Tuesdays with Dorie: French Chocolate Brownies

June 3, 2008 at 6:04 am | Posted in cookies & bars, groups, sweet things, tuesdays with dorie | 67 Comments

french chocolate brownies

Next in the queue for Tuesdays with Dorie is the recipe for French Chocolate Brownies, courtesy of Di from Di’s Kitchen Notebook.  I first heard of this recipe about a year ago when it was included in a New York Times article about brownies…I saved it and (even though it doesn’t call for nuts) have been wanting to make it ever since.  Seems Dorie originally intended these to be a fondant-style cake when she served them at a dinner party for French friends, but they just assumed that their American hostess had made them brownies.  Dorie, not missing a beat, went right along with it, and everyone loved them!

Some TWDers noted long baking times and a dry crust as drawbacks of this recipe.  Mine came out with quite a nice thin crust layer, and it wasn’t overly crackly either.  I made a half recipe in a loaf pan…I took them out at the 45 minute mark, although I admit that I accidentally baked them at 325°F.  Oops–I’m not always paying complete attention, but luckily no brownies were hurt due to negligence!  Not quite a fudgy brownie, and not quite a cakey one either, these had an almost silky texture that I liked a lot when eaten at room temperature (not so appealing cold, though).

Something really funny that I’ve learned from TWD is that there are a lot of raisin-haters out there.  I thought maybe I was the only one, so I feel better knowing I’m actually in good company.  This brownie recipe called for rum-flamed raisins to be mixed into the batter, which sounded less than thrilling.  I’m all for a good flambé, though, so I decided to ignite some chopped dates instead.  The dates worked really well…just kind of melding into the overall sweetness of the brownies, rather than being too conspicuous.

french chocolate brownies

To go alongside these faux French pastries, I made Dorie’s recipe for Faux Crème Fraîche, near the back of the book.  It’s just a little vanilla whipped cream with some sour cream folded in, but somehow it made the whole thing très chic.

Open up  Di’s Kitchen Notebook or Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan to find the recipe.  (Dorie has also written about it on Serious Eats.)  Don’t forget to check out the TWD Blogroll!


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  1. oh la la, si mignon! looks like a nice hunk of chocolate goodness!

  2. oooh the first french chocolate picture i have run across thus far! they look SO GOOD, i wish i could just reach through my monitor and grab it. i am making mine tonite.

  3. Those look delicious and the dates actually sound like they would be good in there! Yummy

  4. I love the texture of these! They really melt in your mouth.

  5. Your brownies look awesome! I loved these as well, I can’t wait to make more!

  6. I love your creme fraiche addition… it sort of adds to the French feel. I hadn’t thought of dates as a dried fruit substitution… great idea!

  7. Your photos are truly gorgeous…your blog really inspires me !

    I really like the thickness and the velvety texture of your brownie. I like your substitution of dates and I agree with you, as it really adds a nice subtle texture and taste to the brownie (I sub’ed with cherries & cognac).

    Beautiful work!!!!

  8. I hate raisins too but left my brownie plain. Your brownie looks great!

  9. Mmm… faux creme fraiche would be fabulous with these – Beautiful!

  10. Your brownies look incredible, so thick and smooth. I love the idea of dates and good thinking with the faux creme fraiche!

  11. i made one of dorie’s brownies recently and i loved them. these look very fudge-y though, different than the ones i made. i was pleased though to see that she has SO MANY brownie recipes in her book. delish!

  12. Great job! Very yummy looking brownie!

  13. The texture of these actually genuinely makes me drool. I know everyone says that, but jkdgnfjn they look fantastic.

  14. the texture of your brownies is so smooth! they look delicious… nice addition of the ‘creme fraiche” 🙂

  15. Your brownies look great. I left out the raisins as well, and I think they taste just fine.

  16. Those are some rich-looking brownies!

  17. your brownies turned out way firmer than mine did. What did I do wrong?! I absolutely loved the flavor in them too but they were too crumbly.

  18. I like the idea of creme fraiche (faux or not) with these. I opted for whipped cream instead, with a generous splash of rum. =)

  19. It’s funny how when you don’t like something it stands out and seems like it is everywhere (I feel the same way about nuts). They look great!

  20. See! Yours look EXACTLY like what I expected mine to. I really need to get an oven thermometer because I am betting that is the problem. Beautiful job as always!

