Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Mint Obsession Brownies for the Organic & Fair Chocolate Lover

After much recipe-testing and recipe-creating using unsweetened baking chocolate, I have come up with a mint brownie recipe that is intensely chocolaty, intensely minty and made with Organic and Fair Trade chocolate. And since it had a real kick of minty flavour, I thought "Mint Obsession" was an appropriate name.

I used Cuisine Camino Unsweetened Baking Chocolate (100% cacao solids) for the brownie recipe and a Camino 67% Mint Dark Chocolate bar for the ganache icing on top of the brownie. 

Also, my recipe is baked in a round pan because I like my brownie pieces to be shaped like slices of pie or cake with a crusty back edge and gooey centre (see picture of the slices below). If you want to bake yours in a square pan, bake for only 40 to 45 minutes. All that said, here is the recipe:

Mint Obsession Brownies for the Organic & Fair Chocolate Lover

Brownie Ingredients:
-114 grams (4 oz) Cuisine Camino Unsweetened Baking Chocolate (you can use use regular unsweetened baking chocolate if you cannot find this brand)
-1 cup unsalted butter
-3 eggs
 -2 cups organic cane sugar (in keeping with the theme, I used Camino brand of organic sugar)
-1 tsp real vanilla extract (or the flecks from 1 vanilla bean if so desired)
-1/2 tsp peppermint extract
-1/4 tsp salt
-1 cup flour
-1 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Ganache Ingredients:
-One 100 gram Camino Mint Dark Chocolate bar (67% cacao solids)*
-1/4 cup whipping cream
See alternate ganache recipe below if you cannot find a 100 gram mint chocolate bar.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line an 8" round springform (or plain round 8" baking pan) with parchment paper.  Butter parchment and sides of pan.

Melt the chocolate and butter together in a microwavable bowl for two minutes on HALF Power (or in a heatproof bowl over a double boiler as in the picture on the left).  Stir until melted. Let cool.

Beat eggs lightly with a fork until yolks are broken and well mixed in with whites.

Mix by hand or with electric hand mixer (or stand mixer) the following: eggs, vanilla, sugar, mint extract and salt.  Mix until they are all combined. Add in the chocolate mixer and blend well.  Gently stir in flour.  (Add chocolate chips now if you are including them) Pour batter into the pan that you prepared.
Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour (cooking time depends on your oven.  Centre should be soft and slightly giggly when you take it out of the oven, but not wet and completely undercooked). Run a knife all around the edge, but leave in pan for now.
Let cool for one hour, then refrigerate while you make the ganache icing.
Chop the 100 gram Camino Mint bar and place in microwave safe bowl. Pour ¼ cup whipping cream over it and pace in microwave on HALF power for 1 minute and 20 seconds. Take out and stir until smooth. Alternately you can melt these together over a double boiler until completely melted.
Release brownie from pan and turn out onto a serving plate. Pour ganache over top and spread it just to the edges of the brownie. Place in refrigerator until top is chilled. Tastes best the day after it is baked.

The larger slice in this picture has semi-sweet organic
chocolate chips added to it, which made a slightly
taller brownie and more intensely chocolaty.

You should be able to get 16 servings.  To get that many, cut entire brownie in half.  Then cut in half again, cross-wise (now you will have a cross). Cut each quarter section into four evenly-sized pieces so you have 16 small rich slices of minty goodness.
Plain Mint Ganache Recipe:
(Use this recipe if you do not have a Camino Mint chocolate bar or other bar)
·         4 oz semi-sweet chocolate
·         ½ tsp peppermint extract
·         1/4 cup whipping cream

Combine all three ingredients in a microwavable bowl.  Place in microwave for 1 minute 20 seconds on HALF POWER.  Take out and stir until smooth.  Alternately place over a double boiler and heat slowly, stirring until smooth.  Pour on brownie and spread to edges. Jiggle brownie a little to smooth out ganache.  Refrigerate until set.

*Chocolate Note: If you cannot find the Canadian Camino brand, an Equal Exchange Mint bar (American brand) is similar.  Otherwise, use a Lindt mint bar or other mint-flavoured 100 gram (3.5 oz) dark chocolate bar.

Read my post on the differences between Camino brand of Unsweetened Baking Chocolate versus Baker`s by Kraft.


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