|Believe it or not, this is what a cacao plant|
looks like. The pods contain the cocoa
beans from which we derive chocolate.
...I'm joking of course. Referring to chocolate as a mere bean is like calling Handel's Messiah a nice little song, or Water Lilies by Monet a pretty painting. I have had a love affair with chocolate for as long as I can remember (although some days that's not saying much). But even as a child I didn't care much for Hershey bars. My tastes leaned more toward the dark chocolate of Sno-Caps or nonpareil wafers.
On Super Bowl Sunday we had two dear friends from church over to watch the game. Mary is an unabashed carb lover just like me. We can rhapsodize at length about bread and pasta, but for both of us it's chocolate that really brings a sigh from our chest and a smile to our lips.
Yes, I made chocolate brownies but I must insert a word or two of warning. If you like light cakey brownies, this is not your recipe. If you prefer a sweet chocolate treat, this will not be to your liking. However, if you like the taste of really dark chocolate and a brownie the consistency of fudge--THIS is your recipe.
Dark Chocolate Salted Brownies
12 ounces (1 1/2 cubes) unsalted butter
2 ounces (2 squares) unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a 9-inch square pan with foil--the ends of the foil should extend over two sides of the pan to use as "handles" to help remove the brownies from the pan once they are baked and cooled. Lightly butter the foil, or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
Melt the butter and chocolate together in a large saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add the cocoa powder and sugar and then whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly blended. Stir in the vanilla and flour.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the edges are set. The center will still be soft. While the brownies are still not, sprinkle the salt on the top and press gently so that it adheres to the top of the brownies. Let cool to room temperature, remove from the pan, and cut into squares.