  21. I’m not a raisin hater…I just wasn’t into the idea of them in brownies for some reason.

  22. Beautiful pics…yummy brownies!!

  23. I already made and ate a brownie sundae with your photos. YUM!

  24. These look delicious and the dates sound yummy!

  25. Wonderful photos, really a brownie never looked so good to me.

  26. Your brownies look delicious! Good idea to use dates instead of raisins.

  27. Your brownies look fabulous! I bet the dates gave them a lovely moistness and flavour! Great job!!

  28. I love how insanely dark they look!

  29. Yeay…FABULOUS! Chopped dates? What a great idea! I will have to try that next time…I was trying to think of other fruit that would work well. Yours look so freaking perfect…makes me wish I didn’t eat all mine this weekend!

  30. Your brownies look fabulous! And, yes, tres chic indeed!

  31. Your pictures are wonderful, I can ‘feel’ how fudgey your brownies are in the top picture. And that faux creme fraiche looks just as good!

  32. Tres Bien! I was surprised at how many raisin haters there are as well! We should get together and form a support group 🙂 he he.

  33. As a fellow raisin disliker (hate maybe too strong a word in my case), I went ahead and used them and was pleasantly surprised, but dates sound just a tasty. Mine turned out cakey and yours look quite dense, maybe it was the temperature difference? Love the faux creme fraiche, gotta try that for next weeks recipe!

  34. Looks great! Mine turned out similar to yours with no real problems…and I hate raisins, too! Nice idea with the dates – I used strawberries – I think there may be lots of options!

  35. Oooh, dates! What a great idea! I like that better than raisins – yum!

  36. These look so good!! So thick and chocolatey looking!!

  37. Another raisin hater here. Just not a fan but I can’t explain why. Your brownie+creme fraiche looks SO good. Great job!
    Clara @ I♥food4thought

  38. Oh…they look so fudgy!

  39. Great idea with the faux creme fraiche! That picture is gorgeous!

  40. You are not the only one avoiding raisins :-). Your pics look appetizing

    Ulrike from Küchenlatein

  41. Silky – that’s the word I was trying to think of to describe these. Yours are lovely – great pictures!

  42. This is truly a delicious looking dessert. Dense and chocolatty, right up my alley.

  43. how did you get your crust like that? mine was so thick and not at all adhered…i’m jealous that yours looks so much better 🙂

    maybe i’ll try in a loaf pan next time too

  44. Beautiful! I love the raisins, but dates would be wonderful!

  45. Your brownies are nicely styled

  46. i feel like reaching thru the screen to grab it! ARGH!

  47. I loved the raisins, but now I am going to have to try dates!

  48. I love dates!!! Nice thinking and beautiful job.

  49. Yummy! This was my first Tues. and look forward to more great recipes!

  50. Dates and chocolate sound lovely together – what a nice combination. I’m not a raisin fan (except in oatmeal cookies) but my husband HATES them so we omitted them as well.

  51. yum – they look so gooey! and once again, great photos!

  52. Once again, you never fail… simply flawless Brownies, that by the way, seem absolutely and fantasticaly chewy!
    Pretty good job, considering you were never a Brownie!!! Now the question is… would you know how to bake those chocolate-mint waffers? LOL

  53. Yum central. Awesome photo. I’ve got a food haiku contest happening at my place if you’re interested.

  54. I’ve noticed myself how people are either for or against raisins, usually passionately. No one every seems to be indifferent.
    Your brownie looks good.

  55. Beautiful Brownie! 🙂

  56. Ooo I bet the brownies were delicious with the faux creme fraiche! I love the dates idea. Your brownie looks delicious!

  57. Ooo, dates, what a great idea. And your brownies look SO moist and yummy!

  58. Oh, looks moist and yummy! Wonderful crust, too. Most people eating mine didn’t realize there were raisins until halfway through, but dates sound good too!

  59. They look great! Love the pictures.

  60. Your thin brownie crust is the envy of the group! Dates sound like an interesting substitution for this recipe.
    Shari@Whisk: a food blog

  61. Mmmmm, your photos and the brownies both look fantastic! Nice work.

  62. hmmmmm dates! Looks great!

  63. Your brownies look lovely. I like cooked dried fruit, but deeply ambivilent about sultanas uncooked (I don’t do most fruit musli’s or raisin bran for instance). Your date substitution looks lovley. Almost getting into chocolate sticky date pudding territory.

  64. holy crap! you’re description of these sounds amazing. must try.

  65. WOW, what a GREAT brownie. I love the dark chocolate – YUM!

  66. omg!! those brownies look delicious.. so moist and dense with chocolaty goodness

  67. Yum! They look delicious. What is your favourite brownie recipe BTW?

    I see you moved, hope you got a nice new place. We’re moving into our new home in Adelaide this weekend!

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