Marscapone Brownies

I suppose as a baking blog I’m pretty much obligated to mention Valentine’s Day…as a perpetually single person this holiday is pretty much meaningless to me, but I know a lot of people like to celebrate with chocolate, and so I have a nice, easy, last-minute chocolatey recipe for you all.

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Of course in this part of the world, it’s already February 15th. I spent my Valentine’s Day back in New Zealand at a very unorthodox bachelorette party (no strippers or ridiculous penis-shaped straws/balloons/whatever else; we went wake boarding and had a barbecue) which was wonderful. Also, I’m back in New Zealand, which is a great feeling in and of itself.

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But anyway, my feelings about today’s non-holiday aside, this is a great brownie recipe that I’ve been meaning to share for a while. It’s simple—as you may have noticed, I am a big believer in the One Bowl Brownie—but the addition of marscapone gives it a little… je ne sais quoi. I am quite devoted to my classic cocoa brownies, to the point that I make them almost exclusively, but these are worth making an exception for.

marscapone(The secret ingredient)

Marscapone Brownies
(Adapted from The Kitchn)

For the brownies:
1 cup (226 grams or 8 ounces) unsalted butter
85 grams (3 ounces) dark chocolate, finely chopped (I used 72% cocoa)
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
3 large eggs, at room-temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the ganache:
170 grams (6 ounces) dark chocolate, finely chopped
6 tablespoons whipping cream
3 tablespoons (about 45 grams) unsalted butter

1. Preheat oven to 160 Celsius (325 Fahrenheit). Butter an 8×8-inch brownie pan and set aside. I also like to line mine with baking parchment to make removing the brownies easier.

2. In a double-boiler (or a heat-proof bowl over a pot of boiling water), melt 1 cup of butter and 85 grams of chocolate. Stir in the sugar, then remove from heat and keep stirring for another 30 seconds or so. It will look shiny but still a bit grainy.

3. Stir in the marscapone as best you can. Don’t worry if there are some small white bits; just get rid of the big lumps. Add the vanilla and eggs, mixing until smooth.

4. Sift the flour, salt, and cocoa into the mixture and stir until just combined. Make sure you scrape the sides of the bowl as you go to get everything well-mixed. Your batter will be a bit lighter than your standard brownie.

5. Pour the mixture into the brownie pan, smoothing the top to make sure it’s even. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.

6. Use a potato masher to lightly tamp the surface of the brownies. You just want to flatten any parts of the pan that have risen unevenly (namely, the edges). Don’t press too hard here! It doesn’t need to be perfect. After tamping, set the pan aside to cool.

7. While the brownies are cooling, make your ganache. You want to do this pretty much right away, as these are best if the ganache is poured on while the brownies are still warm. Heat the rest of the butter and the cream until hot but not boiling and pour over the remaining chocolate. Stir until all lumps disappear. I always find that my chocolate doesn’t quite melt, so I usually do this part in a double-boiler, too.

8. As soon as your ganache is smooth, poor over the brownies. Let cool completely, either at room temperature or in the fridge. Slice with a warm knife and serve. Like most brownies, these are better on day two—if you can wait that long.

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