French Chocolate Brownies


*Note to self: Let brownies cool before taking pictures, they would look less messy!

Wow. Just wow. With all due respect to Ina’s Outrageous Brownies, these French Chocolate Brownies have trumped and become my all-time favorite brownie recipe. Many thanks to Di of Di’s Kitchen Notebook for choosing this week’s recipe – what a fantastic job you did!!

These brownies were created in a pretty non-traditional way in terms of brownies. The eggs and sugar were whisked together in the stand mixer, and then the dry ingredients were added, followed by the melted chocolate/butter combination. In truth, Dorie states that when she created these she was aiming for a chocolate cake, not brownies. But wow, did she nail the brownies! These are dense, moist, insanely chocolatey, and just about everything you could want from a brownie. I couldn’t stop eating pieces off of them each time I walked into the kitchen!

This recipe says it yields 16 brownies, and after cutting these into 16 pieces I’m convinced that Laurie was right – these are French-size brownies, not America’s super-sized variety that we’re used to ;-)

Oh, you will note there are raisins in the recipe, pretty a-typical for a brownie. I skipped these as I only had a handful of raisins left and wanted to hoard them for my oatmeal ;-)

Recipe and some process photos after the break…

French Chocolate Brownies

Yield: Makes 16 brownies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 50 to 60 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons; 6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into 12 pieces
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sugar

Directions:

1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 300°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, butter the foil, place the pan on a baking sheet, and set aside.

2. Whisk together the flour, salt and cinnamon, if you're using it.

3. Put the raisins in a small saucepan with the water, bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until the water almost evaporates. Add the rum, let it warm for about 30 seconds, turn off the heat, stand back and ignite the rum. Allow the flames to die down, and set the raisins aside until needed.

4. Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Slowly and gently melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and add the butter, stirring so that it melts. It's important that the chocolate and butter not get very hot. However, if the butter is not melting, you can put the bowl back over the still-hot water for a minute. If you've got a couple of little bits of unmelted butter, leave them-it's better to have a few bits than to overheat the whole. Set the chocolate aside for the moment.

5. Working with a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until they are thick and pale, about 2 minutes. Lower the mixer speed and pour in the chocolate-butter, mixing only until it is incorporated-you'll have a thick, creamy batter. Add the dry ingredients and mix at low speed for about 30 seconds-the dry ingredients won't be completely incorporated and that's fine. Finish folding in the dry ingredients by hand with a rubber spatula, then fold in the raisins along with any liquid remaining in the pan.


(This batter was almost like a mousse when it was done being mixed, and very light in color)


(Look at all of those air bubbles!)

6. Scrape the batter into the pan and bake 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top is dry and crackled and a knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and allow the brownies to cool to warm or room temperature.


(These brownies ended up with a thin crispy layer on top and rose significantly during baking and then subsequently caved in after cooling slightly!)

7. Carefully lift the brownies out of the pan, using the foil edges as handles, and transfer to a cutting board. With a long-bladed knife, cut the brownies into 16 squares, each roughly 2 inches on a side, taking care not to cut through the foil.

Serving: The brownies are good just warm or at room temperature; they're even fine cold. I like these with a little something on top or alongside-good go-alongs are whipped crème fraiche or whipped cream, ice cream or chocolate sauce or even all three!

Storing: Wrapped well, these can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.

(Recipe adapted from Baking: From My Home To Yours

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71 Responses to “French Chocolate Brownies”

  1. April on June 3, 2008 at 7:23 am

    Your brownies look wonderful! Every Tuesday morning, I gain 10 lbs just blog hopping! LOL!! I agree, this are awesome!

    Reply

  2. Bumblebutton on June 3, 2008 at 7:41 am

    Nice that you liked them! Hope you enjoyed your oatmeal too!

    Reply

  3. Caitlin on June 3, 2008 at 7:41 am

    And that’s why the French are so skinny – I’ll stick with my American sized portions though!

    Reply

  4. Joelen on June 3, 2008 at 7:46 am

    Wow…. holy fudge! Those do look amazing and I’m always on the look out for brownie recipes. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  5. Erin on June 3, 2008 at 8:12 am

    You know, I love your messy photo. I like my brownies warm so I expect them to look a little ragged. Everything look so yummy!

    Reply

  6. Carrie on June 3, 2008 at 8:40 am

    I wouldn’t change a thing. I like the warm brownie look! So pretty!

    Reply

  7. Karina on June 3, 2008 at 9:12 am

    I kept eating pieces every time I walked into the kitchen too. I couldn’t help myself, they were so good!

    Reply

  8. Linda @ Tender Crumb on June 3, 2008 at 9:50 am

    I’m there with you…Ina’s brownies are hard to resist, but there is something special about this recipe. I think your opening photo looks fantastic…not messy at all!!!!

    Reply

  9. Ulrike aka ostwestwind on June 3, 2008 at 11:50 am

    For me as a European the size was just right ;-)… Your step by step pictures are great and in the first picture the brownies don’t look messy.

