Wednesday, January 22, 2014

My favorite cookbooks: Flour

New blog post idea for the blog: 
My favorite cookbooks; A review + recipe.

Today: Flour


I love my cookbooks, each and every one of them.
But my very favorite one for sweets and desserts is 'Flour', by Joanne Chang, owner of Boston's Flour Bakery and Cafe (oh, Boston, I'd love to visit you some day).
Her recipes aren't exactly for the beginning baker, you do need some baking know-how, some recipes are actually pretty challenging, like her recipe for croissants, which I haven't dared to try yet.

But that is what I like about 'Flour', I like the challenge and I've really improved my baking by using and studying it's recipes.
What I also love about the cookbook are Joanne's stories about the recipes and her insider tips and tricks she shares with her readers, I've learned so much about baking, just by reading her tips.


A favorite recipe of mine from 'Flour' is the Intense Chocolate Brownie, it is actually one of the more simpler recipes, but not any less delicious than the challenging ones.

It's become a go to recipes for me whenever I'm asked to bring a dessert or something sweet to a gathering and I always get so many compliments for them.

This recipe is the best basic brownie recipe I've come across, it's decadent and fudgy (like brownies should be in my opinion) and delicious on it's own. Sometimes I top the brownies off with some home made salted caramel and I can only imagine how great they'd be with walnuts (just not for this allergic girl).

To ensure the best results, use the best ingredients, which is important for all cooking and baking I think.
And make sure not to over bake the brownies, they need to be a tad underdone!

Flour Bakery's Intense Chocolate Brownies

Yield: 9 x 13 inch pan of brownies

5.5 oz (155 grams) unsweetened chocolate, chopped

2.5 oz (70 grams) bittersweet chocolate (62-70% cacao), chopped

3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp (1 & 3/4 sticks/200 grams) unsalted butter, melted

5 eggs

2 cups (400 grams) sugar

1 1/4 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp kosher salt

Position the oven rack to the middle and preheat to 325°F(that would be 160 degrees Celsius). 
Butter and flour a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. (I lined it with parchment paper, so I could easily remove them from the pan and cut them.)

Place the unsweetened chocolate and bittersweet chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. Place over (not touching) barely simmering water in a saucepan and heat, stirring continuously, until completely melted and smooth. Remove from the heat, whisk in the melted butter until well combined and set aside to cool slightly.

Place the eggs in a mixer bowl and fit mixer with the whisk attachment. On low, slowly beat in the sugar for 1 minute, or until frothy and somewhat thick. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the chocolate mixture.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Using the spatula, gently fold in the flour mixture into the egg-chocolate mixture until thoroughly combined. Do not over mix. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread in an even layer with the spatula. (Batter will be thick)

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes- but start checking at about 20 minutes (so important!!!). They are done when a knife or toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few wet crumbs on it. If there is still liquid batter on the tester, they need more time. If the tester comes out clean, they are cooked through and will be okay too, just more cakey than fudgy. 
Let them cool for 2 hours. They are so moist, they need this time to firm up enough to cut.

Recipe source: Flour Bakery Cookbook


I would definitely recommend this cookbook to anyone who loves to bake and is looking to improve their baking skills.

Love, Maria

(p.s. This is not a sponsored or endorsed post, just me sharing my favorite cookbooks with you. 
If you are reading along Joanne, I would't mind a box of baked goods as a thank you ;) )

1 comment:

  1. You and Joanne go way back, cooking together all the time - just like me and Charles Price - my best walking buddy :-)



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