Brownie Math

Ok class, here’s a little formula I’d like you to memorize. It goes like this:

One pound of butter

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+

Three pounds of chocolate

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=

Barefoot Contessa Brownies

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Now I know I’ve gone a little Contessa crazy lately but I had company over on Saturday (playwrights here to watch movies for class (Jaws, On The Waterfront, and Raising Arizona)) so I went for snacky foods that people tend to love. People tend to love the Barefoot Contessa’s sun dried tomato dip (it’s really the best dip ever) and, of course, her brownies.

These brownies, I think, are falsely named. These aren’t brownies. They’re fudge with flour. They’re that rich and chocolatey. Their secret depth of flavor comes from instant espresso. I had a little tiff with my friend Lisa after the playwrights left in which I brought Brownies to Lisa’s place and invited her to eat one. Before she did I said: “Oh, by the way, there’s a little coffee in there so don’t eat it if you’re going to bed soon.” She moved the brownie away from her mouth before she even took a bite. “I hate coffee, Adam, you know that,” she said. “But Lisa,” I urged, “you can’t taste the coffee; it just gives a depth of flavor.” “No!” she pleaded. But I pressed and she took a bite. “Blech!” she said. “It tastes like coffee!”

Some people.

5 comments

  1. NEVER DIVULGE! The secret to feeding my Brit husband good food is the fact that he is down on his computer while I am cooking dinner. I yell when it is time to set the table and all ingredients have been cleared away. Then sometimes when he publicly says something like, ‘I hate paremsan’ I mention that it was in the last five dishes he wolfed down, smacked his lips over and professed his undying love to me for cooking.

    Works every time.

  2. I’m with Lisa. I HATE coffee and if there’s one drop in any foodstuff, I can taste it. Yech, yech, yech.

  3. I, like you, love all things Ina (new book, “Barefoot in Paris,” comes out in a few weeks, squee!). I’ve made these brownies many times and have witnessed chocophobes, Atkins dieters, and finicky children gobbling them down, because, of course, they are SFG. A note on the powdered espresso — I had to substitute Maxwell House crystals once (oh no!), and it still had that richness, but a much less indentifiably “coffee” taste. I also usually add a touch of finely ground black pepper — a Martha tip that cuts the richness a teeny bit. Mmmmmmmmm.

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