Sunday, March 25, 2012

Chocolate Mascarpone Brownies

I happen to be picky about brownies. Some of the recipes I try turn out too dry, too rich, too chocolatey, too much work, etc. Really I'd rather just lick the beaters and be done with it- store the bowl in the fridge and eat the batter like pudding over the course of a few weeks hours. 

Alas, my mother's voice in my head and my nurse education both tell me this is not exactly the smartest idea. Damn voices of reason. My inner child is saying this. It's my batch of brownies and I'll eat it raw if I want to.

Despite my staunch viewpoint that batter has always outweighed the baked good in terms of taste, this recipe, even baked, is seriously yummy. It's moist but not rich, definitely NOT dry. Thick but not heavy, and very easy to make. They would pair well with milk or ice cream on the side but it's definitely not necessary like with some other brownies.

The original recipe calls for a ganache on top, but in my opinion this would put things over the edge in terms of sweetness and richness. I think they are just dandy the way they are, and will probably be my go to recipe for brownies. What is the secret ingredient in these lovelies?

Mascarpone cheese.

Mind you, this is pronounced mask-are-pony. For YEARS I have been misprounouncing this delicate, Italian word as marsk-arp-own. How shameful of me. Italian is my dream language. Italy is my dream country. I believe I could live there for the rest of my life and be content. I envy my friends who are able to be stationed there (I could have been, but my husband count not have been stationed there.) I loved every minute of it during my few trips there. But I digress. These brownies are still rockin' even if you don't have an irrational love of all things Italian like I do.

Chocolate Mascarpone Brownies

As seen on The Recipe Girl

1 cup unsalted butter
3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
3 large, at room temperature eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
6 Tablespoons whipping cream
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
 Preheat oven to 325°. Butter an 8-inch square pyrex pan.
Place chopped chocolate in a mixing bowl; set aside. In a small glass bowl, melt butter in microwave, just until melted- don't let it cook and bubble. Pour butter over the chocolate and let stand for 30 seconds. Stir until chocolate is completely melted and butter is well incorporated. Sift in sugar and cocoa powder.
With a wooden spoon, beat in mascarpone, eggs and vanilla, mixing until smooth. Gently fold in flour and salt.
Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Place into preheated oven and bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. 
Place pan on cooling rack and let brownies cool 10 to 15 minutes while you make the ganache.
Place chopped chocolate in a mixing bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the cream and butter to just below boiling point, over medium heat. Pour this hot mixture over the chocolate and let stand for 30 seconds, then stir until smooth. Pour ganache over brownies while still warm, and spread to cover evenly.
Let ganache firm up before cutting. It's best to refrigerate them until quite firm. Once the ganache is firm and the brownies have been cut, they do not need to be kept in the refrigerator.

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