This post is sponsored by Fernet-Branca. As always, all opinions and recipes are my own. Thanks for supporting the those who support The Hungary Buddha!
National Brownie Day is next week!
Yup, it’s a thing. A beautiful thing.
In the realm of baked goods, I always seem to forget about brownies. I never really make them unless upon request, otherwise distracted by cookies, cakes, ice creams or puddings. In reality, this is stupid because brownies are one of the easiest and most forgiving desserts to throw together, not to mention delicious, and so adaptable that the variations are endless: nuts or no-nuts; fudgy or crumbly; frosted or dry; swirled or not. Cheesecake. Caramel. Blonde. Salted. Dark. Milk. I can go on, to infinity and beyond.
My favorite recipe for brownies is rather simple: crumbly, not overly sweet and chock full of nuts, aptly titled, “Perfect Brownies.” I can, in my mind’s eye, see the original recipe card as it sits in mom’s recipe box, typed in old-school block typewriter type and stained with cocoa powder smudges. That’s how you know a recipe is good.
BUT, since I know the majority seems to favor the fudge, I’m obliging the masses for this National Brownie Day with some Boozy Truffle Mint Brownies. Chocolate truffles hand rolled and infused with brancamenta, a minty Italian liquor, are chopped an folded into an already rich brownie batter, and baked just long enough to keep it all together.
I’m not going to lie, these newfangled minty boozy ones blew my mind, and may be a contender for my new favorite. Perhaps I need to do a side by side comparison to be sure? Another project for another day , but for today, I hope you enjoy the truffley, minty goodness of these bad boys for National Brownie Day on December 8th.
(If you’re as awesome (or as gluttonous) I am, you’ll top them with some drunken mint chip ice cream. I don’t mess around.)
DO NOT OVERBAKE the brownies. You will be sad if you do. If anything, underbake.
When making the truffles, stick to the rule of letting it set just a few hours, 4 max. On my first go I let them sit overnight and the chocolate was rock solid and very difficult to roll. No good, and it made the job harder.
I read somewhere a long time ago that the best brownies are hand mixed once the wet ingredients are all whipped and happy and I’ve followed this rule of thumb ever since. So, for these, whip the eggs and sugar really well, and then fold in everything else in the old school way.
- 1 pound dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup Brancamenta liquor
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- Add the chopped chocolate to a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the cream, and heat until small bubbles appear around the edge, just below a boil (you can also do this in the microwave). Pour over the chocolate and let sit 4 minutes until all the chocolate is melted. Stir until smooth.
- Let sit 15 minutes until a bit cool and add the brancamenta.
- Pour the chocolate into a shallow pan and cover with plastic wrap, letting the plastic press against the chocolate. Set in the fridge and let chill 3-4 hours until mostly solid but not completely solid.
- Have ready a bowl of hot water, a cookie scoop (tablespoon size), a sheet pan lined with wax paper, and the firm filling. Dip the scoop into the water and wipe dry. Scoop out a scant 1-inch ball of the filling. Set on the prepared sheet and repeat with the remaining truffle base. Roll each piece between your fingers, dampening them as necessary. Chill 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 9 x 13” pan with greased parchment paper, allowing enough paper to hang over the sides.
- In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate and butter. Set aside to let cool as you prep the the rest.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar and eggs until pale and fluffy. Add the salt and vanilla, beat to combine. Fold in the melted chocolate by hand, careful not to deflate the eggs too much. Fold in the flour and mix until just combined.
- Quarter 20 of the truffles and fold them into the batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread around evenly. Drop the pan lightly onto a flat surface to remove any air bubbles.
- Bake 25-30 minutes until a tester comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then, using the parchment, remove the whole tray to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
Written on a plane flying towards the House of Mouse.
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