Saturday, April 28, 2007

Korova Brownies: Final edition

The Korova Brownie was inspired by the Korova cookie, of course!

And more specifically by an eGer, Chris Amirault.

Another eGer rose to the challenge, and Kerry Beal's recipe can be found here. It was also Kerry's idea to do a Brownie Bake-off on eGullet.

I really was going to take a picture, but it couldn't happen, as my digital camera is on fritz, and my PDA's camera decided to take a holiday. Cameras, as my dear readers will find out, HATE me. Grrrr....

As for why I did go to the trouble of going to battle again with cameras? It's Brownie Babe of the Month, of course!

This is a fudgy brownie. I believe cakey brownies are not brownies and I don't do crunchy add-ins, especially not nuts, as much as I like nuts.

The cookie dough part is very very rich, and when you bite into it with the brownie...Sumptuous is the only word that can be used to describe the mouthfeel.


Cookie dough:

50g butter

25g brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla

75g flour
20g cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder

Cream the butter. Add the sugar, salt and vanilla.

Then stir in the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder until it clumps together.

Chill for about half an hour.

Roll 16 little balls of cookie dough and chill--you can make this ahead and freeze. I usually have leftovers, which I bake off as my little Baker's Snack.


200g bittersweet chocolate (70% Valrhona Guanaja)
150g butter
50g or 1/4 cup sugar
3/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

120g or 1 cup flour
50g or 1/4 cup sugar
50g cocoa powder

4 eggs, separated
50g brown sugar

Melt the chocolate and the butter together. Stir in the first 50g of sugar, the salt and the vanilla extract. Set aside to cool a little.

Mix the second 50g of sugar, flour and cocoa powder in a bowl.

Instructions for stand mixer:

Whip the egg whites. Add the final amount of sugar when it reaches firm peaks, and then continue whipping until stiff.

Pour in the egg yolks with the mixer on. When fully mixed, it should be a lovely, pale yellow.

Slowly pour in the melted chocolate mixture. Scrape all of it in, and follow with all of the flour mixture.

Mix until it forms a thick, glossy batter that has no flour streaks.

Instructions for whipping by hand:

Whip the egg whites, adding the sugar it reaches firm peaks and continue whipping until stiff.

Whisk in the egg yolks one by one.

Fold in the melted chocolate mixture, then the flour. Continue folding until the batter is thick and glossy.

Pour into a 8 inch square pan.

Bake for 10 minutes at 160C.

Remove from oven, and insert the balls of cookie dough at even intervals. You should be aiming to cut 16 pieces, ie 4 by 4 squares, so insert the balls accordingly. I recommend chopsticks, or failing that, ice cube tongs.

Continue baking for another 20 minutes, or until the center stops jiggling--don't bother with the skewer test because it will be very wet.

Cool, slice and keep overnight before eating. They last 3-4 days here, because I'm one tiny person who eats only 3-4 2-inch square brownies a day.


I've not tried whipping whole eggs for the brownies, but I plan to. Would save me the trouble of separating them each time.

I personally don't recommend mixing the egg yolks into the melted chocolate-butter mixture, like most recipes say to do. It thickens up, and it's not as easy, IMHO, to fold into the whipped eggs.

I haven't tried inserting the cookie dough into the brownie batter before starting to bake it yet. I might, but it won't be in the near future, as I am quite sure I won't be feeling like brownies in the near future. I still have more than a half-batch of these to go--second batch in two weeks, I think.

I find that whipping the eggs provides a rather silky, fudgy kind of texture. Stirring in the whole eggs, a la the Medrich recipes, gets you a chewy brownie, which I'm not keen on.

You may want to increase the sugar a little, or use a chocolate that's in the 50-60% range. I tend to bake very light on sugar.

They can be frozen. What I did the last time was slice, wrap in cling wrap, drop them all in a ziploc and chucked the bag in the freezer. To defrost, I put them in the fridge overnight, then left them outside for a few hours. As far as I am concerned, and I am fussy, they taste as good as fresh.

And finally, they taste better after aging at least overnight. Trust me on this. It's not very good on the day you bake them.