These are, in a word, sublime. This is not a recipe to cut back on the quality of the ingredients; since you're going to be buying mascarpone cheese anyway (which isn't cheap), go for the gold and buy high-quality chocolate too. I like using the Lindt dark chocolate in this. Thanks to the Cookworks Show on Food Network Canada, where I saw this recipe being prepared and immediately knew it was a winner. After baking one batch, I knew I had gone to Brownie Heaven!
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 3 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1⁄2 cup cocoa powder
- 1⁄2 cup mascarpone cheese, softened
- 3 large eggs, at room-temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 6 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 6 tablespoons whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Preheat oven to 325°F; have ready a buttered 8-inch square glass cake pan.
- First, prepare the brownies.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter and bring it to just below a boil; have the chopped chocolate in a mixing bowl--pour the hot butter over the chocolate and let stand for 30 seconds.
- Stir until chocolate is completely melted.
- Sift in the sugar and cocoa powder (I do this through a sieve, not with a sifter).
- With a wooden spoon, beat in the mascarpone, eggs (30 minutes on the counter brings them to room temperature) and vanilla, mixing until smooth.
- Gently fold the flour and salt into the batter.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly--this is important since, if the batter isn't spread evenly, it won't bake evenly.
- Place into preheated oven and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean (45 minutes did it for me).
- Place pan on a cooling rack and let brownies cool for 10-15 minutes, while you now make the ganache.
- Place chopped chocolate in a mixing bowl; in a small saucepan, bring the cream and the butter to just below the boiling point, over medium heat.
- Pour this hot cream-butter mixture over the chocolate and let stand for 30 seconds, then stir until smooth; ganache is now ready to use and can be spread over the brownies.
- Should you wish to wait a bit, make sure the ganache is warm when you spread over the brownies, as it does firm up which makes spreading hard to do.
- Don't cut into the brownies until ganache has firmed up; I find it best to put the brownies into the fridge to speed this along; once the ganache is firm the brownies do not need to be kept in the fridge, though.