I first learned about Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito was when they were invited for a Martha Stewart show. You know me, anything Martha recommended I'm willing to give it a shot. Looking through their website Baked, how I wish I lived in NYC so that I could apprentice there. That's actually one of my secret dreams to be able to work in the kitchen of famous bakeries around the world! I imagine myself learning from the masters and eating my creations at the same time, how cool is that!
First thing first I have to try the famous Baked Brownies, but I don't like my brownies plain. I adapted their recipe and made my own Cheesecake Swirled Brownies. It's like eating two desserts in one go. It was quite easy to make just dump everything together and mix, great for those "I'm tired but I want brownies" moments, believe me I have tons of does moments. Caution the espresso powder that this recipe called for was a little bit too much for me, it kind of overpowers the cheesecake swirls. I would reduced it next time I try this again.
THE BAKED BROWNIE
Yield: 24 brownies
The Baked brownie is a beautiful thing. It has won the hearts and minds of many people, been featured on the pages of O Magazine as a favorite thing, and won best brownie by the folks at America’s Test Kitchen and the Today Show. Our brownie really owes many kudos to our friend and superstar pastry chef Lesli Heffler-Flick. She created the original ultimate brownie for us. It is dense, chocolatey, and slightly fudgy, and we are forever grateful to her for letting us adapt her recipe.
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons dark cocoa powder
- 11 ounces quality dark chocolate (60-72%), chopped coarsely
- 8 ounces butter (2 sticks), cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 tsp instant espresso powder
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 5 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Butter the sides and bottom of a glass or light colored metal pan 9x13x2 pan.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, the salt, and cocoa powder.
- Configure a large sized double boiler. Place the chocolate, the butter, and the instant espresso powder in the bowl of the double boiler and stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and combined. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water of the double boiler and add both sugars. Whisk the sugars until completely combined and remove the bowl from the pan. Mixture should be room temperature.
- Add three eggs to the chocolate/butter mixture and whisk until just combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until just combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not over beat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.
- Sprinkle the flour/cocoa/salt mix over the chocolate. Using a spatula (DO NOT USE A WHISK) fold the dry into the wet until there is just a trace amount of the flour/cocoa mix visible.
- Pour the mixture into the pan and smooth the top with your spatula. Bake the brownies for 30 minutes (rotate the pan half-way through baking) and check to make sure the brownies are completely done by sticking a toothpick into the center of the pan. The brownies are done when the toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
- Cool the brownies completely before cutting and serving.