Monday, April 29, 2013

Baking and Books: Chocolate Mascarpone Brownies

Forget any brownies I've made before (we certainly have) - these ones take the cake!  A little more labor-intensive than my typical brownies, but completely and utterly worth it.  I made these for a choir party yesterday and they were a perfect addition to our outdoor (rainy) barbeque.

The book is Ann Bridge's Illyrian Spring, which came highly recommended by Rachel, and because I misread her original post, I'm enjoying it far more than I expected.  I've been alternating it with Victor Hugo's Les Miserables (my current bedside book) and several of Brian Jacques' Redwall books, childhood favorites that have helped keep this busy end of the semester calm and enjoyable (and are just as good as I remember, though I notice different things in them as an adult).

On to the brownies!  I've never baked with mascarpone before, but if it makes things taste this good, I'm going to have to search out more things to do with it!

Chocolate Mascarpone Brownies

1 cup unsalted butter
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder (extra-dark, dutch processed cocoa is best)
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, softened
3 large eggs, at room-temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 325°F and prepare a 8-9" square pan with a little nonstick spray and line the bottom with parchment.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium low heat. Once melted add the chocolate to the sauce pan and pull off the heat. Give the pan a little jiggle to submerge the chocolate and then allow to stand for a minute then stir until smooth.

Sift the cocoa powder into the chocolate mixture and then add the sugar and salt, mix well and set aside.

In your stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the mascarpone, eggs, and vanilla on medium speed until smooth. Pour the butter and chocolate mixture into the mixing bowl and mix until no streaks remain.

Remove the bowl from your mixer and gently fold the flour into the batter. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and spread evenly with an offset spatula.

Bake the brownies for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Place the pan on a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

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