Monday, August 30, 2010

Triple Chocolate & Mint Brownies

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One of my husband's complaints about me is that I'm crazy about cleaning. If I'm not in the kitchen cooking or baking and I'm not online blogging, he'll be the first to tell you that I'm somewhere around the house cleaning. I don't know - maybe it's just a habit I picked up from my mom. But what my husband doesn't understand about cleaning is that often times, it's like finding long lost treasures. For example, I was organizing and cleaning out my baking pantry the other day. In doing so, I stumbled across some mint baking chips I purchased awhile back. Thankfully, they weren't expired so I put them to good use by making these Triple Chocolate & Mint Brownies. See... if it weren't for me cleaning out my baking pantry, I wouldn't be able to enjoy these treats!...

So we all know that chocolate and mint make a fine pair in desserts and sweets. I find dark and bittersweet chocolate work best with mint since they balance each other's tart and sweet characteristics. Taking a classic brownie recipe from Cook's Illustrated, I added bittersweet chocolate chips to the batter before baking. After it baked, I topped it with a chocolate ganache before garnishing with more bittersweet chocolate and mint chips. If you need a chocolate fix with a bit of mint, this brownie recipe will hit the spot!

If you can't find mint baking chips, add 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract + 1 tablespoon creme de menthe to your chocolate ganache.

Triple Chocolate & Mint Brownies
recipe adapted from Cooks Illustrated


1 1/4 cups plain cake flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, diced
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
6 ounces mint baking chips
chocolate ganache (recipe follows)

Preheat your oven to 325. Grease a 9x13 baking dish and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder; set aside.

In a large, microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate and butter on high for 45 seconds, then stir and heat for 30 seconds more. Stir again, and, if necessary, repeat in 15-second increments; don't let chocolate burn. When the chocolate is completely smooth, gradually whisk in the sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition until thoroughly combined. Add the vanilla and then carefully fold in the flour mixture in three additions, folding with a rubber spatula until the batter is completely smooth and homogeneous. Add 1/2 of the bittersweet chocolate chips to the batter and stir just to combine.

Transfer the batter to the prepared baking dish and spread the batter to evenly fill the pan. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. *Don't over bake!* Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.

While brownies are still warm, spread the prepared ganache over the top of the brownies and then sprinkle with the remaining bittersweet chocolate chips and mint chips. Allow to cool to room temperature, which will also allow the chocolate ganache to set up. Cut the brownies into 2 inch squares and serve.


Chocolate Ganache
1 cup heavy cream
10 oz bittersweet chocolate chips

Bring cream to a simmer in a 2- to 3-quart saucepan and remove from heat. Pour over bittersweet chocolate in a bowl. Let stand 1 minute, then whisk until smooth. Chill, covered, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 30 minutes.

If you can't find mint baking chips, add 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract + 1 tablespoon creme de menthe to your chocolate ganache.

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