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Tuesdays with Dorie: French Chocolate Brownies

To my mind, chocolate, raisins, and rum are a great combination. I used a mix of golden and dark raisins and black strap rum, which has a lovely, dark, molasses-y flavor. I know this will make you raisin-haters out there shudder – but I would add more raisins if I made this again; they just weren’t enough of a presence. Neither was the rum, for that matter. I think next time I would skip boiling the raisins in water and just steep them in warmed rum for half an hour or so.

Making these brownies in a square pan seemed a bit plain to me, so I decided to play around with the shape. I wanted individual brownie “cakes” instead of cut brownies. I have a so-called “muffin top” pan, which I’ve never used for muffins. (I bought is because I liked the shallow shape, and I’ve made beautiful mincemeat tarts in it.) This pan has a non-stick surface, but I buttered it anyway. Good thing I did, as the first batch I made was difficult to remove after 15 minutes’ cooling time as you can see from one of the mangled brownies below.

I let the second batch cool in the pan for 25 minutes, and they came out easily.

The result is a classic shiny, crackly brownie top with a cakey interior, and quite fragile. I had this crazy idea that if I made individual brownies, Mark and I would each have one and I would freeze the rest for later – to be eaten in moderation over a period of time. Ha! As soon as I whipped some cream to have with the brownies for dessert that night, moderation went right out the window. These would be perfect to stack, with cream in between!

But I guess we did use moderation – we only stacked two, not three or four.

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Welcome to Bismarck’s Favorite

I have loved to bake for as long as I can remember, and I never seem to have enough time to do it. When I received Dorie Greenspan’s Baking from My Home to Yours last Christmas, I immediately wanted to bake my way right through it. Then I stumbled on Tuesdays with Dorie and found kindred spirits.

This is the first time I have tried writing a blog, so bear with me. I named it after my beloved cat Bismarck, who loved baked goods and was my biggest critic. I always thought that if I ever opened a bakery, I would name it after him.

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