. In a seperate bowl, beat eggs and sugar on high speed until well combined.
- Add melted chocolate mixture to the eggs and sugar and beat until combined. Beat flour mixture in and then add beer.
- Pour batter into a 9 x 13 prepared pan. Prepare pan by lining it with parchment with 2 inches up on the side making handles.
- Sprinkle the 50% cacao chips over top of the batter.
- Bake for 25 – 30 minutes.