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February 28, 2006

God Save The Brownie Queen!

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If ever forced to choose between me and a good brownie, I'm not sure what my wife would do.

Yes, she loves me, but just this evening my self-proclaimed "Brownie Queen" described the love triangle between her, brownies, and me thusly: "I have very, very strong feelings for you," she cooed, "but I also have very, very strong feelings about brownies."

It doesn't help that one of our closest friends, Ryan, harbours similar feelings (for brownies that is).  On a recent visit, he described brownies as perhaps his "favourite food."  The natural outcome of uttering such a statement in the presence of the Brownie Queen is quick and unavoidable.  "We have to make brownies!  Right now!"

And it was so.

In this house, there is but one recipe good enough for Her Royal Highness, Regan Daley's Really, REALLY Fudgy Brownies, from her indispensable baking book, In The Sweet Kitchen.

As far as I'm concerned, "Really, REALLY Fudgy" only covers half the story, because these brownies derive their richness and smooth texture as much from butter as from chocolate.  How much butter?  Well, just under a quarter of a kilo.  ("How much?" our American readers are still asking.  Well, just over a half pound.)

This is not health food.  Just for giggles, I plopped some butter on the digital nutritional scale the Brownie Queen gave me for Christmas (such a benevolent ruler!), to get an idea of what we consumed.  It says here that a half pound of butter contains 1810 calories and 205 grams of fat (132 of those are saturated too), and we haven't considered the generous amounts of chocolate or sugar.  As you can see, this recipe is not for the lighthearted (or the just plain light, for that matter).

Then there's the little matter of nuts.  I'm something of a brownie purist, so I prefer my brownies to be little more than concentrated chocolate, whereas the Brownie Queen likes her brownies generously studded with walnuts.  Grounds for conflict?  Hell, no.  The Brownie Queen is not a constitutional monarch, she's an absolute ruler whose power is derived directly from the baking gods; walnuts were added.

But, oh, the final result.  The best part of these brownies is that they can be enjoyed in three distinct ways: warm from the oven, when they are at their richest, moistest, and most powerfully chocolatey; at room temperature, at which point they develop a certain cakiness; or chilled, my favourite, when these treats are at their fudgiest, with a noticeably buttery texture.  The walnuts are exceptional too.  They add a noticeable crunch, and are the only thing that prevents the brownie from just melting in your mouth.

Do you, too, want to be brownie royalty?  Panting for the recipe?  Get it here.

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Comments

Bea at La Tartine Gourmande

Very funny! I love your wife's comment! ;-) Good looking brownies for sure, so I am not blaming her!

Michelle

pant...pant...pant...
*licking of screen*

I think that Rachel is a woman after my own heart! I especially love that the Brownie Queen gets her way with walnuts. Excellent post. The extra fat that now lives on my thighs thanks you.

Anita

I have that cookbook - it is indeed a fabulous recipe! When brownies are this good, who cares about the calories!

rob

Bea, I had a very good laugh when my wife said it, and I can't say I blame her either. Let's just say that after eight years together, we understand each other's stomach very well.

Whoa, Michelle, I see you share the same craven love of brownies. I have to admit, the walnuts were a good idea.

Anita, I hope you use In The Sweet Kitchen, my love for it knows no bounds. There's not a single recipe in the book we haven't loved.

lindas

I think your digital nutritional scale might not be working well...250 g of butter contains 205 g of fat of which 132 g are saturated fat. That is if were talking about the real stuff...butter I mean...

Brownies look delicious!

rob

Thanks for catching that, lindas. The fault is mine, not my scale's. I've corrected the post.

A thousand apologies.

MM

Man, who needs men? Just gimme those brownies! I so so agree that brownies have to be fudgey and with walnuts ... oh lord, I am dying for some now ...

melissa_cookingdiva

Ohh...I could have eaten all of those! They look yummy :)

b.

where's mine? i heard somewhere that team leads really like brownies. especially when combined with vanilla ice cream.

on a side note ... what would happen if you used chocolate chips instead of walnuts? could you modify the recipe to somehow incorporate peanut butter into it?

Ivonne

Rob,

Those are some good-looking brownies. But with all respect to The Brownie Queen, and I mean that, have you or her highness ever tried The Barefoot Contessa's brownies??? Of all the brownie recipes I've tried, those are the best.

Perhaps a brownie-off is in order?

rob

MM, sad to hear I've been made redundant by brownies. Oddly, I think I understand.

Melissa, thanks for the compliment.

b, as my team lead we can discuss why you do or do not get brownies while we discuss my vacation. I'll get back to you personally on brownie variations.

Hi, Ivonne. No, we've never tried Ina's brownies, though we have seen her cook them on her show. As I recall, they looked delicious. I think a little (non-competitive) brownie tasting is always a good thing. I guess it's safe to assume you have some brownie devotees in your life.

Ruby

No no no to walnuts, pecans or nuts of any kind in brownies!!! I'm a brownies purist and a chocoholic.

FoodNetwork's Alton Brown's brownie recipe rocks.

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