Tuesday, August 25, 2015

TBB - Woody's Black and White Brownies

This week's challenge for Rose's Alpha Bakers was Woody's Black and White Brownies (recipe can be found in The Baking Bible). I started out thinking I'd make the brownie portion only since it closely resembles the awesome Barcelona Brownies which I've blogged about here. However, these brownies are super chocolatey (a plus for me, not so much for hubby), so I decided to top them with something sweet, that would compliment the brownies well and be super quick and easy. That's when the bag of Kraft caramel bits whispered in my ear, "use me" (don't judge!). I had some leftover chocolate glaze in the freezer for a little drizzle, and voila!

It made sense at the time when I decided to make only half the recipe. As I ate another piece just now, this time it was a cold one from the fridge with a deliciously dense and fudge-like texture, I'm left wondering what I was thinking.

I pushed the nuts into half of the pan and swirled them around the batter using my magic little finger (it was clean) :o)

The Magic Finger

The nutty one is for hubby

The nut-less one is mine.
The candy I used to decorate my piece is actually called a chocolate covered powerberry. It's a fruity jelly-like center covered in dark chocolate from Trader Joe's.

The brownie batter came together quickly. I made it by hand. Brownies are great, but I find that if you use a mixture of granulated and brown sugar, they're even better. So that's what I did here too (50-50). Reading up on my notes in the Barcelona Brownies blog post, I found out that I used bread flour back then without any issues, so I did the same here.

Call me nutty (or just OCD), but I didn't like the idea of having bits of cream cheese show in the batter or the baked product. So, I brought my cream cheese to room temp using my microwave. Then I whisked it really well. Adding the cream cheese to the brownie batter would have been a pain because the consistency of the two are so different. Instead, I employed a technique used in making custard. I added a little bit of the brownie batter to the cream cheese and whisked it until completely smooth, and no bits of cream cheese were remaining.

Brownie batter on the left (thick), and batter + cream cheese on the right (runny)

Then I added it back to the rest of the brownie batter and mixed everything well. Since the flour hasn't been added to the batter yet at this point, there's no need to worry about overworking the gluten and getting tough brownies.

After a 30-35 min bake in the oven, they were ready.


Yummy thick brownies!

Caramel topping

A little chocolate drizzle

Voila! Toasted pecans are peeking through

Doesn't that look amazingly dense, moist and fudgy? Bon Appetit!

Final thoughts/tips;
  • Hubby loved these brownies, although he still found them a bit on the chocolatey side. The fact that he asked me why I gave him such a small piece (because that's all he wanted), tells me that he really liked them. He gave them an 8.5 out of 10 rating. That's pretty impressive given how chocolatey these brownies are.
  • I loved loved loved these. They're so rich, moist, chocolatey and satisfying. They have a dense and fudge-like texture and they melt in your mouth at the same time.
  • Instead of using the recommended 60+% chocolate, I used good-quality fair trade Dutch chocolate, Verkade Puur, which worked perfectly.
  • My changes to the Brownie Batter recipe:
    • Used 50% granulated sugar and 50% dark brown sugar.
    • Substituted the AP flour with bread flour by weight.
  • Caramel frosting:
    • 5.5. oz Kraft caramel bits (half a bag)
    • 1.5 Tbsp milk
    • Heat in microwave at 30% power in 30 second increments.
  • Don't forget to check out the other Alpha Bakers' brownie adventure.

14 comments:

  1. wonderful Hanaa - why did you use bread flour? Patricia indicated distaste for cream cheese showing up. I had no prob but mine was very soft. Next time however will blend as you suggest. Thanks ; )

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    1. Thanks Joan. The amount of flour used is fairly small. In order to give the brownies some structure, I chose to use bread flour since it has a higher protein level. Unless I do a side-by-side comparison between AP flour and bread flour, I won't know for sure if the bread flour really helped. But that's my theory :)

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  2. I didn't have problem with cream cheese showing up esp. when I dunk them in last minute already.. they melted. Great idea with the changes!

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    1. I'm glad the cream cheese melted in yours. These brownies were awesome!

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  3. Hanaa, really turned out beautifully! The caramel combination sounds amazing. This looks like something in a bakery! So you didn't use any chocolate at all, just all cocoa powder?

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    1. Thanks Vicki. I did use chocolate in addition to the cocoa powder, however I used a good-quality Dutch 54% dark chocolate (instead of the 60-65% that Rose recommended).

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  4. I was puzzled by the bread flour too but as you say its only a small amount. The caramel looks spectacular.

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    1. Thank you. It worked really well :)

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  5. Caramel/finish is lovely, they have the "just picked these up from that fab little bakery" look. Lots of the Australian recipes for brownies are all brown sugar… brown sugar and chocolate is good!!

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    1. Thanks Jeniffer. Oh yeah, I love brown sugar and chocolate.

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  6. I like the idea of 50% brown sugar! I'm making a note in my book to try that. Caramel is a perfect topping for this brownie, I think I would like it more than the frosting. Also I love how you incorporated the cream cheese! Making a note of that, too!

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    1. Glad I could help :) If you make them again with my changes, please let me know how you liked it.

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  7. I love the idea of adding caramel - love, love, love. Great plan to eliminate the blobs of cream cheese too. Will remember your trick next time I make them.... and there will be a next time!

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  8. They look very appetizing. Interesting method to blend the cream cheese in the batter. My husband doesn't care for too much dark chocolate, either - I do!

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