Thursday, July 3, 2008

Pierre Hermé's "Moist and Nutty Brownies"

I'm a Pierre Hermé addict, which you can tell by my continuous references to him on my blog. One visit to his wonderful pastry shop in the 6th arrondissement in Paris is enough to convert even a's like a museum or a fine jewelry store. When I got his cookbook "Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé" for Christmas, I swooned. Perfect perfect....

What I like about his book is that his recipes are so well written, clear, well explained (thanks Dorie Greenspan!) and most of them have great photos. I've made some damn tasty treats from this book! So when I wanted to make some brownies for a picnic, I thought "Must make Pierre's brownies."

Perhaps I cooked them a tad too long, but they weren't as good as I had hoped they would be. They weren't bad, they were gobbled up, but they didn't wow me like so many of his other recipes do. I found them more cake-like than brownie-like, with no chew at all. And they didn't look as moist as those in his photo, so maybe I baked a bit longer than I should have. I think I've had better luck with the Moosewood brownies I've made in the past. But I should probably give Pierre's one more chance.

Here's Pierre's recipe, as found on p. 61 of his book:

5 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 1/4 sticks unsalted butter at room temp
4 large eggs, room temp and slightly beaten
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 c. all purpose flour
1 1/4 c. pecans or walnuts, lightly tasted and coursely chopped

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-Butter a 9 x 12 inch baking pan, fit the bottom with parchment, butter the parchment and dust the inside with flour. Tap out excess flour
-Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave. Leave chocolate to cool slightly, to about 114 cegrees.
-In the meantime, beat the butter until it is smooth and creamy but not airy. Stir in the cooled chocolate, add the eggs, then sugar, then flour and nuts, stirring until each addition is just incorporated.
-Pour batter into pan and smooth the top, bake for 19 - 22 minutes, until the top is dry but the center is still wet. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool for 20 - 30 mn.
-Remove brownies from pan as you would a cake. Remove the parchment paper from the bottom and turn over to cool right-side up. Cut brownies into 18 small pieces.


la fille qui t'aime said...

isn't it the sixth arrondissement?

oh and just so you know, blueberries aren't common in French pâtisseries.

so is the question your blog is based on: gourmet or gourmand? I've lived in France for ages and never ever heard anyone asking this: French or not.

Lesley said...

Yes, it's the sixth...just a slip of the mind while writing.

Blueberries? Why do you mention blueberries? This post is about brownies, not blueberries.

"Etes-vous un gourmet ou un gourmand"'ve really never heard that expression? I'm a french professor, live in France many a year, and it is something I heard a lot.

Pourquoi tout ce debat??