Mint-and-chocolate grasshopper brownies – for your Valentine! more
True blogger confession…
I’m not one for most brownies. The excess! It’s, frankly, excessive.
But these are the ones. The ones I can’t resist. The thick but smooth chocolate shell gives way to the creamy mint center, and then, finally, a fudgy brownie. One bite is all you need. Give me a bite! Don’t be stingy. It doesn’t become you.
Make the brownie base, and spread it out as neat as you can. It’s not easy. But you’re tenacious. I like to make sure I press it into the sides, so I get, like, a little brownie dam round the edges when it bakes.
Like this. Cool it, though. All the way, baby.
Temper the white chocolate. Seed it like this. Do it! The printable goes into it.
Add the sweetened condensed milk (make your own, if you need it dairy-free), and the food coloring. If you’re certain that artificial food coloring is the root of all evil, leave it out for the love of Mike.
The fudge should be thickly pourable. Too thin? Add some confectioner’s sugar by the tablespoon.
Pour it in to the cooled brownie shell, and spread it into an even layer. Chill it until it’s set. At least an hour. Oh, the humanity!
Temper the semi-sweet chocolate top. Use good chocolate, because I said so! Properly tempered chocolate looks like this when it’s wet. It coats the back of the spoon like this. With the reflection of my kitchen windows in it. I have windows in my kitchen. Now you know. No use trying to hide it any longer.
Pour it in. And let it set.
Slice and serve.
Here’s the 4-1-1:
- 10 tablespoons (88g) all-purpose gluten-free flour (I use Better Batter)
- ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if using Better Batter)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon plus one dash (1/8 teaspoon) kosher salt, divided
- ⅓ cup (27g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 8 tablespoons (112g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 extra large egg plus 1 extra-large egg yolk
- 1½ teaspoons peppermint extract, divided
- 6 ounces (168g) good white chocolate, chopped
- 9 ounces sweetened condensed milk, at room temperature or a bit warmer
- 3½ tablespoons vegetable shortening, divided
- Green food coloring, as desired
- Confectioner’s sugar by the tablespoon, if needed
- 5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8- or 9-inch square baking pan. Line it with one sheet of parchment paper overhanging the sides of the pan, grease that paper, line it with another crisscrossed sheet of parchment paper with overhanging sides, and grease that, too. Set the pan aside.
- Place the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, ½ teaspoon kosher slat, cocoa powder and granulated sugar in a large bowl, and whisk to combine well. Add the butter, eggs, and ½ teaspoon peppermint extract, and mix to combine well. The batter will be thick. Scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan, and spread into an even layer and smooth out the top as best you can with a wet or oiled spatula. Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes (less for very fudge-like brownies, more for less fudge-like brownies). Take the pan out of the oven and allow the brownies to cool in the pan for about 20 minutes, or until completely cooled and firm.
- When the brownies are cool, make the mint layer. In a medium-sized microwave safe bowl, place about 5 ounces of the white chocolate (precision isn’t important here). Microwave for 45 seconds at a time on 70% power, stirring in between, until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Add the remaining 1 ounce of chopped white chocolate, and stir until the final pieces (or seeds) are melted. Add the sweetened condensed milk, 1½ teaspoons (the ½ tablespoon) shortening, the remaining 1 teaspoon peppermint extract, the remaining ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt and the green food coloring. Mix to combine well. The mixture should be smooth and pourable but thick (see photo). If it seems too thin, add confectioner’s sugar by the tablespoon and stir to thicken. If it is too thin, it won’t set and you’ll be all mad at me. Pour the mint fudge over the cooled brownies still in the pan, and shake to distribute it in an even layer. Place the pan in the refrigerator and chill until firm, at least an hour. If you don’t firm up this layer properly, it will ooze out when you slice the brownies.
- Once the fudge layer is set, make the chocolate shell. In a small, microwave-safe bowl, place about 4 ounces of the chopped semi-sweet chocolate and the remaining 3 tablespoons shortening. Microwave in 45 second intervals at 70% power, stirring in between, until the chocolate is melted. Add the remaining 1 ounce semi-sweet chocolate, and stir until it is melted and the chocolate has thickened a bit. Pour the chocolate mixture on top of the mint fudge layer and spread carefully in an even layer with an offset spatula. Allow the pan to sit at room temperature (or in the refrigerator) until the chocolate is firm.
- Slice into 16 squares and serve.
P.S. If you haven’t yet, please pick up a copy of my cookbook, Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Quick & Easy! I can’t make this the best gluten-free blog without your support.