So remember when I was talking about David Lebovitz’s book, The Sweet Life in Paris, and how I was super excited to make all his French chocolate things for Bastille Day, which is in July? Well, that lasted all of 3 days since I made his brownies…an adaptation thereof… for our work Cinco de Mayo potluck the other day.
I didn’t mean to start making all his glorious French chocolate things so early because I’m still solidly cooking South American food, and Cinco de Mayo is just a hop, skip and a tweak from that, but it happened sort of by accident. Necessity really. And a desire to get the dulce de leche out of my house. You see, I had planned to make dulce de leche brownies, and when I consulted my recipe binders, my cookbooks…all the brownie recipes in my house…every last one called for either unsweetened chocolate, or more cocoa powder than is currently in my cupboards (note to self: buy chocolate). But all I had was bittersweet! What could I do that didn’t require that I put on real pants and trek to the market??
Then I remembered that David mentioned having the best brownie recipe more than once, a recipe that he used to win his way into the hearts of his new French neighbors, the fishmonger, the cheesemonger and the butcher. Lucky for me, that recipe was in the book. And, lucky for me, it used bittersweet chocolate.
Like I mentioned with the carnitas, I can’t physically seem to make any recipe as it’s written and so this one is based off of his. While his has the dulce de leche dotted and swirled, I decided to make mine into a separate frosting. Golden, creamy and smoothed to perfection.
I chose to not add nuts to these because of a few allergies at work, but if I was making the brownies for myself, they would have most definitely had nuts. Lots and lots of nuts. Also, it seemed that all of my bowls were dirty when I made these, so the brownie part itself can be made in one medium sized-saucepan. So, if you omit the frosting, you have one bowl brownies. I mean, so versatile, these brownies. So versatile and sure to make you many friends.
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter
- 9 ounces bittersweet or dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup plus 2 TB Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 tsp vanilla
- a few splashes coconut extract (about 1/8 tsp)
- 1 1/2 cup nuts (optional)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup dulce de leche
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 TB milk or heavy cream (more or less for desired consistency)
- 1 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 9 x 13 pan with parchment paper, and then butter and sugar the pan.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the butter and chocolate and stir constantly until melted. Remove from the heat and add the sugar, salt and extracts, and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Slowly mix in flour until smooth and all combined. Add the nuts if you’re doing that.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until a thin knife comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then remove and let finish cooling on a cooling rack.
- While the brownies cool, make the frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and cinnamon until smooth. Add the dulce and vanilla and beat until combined. Slowly add the sugar, adding the milk as necessary for desired consistency. Beat the mixture until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Smooth on the cooled brownies.
Or, if you eat them all yourself, enemies.
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