Join our brownie taste test

August 9th, 2008 by Dawn

We got two kinds of bittersweet baking chocolates from Lauren Adler, owner of Chocolopolis, to try an A / B baking chocolate experiment.  I wanted to make brownies, but haven’t found a really great brownie recipe.  So I went straight to David Lebovitz’s blog to see if he had one, since every dessert he touches is gold, and chocolate is his specialty.  The recipe I found there wasn’t his but Nick Malgieri’s “Supernatural” Brownies, which sounded great.  Then, before I had a chance to make the brownies, I was reading the September issue of Saveur, and the very same recipe is printed in there.  It was settled – now I knew I had to make them.

Supernatural Brownies

The chocolates we wanted to compare are Valrhona Manjari 64%, and Guittard Coucher du Soleil 72%.  On their own, they’re both good, but I like the Valrhona better because it has the hints of cherry that I really like.  But would we be able to tell the difference in brownies?

To make it a true A / B experiment, I used the same eggs, butter, vanilla, etc., and I baked them side-by-side in the oven, switching sides halfway through baking.

The result is a super fudgy moist brownie – exactly what I was hoping for!  So could we tell the difference?  Well, the Valrhona brownie had a slightly brighter chocolate flavor, while the Guittard has a bit deeper intense chocolate flavor.  But the difference is subtle.  No matter, because it turns out this recipe is awesome!  This is definitely going to be my brownie recipe of choice from now on.

We’ll be bringing a half pan of each batch to Chocolopolis tomorrow morning for Lauren to try.  If you’re reading this and would like to try the taste test for yourself, head on up to her store, ask for my brownies, and she’ll give you a sample of each.  The thing that isn’t mentioned in the Saveur issue but is mentioned on David’s blog is that brownies improve after sitting for a day or two.  Lauren says 3-4 days is even better which is why she told me she’ll keep them on hand until Wednesday, if they’re not gone before then.  If you’re planning on stopping by, note that the store is closed Mondays.  Report back here on what you think!

8 Responses to “Join our brownie taste test”

  1. rachel pottinger says:

    Tasty! We recommend the brownie recipe (and most of the other recipes) in The Baker’s Dozen Cookbook. It has a nice explanation for why they tell you to do most steps in most recipes, which I appreciate.

  2. Eric says:

    Thanks for the recommendation! I know what book I’ll be buying for Dawn this week. ;)

  3. brilynn says:

    You can never have too many brownies! Although to make sure the taste test was accurate, I’d need to sample some… I need to go buy chocolate…

  4. Jessica@Foodmayhem.com says:

    If only Seattle was closer…

  5. tara says:

    I must sheepishly admit that I already have an inordinate number of brownie recipes bookmarked to try; but these look delicious to pass up. Maybe I can convince myself that making them for taste-testing purposes makes it less indulgent! Thanks for sharing.

  6. holler says:

    These look gorgeous, I bet they are all gone now!

  7. susie & scott says:

    woohoo, scott scored some brownies tonight!!! they were both delicious, but we both ended up slightly preferring the intensity of the guittard. mmmmmmm.

  8. Eric says:

    Susie and Scott – we knew you’d come through on the taste-test! I’ve been trying both every day this week, and can’t decide which one I like better. I think we need to do another round. ;)

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