Monday, May 31, 2010
Dessert Recipe for the last day in May! Dulce De Leche Brownies by David Lebovitz
Happy Memorial Day! Today I give thanks to all who served and are currently serving this country so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we are so priveledged to have. What a great country to be a citizen of! So many of us take for granted all that we enjoy on a daily basis just because we live in this country. I am not saying that our country is without flaws by any means, no one is perfect, however, all it takes is awareness and education to realize that many around the world are not granted even the most fundamental human rights, all because of the ruling form of government in their country and the oppression imposed upon them all in the name of power. We are very fortunate.
As we all know, our rights are not free but are the result of a vision of our brave founding fathers and the many men and women who have fought hard to preserve the sanctity of our constitution. At the end of the day, we have the freedom of choice and opportunity, democracy and capitalism, and the ability to make a difference in our lives and those of our loved ones. This is a great country, a generous country, and one to be so proud of. Again, a sincere thank you from the bottom of my heart to all who have fought to make this country great.
And to mix it up a bit, and because of my love and appreciation of different countries, cultures and all ethnicities, I want to share this recipe with you. It is not my creation, but that of David Lebovitz. He is unbelievably talented in the world of food, especially sweets! To wrap up May, the month of Cinco de Mayo, I think this recipe is a perfect fit. Dulce De Leche Brownies. Dulce de Leche means "milk candy" in Spanish, and that is exactly what it is. Carmelized Sweetened Condensed Milk. David Lebovitz adds a sprinkling of salt, which will send you over the moon and make your eyes roll back. It's so good. Hide all of the spoons when you finish it. If not, there may be none left for the brownies!
RECIPE: Dulce de Leche Brownies, by David Lebovitz, Adapted from The Perfect Scoop (Ten Speed Press)
Part 1: Make the Dulce de Leche
Nest Essentials: An Oven Proof Wide Pan, such as a roasting pan, that fits a Medium Sized Oven safe dish.
1 Can (14 ounces) Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/4 Tsp Flecks of Sea Salt
1) Preheat the oven to 425° F (220° C).
2) Pour one can (400 gr/14 ounces) of sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk) into a glass pie plate or shallow baking dish. Stir in a few flecks of sea salt.
3) Set the Medium Oven Safe Dish within a larger pan, such as a roasting pan, and add hot water until it reaches halfway up the side of the pie plate.
4) Cover the Medium Oven Safe Dish with aluminum foil and bake for 1 to 1¼ hours. (Check a few times during baking and add more water to the roasting pan as necessary).
5) Once the Dulce de Leche is nicely browned and caramelized, remove from the oven and let cool. Once cool, whisk until smooth.
6) Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Warm gently in a warm water bath or microwave oven before using.
Part 2: Dulce de Leche Brownies
Servings: 12 brownies
Nest Essentials: 8 inch square Brownie Pan, Spatula for smoothing, Aluminum Foil
8 tablespoons (115g) salted or unsalted butter, cut into pieces
6 ounces (170g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used a measuring cup with ounces specified and semisweet Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips)
1/4 cup (25g) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder (I used whatever unsweetened cocoa powder I had on hand, don't know if it was Dutch-process or not, and it worked just fine)
3 large eggs
1 cup (200g) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (140g) flour
optional: 1 cup (100 g) toasted pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped (I used Pecans)
1 cup Dulce de Leche (or Cajeta)
1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (175 C).
2) Line a 8-inch (20 cm) square pan with a long sheet of aluminum foil that covers the bottom and reaches up the sides. If it doesn't reach all the way up and over all four sides, cross another sheet of foil over it, making a large cross with edges that overhang the sides.
3) Grease the bottom and sides of the foil with a bit of butter or non-stick spray.
4) Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the chocolate pieces and stir constantly over very low heat until the chocolate is melted. Remove from heat and whisk in the cocoa powder until smooth.
5) Add eggs one at a time to the mixture, then stir in the sugar, vanilla, then the flour.
6) Mix in the nuts, if using.
7) Scrape half of the batter into the prepared pan. Here comes the fun part.
8) Drop one-third of the Dulce de Leche, evenly spaced, over the brownie batter, then drag a knife through to swirl it slightly.
9) Spread the remaining brownie batter over, then drop spoonfuls of the remaining Dulce de Leche in dollops over the top of the brownie batter. Use a knife to swirl the Dulce de Leche slightly.
10) Bake for 35 to 45 minutes. The brownies are done when the center feels just-slightly firm. Remove from the oven and cool completely.