    Ulrike from Küchenlatein

    Reply

  10. Amber on June 3, 2008 at 11:55 am

    These look absolutely amazing! I would love to dive into one right about now (topped with ice cream perhaps).

    Reply

  11. nikki57 on June 3, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    They look great Chelle!

    Reply

  12. rainbowbrown on June 3, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    Good to hear that you liked them so much, I did too. Love your batter photographs.

    Reply

  13. Sihan on June 3, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    i must agree with you. this is a reallie good recipe! in fact it could be top on my list as well!

    Good job on the brownies!

    Reply

  14. Holly on June 3, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    Ok, ok, I think you’ve all just about convinced me to give these another go – I’m still a bit too traumatized yet, but I’ll get there for sure. Your brownies look awesome!

    Reply

  15. Kate on June 3, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    The mousse-y batter is so unique!

    Reply

  16. kimberleyblue on June 3, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    Wow, yours really caved in – perfect excuse to load them up with fruit or ice cream! :)

    They look delicious!

    Reply

  17. Laura on June 3, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    They look wonderful even though they caved;)

    Reply

  18. Mara on June 3, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    these were so easy to keep eating the crumbs and fallen pieces off of…i have a little container with just the crumbles…YUM!!! yours look fab!

    Reply

  19. Mary Ann on June 3, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    I am going to have to make up for not trying these! They look great even if they were warm when you cut them.

    Reply

  20. Ashley on June 3, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    Yum your brownies look delicious and fudgey! I patiently waited to cut mine until the next morning (which usually I don’t do) so they wouldn’t be so messy when I cut them.

    Reply

  21. Amy on June 3, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    Yours look so moist and fudgy! Yum!

    Reply

  22. Di on June 3, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    I keep sampling mine as well. =) If you get a chance, try them with the raisins–they’re surprisingly good. In fact, the one thing I’d change is to add more raisins next time.

    Reply

  23. carrie on June 3, 2008 at 5:10 pm

    Hahaha… I didn’t let my brownies cool before photos either!
    Yours still look great though! :)

    Reply

  24. steph (whisk/spoon) on June 3, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    usually i think dorie’s serving sizes are outrageously big (whole pies & cakes that only serve 6!), but i agree that she was skimpy on the portions for these! yours look really good inside, and the batter–OMG!

    Reply

  25. kayte on June 3, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    omg chelle these look awesome. brownies are easily one of my favorite desserts and i love trying new recipes. i need to try this one!

    Reply

  26. Annemarie on June 3, 2008 at 6:20 pm

    WOW! And trumping Ina’s brownies is huge! I agree!!

    Reply

  27. kayte on June 3, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    p.s. you’ve been tagged :-)
    Check out my blog!

    Reply

  28. Rebecca on June 3, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    I never thought I’d have a go-to recipe for brownies, but I think this is it.

    Reply

  29. noskos on June 4, 2008 at 4:34 am

    Job well done, they look great!

    Reply

  30. jbw1203 on June 4, 2008 at 7:24 am

    Wow, chelle these look awesome! I thought they were delicious too!

    Reply

  31. Dianne on June 4, 2008 at 9:13 am

    Your brownies look fabulous! So fudgy.

    Reply

  32. CB on June 4, 2008 at 9:33 am

    HAHA! Thats hilarious about “french size brownies”! I was thinking the same thing when I was trying to cut 16 when there was clearly only 9! Great job! :)
    Clara @ I♥food4thought

    Reply

  33. mari on June 4, 2008 at 9:50 am

    I must be fully European-ized, cause I cut my pan into even smaller pieces! LOL! ;-)

    Reply

  34. Shari on June 4, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    They look fudgey and delicious!
    Shari@Whisk: a food blog

    Reply

  35. Sharon - Butcher, Baker...... on June 5, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    Mine also had a mousse like texture. I am glad to know someone else’s turned out that way. I know I whipped the eggs too much, but I like it the way it turned out, so I will probably whipp them again the same amount of time.

    Reply

  36. Dolores on June 6, 2008 at 1:00 am

    I don’t know… you fresh from the oven brownies darn near have me drooling on my keyboard. Great job!

    Reply

  37. SoupRecipe on June 6, 2008 at 8:16 am

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    Wanna exchange link? My blog is about soup recipe, please leave me a msg if you want exchange link with me. Thank you.

    Reply

  38. amanda on June 6, 2008 at 11:36 am

    Yum! Your brownies look freakin’ amazing and that’s saying a lot since I wasn’t a fan of them. I’m glad you liked them!

    Reply

  39. Jaime on June 6, 2008 at 10:48 pm

    great job! your brownies look so moist and fudgy!

    i’ve seen such a variety of crusts…some paper thin like regular brownies and some really thick like mine…yours looks in between kinda :)

    Reply

  40. Lynne on June 7, 2008 at 6:00 am

    I love the way your brownies look. I’ll definitely make these again, also.

