Tuesday, February 17, 2009

With or Without Ice Cream

Dense chocolate, sugar, and butter is what I had in mind, a brownie to lose yourself in. The recipe was romantically titled "Audrey Hepburn's Brownies." I pictured her baking between shoots, showing up on the set in a cocktail dress and a tiara with a platter of brownies on one cocked arm. Does every women want to be Audrey Hepburn? I think so.

Eight ounces of chocolate, I began to break up the baker's bar, drop it in the pot. My hand may have trembled--eight ounces--my pulse may have raced, either way, I couldn't do it. Nor the half cup butter. My healthy instincts refused.

So I hummed and hawed, trimmed, cut, and added to create a rich, but less calorie and fat laden brownie. I served it for dessert the next evening. My company, a distinguished couple in their seventies, approved, although they didn't know what to make of the licorice ice cream on the side.

This is a dense, double chocolate brownie. You may serve it with ice cream if there's some hanging around in the freezer but it is rich enough to stand alone and makes a perfect dessert after a filling dinner. We can't all be Audrey but, heck, my husband didn't know the difference.

Wanna Be Audrey Hepburn Brownies

2 ounces chocolate, chopped in eight pieces
1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg white
2 eggs
1/4 cup apple sauce
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sugar

1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

Spray 9 or 8 inch pan with oil, line with parchment or tin foil and spray bottom again.

Melt the chocolate and butter in a saucepan over low heat.

Meanwhile, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a bowl.

When the chocolate mixture has melted, keep on the heat and sprinkle cocoa over top. Mix in the cocoa and keep on the heat for a couple of minutes. Remove from heat and let cool a little. Mixing well after each addition, use a wooden or flat spoon to add the egg white and eggs one at a time. Beat in the sugar and vanilla. Mix in the applesauce. Add the flour mixture and stir until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Set 8x9 pan in a larger pan; this will ensure even baking and a smooth, dense brownie. Bake for 20 to 25 min, or until the edges of the brownie are just beginning to pull away from the pan and the middle is just set or nearly set. An inserted tester should not come out clean. Do not over bake; better to error on the under-baked side as the brownies will continue to set after you pull them from the oven.

Let cool 5-10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack, then tip from the pan onto rack to cool completely.

Variation: Add nuts if that's your brownie style


  1. I felt a little surge of happiness when I saw this posting. The dense brownie, my ultimate perfection. I had one small shudder of horror though, when I read about the licorice ice cream. That's just criminal.

  2. I have been looking all over the internet to find an 8x9 baking pan, but nothing turns up. Pans are either 9x9 or 8x8 or 9x13, etc. I would love to try these brownies. Where did you get your 8x9 pan? If you could tack that tip onto this recipe that would be great. Thanks. Allie