Tuesday, October 17, 2006

So Close!

These brownies are so close to being the perfect brownie. I am not kidding. I'm just not certain they are the perfect brownie, because I doubt there really is such a thing. But these... they are truly fantastic. They are the perfect texture- that is a certainty. I have always been on the fence between cakey brownies and fudgy brownies, because sometimes a fudgy brownie is borderline raw and uncooked. This is not so. These brownies are indeed a dense fudgy brownie- they remind me very much of a flourless chocolate cake. The malt powder contributes an underlying flavor that isn't overwhelming. It's more of an aftertaste or a lingering flavor on the tongue. It's there, and it's identifiable, but it makes the brownie so good! You have to take another bite to make sure that was what you just ate.

When I was making these up yesterday, I noticed there was no leavening just before I was going to pour them into the pan. I hesitated and thought about adding a pinch of baking soda, but decided that the 4 eggs would be sufficient and I would do the recipe as written. I am so glad I did! There are some minimal changes that I will make next time. One, is that I don't care for the malted milk balls. The ones IN the brownie aren't terrible, but they aren't really significant either. The ones on top have gotten chewy, and I don't like that. So next time I will eliminate the malted milk balls and add a handful of mini chocolate chips with the walnuts instead. I also frosted mine. I misread the recipe, it said to use canned frosting to adhere the malted milk balls to the top. I didn't realize it meant dab some frosting on a ball or two to decorate each individual bar... so I made some homemade chocolate frosting and spread it over the whole thing. It's good, but it would really take these brownies over the top it they were topped with a ganache. Next time I want to try a ganache topping- it could only further gild the lily, so to speak.

The only actual change I made was that I baked it an extra 5 minutes. I really didn't want that rawness to the inside- and the extra 5 minutes was perfect for me. I also was using a glass pan though... so that may have made the extra 5 necessary, if you try these, check them right at 35 minutes. And like any good brownie- do your best to wait until completely cool before digging in. They were good warm, but soooo much better at room temperature. And I already sampled a small piece today- even better this morning. So without further ado, here is the recipe for Malt-Fudge Brownies, from Better Homes and Garden's Annual Christmas Cookie publication.

Malt-Fudge Brownies

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup malted milk powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, cut up
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
4 ounces coarsely crushed malted milk balls (about 1 cup)

1. Preheat oven to 325ºF. Lightly grease a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine flour, malted milk powder, and salt; set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, combine butter and chocolate; heat and stir over low heat until chocolate melts. Remove from heat, stir in sugar. Using a wooden spoon, beat in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla. Stir in flour mixture, wwalnuts and half of the crushed malted milk balls. Spread batter in prepared pan.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes. Cool in a pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars. To package, place remaining crushed malted milk balls in a small plastic bag with the instructions, "Use a small amount of canned frosting to 'glue' malted milk balls atop bars." Makes 30 bars.

To Store: Layer unfrosted bars between waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.


Claire said...

These remind me of a brownie my mom makes. It is frosted, as you did, but has marshmallows on top (and nuts if you want). It's really good. These look interesting. I may try them out sometime on my brother, who LOVES malted milk balls.

eliza said...

why do brownies always look good and taste good anytime? makes me hungry!

Lauren said...

Yum! I'd like to try making the brownies with the malted milk powder - an interesting addition.

Nice blog!

Erika said...

Brownies are always good. Claire, these would definitely be awesome with marshmallows- definitely on the to try list for these.

The malted milk powder really intrigued me, and I am so glad I made them. Seriously, we've never gone through brownies so quickly before. (Not necessarily a good thing).