    Reply

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  43. Jessica on July 3, 2011 at 3:13 am

    Made these tonight and topped them with the salty caramel sauce. So moist and tasty it makes me angry. :D Glad I took your advice about the foil. These things would have been a nightmare and a half to get out of even the best greased pan, though I had no problems of foil sticking to them. The only thing I did diffrently is omit the rasins sine I’m not a fan of them. I just added the rum in as I added in the chocolate and butter mixture.

    This is going in recipe box the next time I get a “must have chocolate” attack.

    Reply

  44. Julie on August 2, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    Hi

    You know how in some recipes you say don’t overmix?
    How do I know when I’ve overmixed?

    Thanks

    Reply

    • Michelle on August 7th, 2011 at 12:09 am

      Hi Julie, There is no hard and fast rule to know that you’ve overmixed, but basically you want to use a gently folding motion with a spatula and just go until the flour disappears, nothing more.

      Reply

  45. Esther on January 17, 2012 at 5:37 am

    Wow! Looks sooooo good! :) Do you have anything I can replace the rum with? And I’m not a big fan of raisins…..will it matter if I take it out?

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 17th, 2012 at 11:44 am

      Hi Esther, I have actually made this a bunch of times omitting both the rum and the raisins. It’s still amazingly delicious!

      Reply

  46. Esther on January 23, 2012 at 6:29 am

    ‘Kay! Thanks so much!

    Reply

  47. morri on March 29, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Hmm… I made these. They were a nice treat, but definitely not what I expected, because somewhere in the back of my mind I was craving the thick, fudgy, chewy brownies that I enjoy so much. These French beauties had the consistency of a light moussey cake with a moist, delicate center. They can still make for a fabulous dessert – just don’t expect your regular brownies. And definitely don’t try to bake them until the inserted toothpick comes out completely clean, because the brownies might be too dry – I think it’s what happened to ours. Bake them until the blade of the knife comes out mostly clean, maybe with some wet crumbs clinging at the bottom, and it should be all right.

    Reply

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  50. Gess on March 10, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    These were amazing….ooey, gooey, fudgy, and perfect! My husband told me I can no make no other! Thanks for the recipe! Dorie never fails!!

    Reply

  51. Sarah on March 15, 2013 at 9:05 am

    I only ever seem to have disasters in the kitchen, however I attempted this recipe and I can safely say it was a definite success!! I live in France and after some of the comment was surprised about how many Brownies I managed to make – definitely more than I was expecting! I took them out after 45 minutes and have a nice crispy top and slightly gooey bottom – perfection! Excellent recipe, thank you!

    Reply

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  53. Anna on March 17, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    These look delicious!

    Reply

  54. Sharon on May 27, 2013 at 12:52 am

    I’m writing this comment as my brownies are cooling seductively in my kitchen. This will be my go-to recipe for brownies, as I generally don’t like the typical, heavy, dense, OTT American brownies. I did add some sea salt to the top of my brownie before baking, and after a sneak of the crust – delish. Thanks so much for the recipe. I also omitted the raisin step, and loved the result. :)

    Reply

  55. Tom Mix on June 5, 2013 at 4:41 am

    Okay to melt chocolate and butter in microwave at #5 power?

    Reply

    • Michelle on June 5th, 2013 at 9:32 am

      Yes, you could do that, but make sure you do so in 30-second increments, stirring after each.

      Reply

      • farheen on June 7th, 2013 at 4:44 am

        itx nt difficult………….. hmmmm!!!

        Reply

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  57. Tracey on September 30, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Hi! I only have chocolate compound dark droplets.Can i use this to substitutes the 6oz bittersweet chocolate ? Thanks!

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 3rd, 2013 at 2:39 pm

      Hi Tracey, I assume what you are talking about is something like chocolate chips or disks? If so, that’s perfectly fine.

      Reply

  58. Emily on October 6, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    I made these and followed the recipe, but the colour of the batter was much darker, and not like the texture of mousse at all. It did not rise and then cave like shown here, and the top cracked just a little bit. I don’t have a mixer, I used a hand blender, is that maybe why? They turned out ok, but too cakey for me.

    Reply

  59. PJ on November 3, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    I would love to make these brownies, but I’ve read this recipe several times–it mentions raisins and cinnamon, but there’s no amount given for how much of either. Am I going blind?

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 4th, 2013 at 12:35 pm

      Hi PJ, I noted in the post that I omitted them from the recipe.

      Reply

  60. michelle on February 12, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    You say to heat raisins but don’t even tell how much…I READ recipes.Can you email the amount please? Thank you.

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 12th, 2014 at 6:48 pm

      Michelle, It’s ⅓ of a cup, which I have corrected above. An honest mistake, which everyone makes.

      Reply

  61. tmarie on February 13, 2014 at 12:30 am

    You mentioned raisins in the directions but I didn’t see it listed in the ingredients list. How much raisins do you use?

    Reply

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