Friday, March 21, 2014

Brownie Madness

Fudgy Chocolate-Raspberry Brownies

March Madness basketball has the nation gripped with excitement, but here at The Cooking School at Jungle Jim's International Market, a brownie madness has the staff enthralled. We want to share this easy, crazy-good recipe for brownies. If you rely on boxed mixes for your chocolate fix, please consider making these fudgy brownies as a superior alternative. You'll please the people who love fudgy centers and the folks who fight for the edge pieces. It's a one-pan winner! 

The secret to the fresh, ripe raspberry flavor is Clearbrook Farms' seedless red raspberry jam. It is packed with raspberry goodness and a perfect pairing with chocolate. If you haven't been introduced to Clearbrook Farms' products, we highly recommend them. They are locally produced in the Sharonville, Ohio. The Cooking School is offering a class on Thursday, April 3, using Clearbrook Farms' jams and preserves. Our students will get an introduction to the products in the class menu and will enjoy a gift to try at home.

Once you have your jar of jam, prepare the other ingredients - most cooks have them on hand in their pantry or refrigerator. Measure out a 1/4 cup of jam and stir with a spoon to loosen it up.

Melting the chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl saves on time and dishes. Microwave the chocolate and butter for 45 seconds. Remove and stir. Microwave in 30 second segments until the chocolate is just melted. Stir until smooth.

You can add the remaining ingredients (minus the jam) into the bowl and stir until combined. No lumps should be in the batter and it will be thick. Scrape the batter into a greased 8x8 pan.

With a spoon, distribute the jam on top of the brownie batter. You can use a dinner knife or a paring knife to swirl the raspberry jam around through the batter. 

Place the pan in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 35-40 minutes. The aroma of baking chocolate and raspberry is fantastic! Find the willpower to allow the brownies to cool completely. They cut more easily and the texture will be perfect. If by some miracle there are brownies in the pan the next day, they will be even better! The recipe says to cut into 12 pieces, but somehow 9 pieces seems more reasonable for chocoholics!

Fudgy Chocolate-Raspberry Brownies

6 ounces (1 cup) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup raspberry preserves, stirred well

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease an 8x8-inch baking dish.

Place chocolate chips and butter in a glass bowl and microwave in 30-45 second intervals, stirring each time, until melted and smooth. Stir in sugar and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add flour and salt and mix well.

Spread batter into prepared baking dish. Drop spoonfuls of preserves over batter; pull a knife through batter to create a swirled effect. Bake 35-40 minutes or until brownie just begins to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely and cut into bars.

Makes 12 brownies

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