Double Fudge Mint Brownies and a Prayer for Japan

I have a very particular relationship with my kitchen. When I’m happy, I cook and when I’m sad or anxious, I cook too. Japan’s quake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, made me think about how fragile everything is.
The tragedy made think about the admirable, brave Japanese people who in the middle of such chaos, remain orderly, polite and showing concern for others. Japan’s devastation made me pray and count our blessings.
Because I was a little bit anxious and I relax in the kitchen, I decided to get creative. We harvested broccoli and I made a wonderful broccoli and pasta salad. I took the bananas ripening on my counter and baked Jamaican banana bread, picked some Meyer lemons from our tree and made the most amazing falernum.
On Sunday, my 'creativity' peaked with these mint brownies. I’m not used to food coloring. But I have Tomás Eugenio (7) always pushing for seasonal stuff and, since St. Patrick’s Day is in a few days, I colored with Irish green —not without fear, I must confess— the mint batter.
These brownies are really fudgy. To increase the minty sensation on the palate, I like to refrigerate them and enjoy them cold. Because they are really heavy and massive and hiper caloric, I suggest cutting them bite size.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Mint Brownies | Ingredients for 24 brownies
1 8-ounce cream cheese package
2 Tsp mint extract
1 ½ cups superfine sugar
Green food color (I used Wilton Irish green)
5 eggs
1 cup of unsalted butter
8 ounces of semi sweet chocolate (I used Ghirardelli premium baking bar)
1 ¾ cups all purpose flour
¼ cup sweet ground chocolate and cocoa (I used Ghirardelli)
1 Tsp of baking powder
¼ Tsp of salt
Have all the ingredients at room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 6 by 9 inch glass baking dish. In a sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter and the chocolate. Set aside.

In bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer, 1 minute. Add ¼ cup of sugar and beat until dissolved. Add one egg and the mint extract and mix well. Dip a toothpick into the food color and swirl into the cream cheese mixture. Mix well and repeat until you achieve the right shade. Set aside.

Rinse the mixer blades. In a bowl, beat the rest of the eggs with the electric mixer on a medium speed for 1 minute. Add the rest of the sugar and beat for 1 more minute. Reduce speed, add the flour, baking powder and salt and beat until well incorporated, 1 more minute. Add the chocolate powder and keep beating. Add the melted butter and chocolate and mix well, 1 more minute.

Put half of the chocolate batter in the prepared baking mold. Pour the cream cheese batter and on top layer the rest of the chocolate batter. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out clean. Transfer the mold to a wire rack until it is completely cold. Refrigerate for at least one hour. Cut into squares.
To print the recipe click here.

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