Sometimes an idea is better than the result. Such as in this case. I thought that brownies in a mini-muffin pan = perfect Toddler distraction technique. My nephew is a chocaholic, so instead of making a chocolate cake, I sold him on making chocolate ‘cupcakes.’ The recipe mentions that Deb from Smitten Kitchen had made them as mini cupcakes – the perfect small serving, especially for a toddler. I figured that he’d probably ask for frosting, but I think adding a chocolate ganache would be overkill. These brownies are decadent enough as it is.
The specific recipe is the ‘outrageous brownies‘ recipe – very yummy, and very chocolatey. But I do have to say that while delicious, I wasn’t that knocked off my feet. Then again I did modify the recipe. When I saw that 1 lb of butter would be required, I figured that the butter and chocolate content is the outrageous part. I mean really, 1 lb of butter? I can hear my arteries – and my stomach – groaning. Not to mention toddler teeth, which are hard enough to brush: “No! I want to do it myself” – which means lots of toothpaste eating with little brushing. Ah, the (nighttime) power struggles.
Back to the recipe. I had only half the amount of chocolate chips required in the recipe. But I did have a batch of chocolate truffles that had an unfortunate encounter with sunlight, resulting in a truffly mass. I figured that using that would approximately amount for butter and chocolate in the recipe. So instead I only used 8 ounces of butter (which is still plenty) and a bag of chocolate chips, which I melted together in a microwave. A double boiler is just too dangerous when you have a toddler stranding beside you who wants to help and stir every step of the way. Normally chocolate easily burns if you heat too long in the microwave, resulting in rather charred chocolate rather than a delicious chocolatey goo. But melting both butter and chocolate together seemed to do the trick. Then I softened the truffle mass in the microwave and added it. I didn’t include the 6 oz of unsweetened chocolate.
If I’m baking on my own, I don’t really mind multiple bowls. But with mister “dump it into the bowl?” assisting, I decided to add the eggs directly to the chocolate mix. I have to say though that by the time I added the eggs the mixture was still liquid, but only room temperature. No chance of chocolatey scrambled eggs. I used a lot less sugar, maybe 1/3 of a cup since the truffles were plenty sweet. I also omitted the coffee – I really don’t need a hyper toddler running around. He’s already energetic enough. I used baking soda instead of baking powder and left out the walnuts.
I baked the brownies in a mini muffin pan – and I ended up with 40(!!!) brownies. I should have stuck with my original plan of halving the recipe. And it was a good reminder that baking basically is about chemistry – if you mess too much with the recipe, you’re also messing with the proportions. There should sign for bakers saying: “Mess with the proportions at your own risk.”
Still, the brownies are delicious, but they didn’t meet my expectations. They aren’t the best brownies ever. They’re probably a lot better when the proportions are right, but really, 1 lb of butter? There are other great recipes out there. I’m going to have to try out a few other recipes on my hunt for the best brownie. Only my waistline will be complaining.