My trusted friend, TiVO (which is the only way I watch TV as I hate commercials) caught on to my obsession with all things food and decided to 'suggest' I watch 'America's Test Kitchen' on PBS. So, as I was browsing my TiVo menu, I saw there was an episode recorded. Now, I am a devoted fan of Christopher Kimball and his team at Cooks Illustrated and have been a subscriber to the magazine for over 5 years. I was quite excited to find this on TiVO. However the episode recorded was on Reduced-fat treats. What!! Cooks goes reduced fat? I admit I was very skeptical. I have utmost faith in the culinary abilities of this team, but I have yet to come across a low-fat brownie that tastes even half way decent. I mean, a brownie should be a decadent treat. A dry, crumbly, cakey concoction does not a brownie make.
Anyway, I decided that if any one could pull this off, the Cooks folks could. So, even though I promised hubby that I would not set foot in the kitchen on Mother's Day, I broke the rules (what do you expect?) and decided to give these brownies a go. Mind you, none of the boys really complained too loud.
Well, they smelled heavenly while baking, but then again, all brownies smell good! Even the boxed ones. So, I'm sure you're waiting with bated breath on the verdict. Well guess what - they were DELICIOUS. Intensely chocolatey, fudgy, chewy, yummm! The only thing missing was the grease. I asked my kids what they thought - I heard a few mumblings, but then again their mouths were full. Lets sum it up by what my soon-to-be 6 year old said "Mom, thank you for making normal brownies. I thought you were making lowfat ones". Awesome! Passed the kiddie and adult taste test!
I urge you to give these a try when you feel like having brownies but don't want to pack in extra fat. These are indeed very good. Now the big question is - do they freeze well (for future lunchbox treats)? Stay tuned and I'll report back.
Hope you all mamas out there had a great Mother's Day! I sure did.
(From America's Test Kitchen on PBS)
3/4 cup All-purpose flour
1/3 cup dutch processed cocoa
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp table salt
1 large egg, yolk + white
1 large egg, white only
2 tbsp sour cream (light is fine)
2 tbsp butter, unsalted
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped*
1 cup cane sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp chocolate syrup
*Chocolate chips may be used, but these tend to produce a drier brownie. Given this is a light brownie, we need as much moisture as we can, so slab chocolate is highly recommended.
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare an 8-inch square pan by making a foil sling (this will greatly aid in brownie removal) and spraying lightly with non-stick spray.
2. Combine dry ingredients (first four listed above) in a dry mixing bowl. Whisk to incorporate well.
3. Add butter and chocolate to a heat-safe bowl or double boiler. Melt till no lumps remain and chocolate is smooth and satiny. Set aside to cool slightly. Add sour cream, vanilla and sugar and mix well with a rubber spatula.
4. Fold in the dry ingredients until just combined. Add 1 tbsp of chocolate syrup (this adds to the fudginess).
5. Spread the batter uniformly in the prepared pan. The batter is very thick and you'll really need to spread the batter to cover the whole pan. Do not despair. All is well.
6. Bake 20 - 22 min till toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs on it. Do not overbake.
7. Resist temptation to dig in. Let the brownies cool in the pan (approx 1 hour). Take them out using the sling and cut into 16 squares. Enjoy!