Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Recipe Tester

Recipes always look delicious in the pages of cookbooks, but how do they turn out in real life.  Heather investigates and reports back on the results.

PB&C Brownie Image

Recipe: PB &C Brownies.  These brownies have a layer of peanut butter in the middle and are topped off with dark chocolate ganache—a gourmet take on the classic Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

From: Baking Unplugged by Nicole Rees (Recipe found on Page 133).

Initial Impressions of Recipe:  I first heard of the book when her brownie recipe won a taste test in the Chicago Tribune Good Eating section, so I knew I wanted to try one of her brownie recipes.  I had recently ordered a brownie flight for dessert at a restaurant, and the break out star was the peanut butter brownie.  So I thought, why try to bake my own!  That being said, the key ingredient that had made the restaurant’s brownies work was using fresh, organic peanut butter.  I had only expired, unnatural store-brand peanut butter in the pantry, so I was skeptical that brownies would turn out and not give me food poisoning.

Results:  Oh man, are these things good!  And pretty easy to make for a recipe that involves three layers.  The real star of this recipe is the chocolate ganache, which is dark, rich and delicious.  I remade the recipe with organic, store-bought peanut butter, and the flavor enhancement was minimal.  However, it’s probably better to make the recipe with peanut butter that’s not expired!  Because the brownies are made with bittersweet chocolate, they have a richer and less sweet taste than Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.  These brownies definitely stick to your ribs and would make a great dessert in the fall or winter.

Find it in the catalog.