Truffle Brownies

There is not much I can say about these brownies from Bon Appetit except…if you like chocolate, stop what you are doing and go to the kitchen right now and make these.  I swear, they are amazing.  Almost as amazing as this next story.

I am going to do something a little differen today and talk about something completely unrelated to what I made.  I won’t do this very often, but this was too special not to share…kind of like these brownies.

Last April I had the opportunity to eat at Per Se – I had been looking forward to that meal for over a year.  Unfortunately there were a couple of mishaps – and although the food was still exquisite, I left thinking that I would not return.  We had a better experience at Daniel the year prior.

I guess our issues made it to the manager of the restaurant, and a couple weeks later he emailed me to invite us to return to the Salon (the bar area, not the dining room) as their guest.  We are not in NYC very often – but knew we would be returning in the summer – so we made a reservation with him to return.  We really had no idea what to expect, but I figured we would be eating some delicious food.

A couple weeks before we were set to return, I received a phone call from a women at Per Se.  The manager was no longer with Per Se, but had left some detailed notes about our situation – and she was calling to confirm.  I was very impressed.

When we showed up, they sat us at this beautiful table overlooking Central Park.  There were two champagne glasses on the table.  That was just the beginning…they poured us endless glasses of champagne, brought us 11 courses of food, each course paired beautifully with wine – and at the end of this incredible meal – gave us a tour of the kitchen.  It was the most memorable dining experience of my life – I am still reveling in the entire evening.   Any place that would treat their customers like that, is a place worth visiting.  We were overwhelmed with their generosity – and now I can’t wait to return someday.

Back to the brownies…

Ingredients

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cacao), chopped, divided
  • 11 tablespoons (1 stick plus 3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Preparation

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Line 9x9x2-inch metal baking pan with foil, leaving overhang. Spray foil with nonstick vegetable oil spray. Combine 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate and butter in medium metal bowl. Set bowl over saucepan of simmering water and stir until chocolate and butter are melted and smooth. Remove bowl from over water and cool chocolate mixture until lukewarm, 5 to 10 minutes.

Whisk sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, and salt in large bowl to blend. Whisk in chocolate mixture. Stir in flour, then chopped toasted walnuts. Transfer batter to prepared baking pan. Bake brownies until tester inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 26 to 28 minutes. Transfer pan to cooling rack and let brownies cool completely.

Bring cream to simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat. Add remaining 6 ounces chocolate to hot cream and let stand 5 minutes to soften, then whisk until melted and smooth. Pour chocolate ganache over brownie sheet in pan and spread to cover completely. Let stand at cool room temperature until topping is set, about 4 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and store at room temperature.

Using foil as aid, lift brownie sheet from pan. Fold down foil edges. Using large sharp knife, cut brownie sheet into 25 squares, wiping knife with hot moist cloth after each cut. Arrange brownies on platter and serve.

For a printer-friendly version, please click here:  Truffle Brownies

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