Adapted from David Levobitz “Baked” Altoids Brownies:
By the way, David Levobitz blog is an amazing resource for anyone interested in high end baking, cooking, and a good read.
First reaction when i read this was, wtf. But it really isnt that crazy a concept, mint and chocolate, eggs… I’m just not a dessert person I guess and this is my first time making brownies, so I’m going to dumb this down quite a bit just to stand a better chance, I don’t have good quality chocolate either but I do have the ever resourceful hershey’s cocoa powder:
First thing Im going to do is to cut down this recipe by half (the best i can) , which could be challenging since it requires 5 eggs, well, I happen to really like eggs, so I will round up my halving and keep 3 eggs, everything else should be half.
150g bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (60-75% cacao) (see Substitution)
100g butter (about a stick, cubed)
15g or 1 Tbsp hershey’s cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
200g granulated sugar (no brown sugar here today, so added more granulated)
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
60g Altoid peppermints,crushed (i only have 25g)
Here, things are already getting trickier, I cant just replace real chocolate with cocoa powder, their fat contents are totally different, in fact, cocoa powder has not fat. You can check out this entry on ochef
2Tbsp=1oz = 28.3g
So, according to all of this, and not to get into the specific fat contents of each chocolate because I would end up probably writing a completely different entry, here’s what i came up with:
150g bittersweet or semisweet chocolate or 225g HCP + 75g butter (double the weight??)
which makes no sense, I’d end up with a brownie recipe that is 150g heavier?
If anybody has any suggestions, please suggest away!
I’m going to keep the final weight of this recipe the same, specially since I’m working in grams (granted some volume measurements got introduced in the process of calculating all this, so Im pretty sure its all wrong anyways, but lets see what happens) I’m gonna back off on the seemingly unnecessary extra HCP and butter. I see another fail post in the horizon.
So, Im going to divide HCP and butter by 2 and it should all fall back into place… or not.
150g bittersweet or semisweet chocolate or 112.5 HCP + 37.5g butter
Let’s see what happens:
1. Melt the cubed butter in the microwave in a bowl containing the HCP.
2. Mix them both with a spoon or spatula. The mixture is denser than melted chocolate. Yeah, things are about to go south…
3. Mix in the sugar, salt, batter will become even denser but still smooth, this is worrisome now.
4. Beat in the eggs with a hand mixer until silky smooth (these seriously came to the rescue) there might be a future here. I let the mixture rest for a bit, didn’t want too many bubbles in the batter.
5. In a food processor mix the flour and the altoids, until the sound is smooth and uniform, meaning the altoids are crushed finely and mixed with the flour which is now sifted in a way.
6. Fold flour into the batter slowly incorporating but not too well, more of a rustic finish, with some marbling left in the mix.
7. Prep a baking sheet, oil it, butter it, foil it, whatever works, I used a muffin tray. Preheated the oven to 350f, and made sure it was HOT right before I place the tray in there to make sure i get some lift out of my beaten mix.
It worked! Not even close to a disaster, these things are actually rather edible, crumbly, not too chewy though, but very rich, they rose a bit in the oven. I’m glad I only added 25g of Altoids, the minty accents are nice, but 60g I think would have been too much. My HCP substitution worked, I think the batter lacked some moisture, an extra 50g of butter or whole milk would probably help bring back some of the chewy texture, or reduce the baking time to 20 minutes? I guess I’ll have to try making this again sometime.
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