Monday, October 12, 2009

Heavenly Cake Bakers: Barcelona Brownie Bites

Yippee! My first post for the new Heavenly Cake Bakers group! (For more information about the group, scroll down to the bottom of this post.)

This week's project was the Barcelona Brownie Bars from pages 367-370 of the brand-new book, Rose's Heavenly Cakes by Rose Levy Beranbaum. In this group, we won't be publishing the recipes, but this week you're in luck -- Rose posted the recipe on her blog.

So, we make a lovely brownie batter of melted chocolate and butter, sugar, cocoa, eggs, vanilla, cream cheese, flour, salt, and pecans. It can be mixed all by hand, which is what I did. Delicious! I licked the bowl...

The recipe calls for a very cute mini-cake or financier mold. Since I don't have one and my budget isn't up for buying one at the moment, I used my mini-muffin pan instead. The batter filled up my 24-hole pan completely, all the way to the top of each hole, and I was worried it would overflow after baking, but it didn't.

To grease the pan, I used some "cocoa pan goop" -- a mixture of solid vegetable shortening, oil, cocoa, and flour. Excellent when making brownies and chocolate cakes.

After the brownies bake (it only took about 10-12 minutes for these little guys), you "gild the lily" by poking holes in them and pouring in ganache. Gosh, a few years ago I had no idea what ganache was! It's just a fancy word for chocolate and cream, melted together. Simple but divine!

I took Rose's hint and made the ganache ahead of time. It was too solid, so into the microwave it went for about 10 seconds. Then it was a bit too runny. Sigh. The picture in the book shows these lovely, rounded "plugs" of ganache. Mine were more like a dribbly mess. So I just let the brownies cool a bit and frosted the tops with the ganache. Next time I may just forget about the "plugs" and do the frosting. And I may make more. I think that should be one of my mottos -- "Always make extra ganache."

This is an excellent brownie recipe! They are nicely in between the extremes of cakey and fudgey, with a bit of both. The cocoa and chocolate together give lots of flavor, the cream cheese gives richness and moistness, the pecans add crunch, and the ganache glaze is creamy and lush. Jim and I both loved them, and our only complaint (if you can call it that) is that it is impossible to eat just one!

The Heavenly Cake Bakers are a new group formed to bake our way through the new book "Rose's Heavenly Cakes" by Rose Levy Beranbaum. Our hostess is Marie of Heavenly Cake Place.


ButterYum said...

Hi Barbara - great use of your mini muffin pan... I think I'll do the same when I make these!

Welcome to the club!!

natalia said...

Barbara, How beautiful ! I wish I had not known there was such group but I'll let you bake for it !!!

meg said...

Hi Barbara, I like how you make yours in the muffin pan. I would probably frost mine too. I never new you had to wait for the ganache (1 hour) after you make it to frost.
I make brownies, but have found the giradelli brownies from a bos are soooo good, and sooo easy, that I haveused those these past 2 years. Please do not think I am terrible, as I am not a fan of boxed desserts. This one is just really good. I will have to try Roses brownies. I am glad you are part of the blog. I have seen your blog posted on Roses! Sincerely, Meg Shaw

breadbasketcase said...

I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one who had trouble with the ganache--but it's worth it, don't you think?

Sugar Chef said...

Nice job on your first Heavenly Cake Bakers project. Nothing wrong with frosting those babies, just makes them more delicious.