who was it who told us that minty things should be bright green? while i'm a big fan of colorful foods, i'm also a big believer that food coloring has no place in our food unless we're creating decorative designs. there really is no reason to consume unneeded dyes. so... white mint chocolate chip ice cream and this minted white chocolate ganache are exactly where i fall in love with all things minty. who can resist this beautiful naturally colored brownie topping!?
this week, i had a photo shoot with the traverse city record eagle in preparation for this article about the launch of my food photography business. the minute i started brainstorming what i would make for the camera, i knew i wanted it to be something decadent.
these may just be the most decadent brownies ever made. four different types of chocolate and a whole stick of butter packed into an 8 x 8 square. it's a sea of rich chocolate flavor and bright mintyness (yup, i just made that word up). cut these babies into teeny tiny squares for the perfect bite-sized bundle of delicious!
adapted from The Cook's Illustrated
5 ounces semisweet chocolate
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
8 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup flour
8oz white chocolate (make sure its made with cocoa butter, so your ganache sets properly!)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 tsp mint extract
first, prepare an 8 x 8 baking dish. lightly greasing the dish, then create a parchment paper sling with a strip of parchment covering the bottom and two of the sides. lightly grease the parchment and set aside. this makes it really easy to lift your brownies out of the pan!
if you're using bars of chocolate, take some time before getting started to chop them into small pieces so the chocolate can melt easily.
now, you can start on the brownie batter by melting the bittersweet and unsweetened chocolate with the butter in a double boiler. i just use a small pyrex bowl placed over a small pot with a few inches of water in the bottom. no need for fancy equipment!
keeping an eye on the chocolate and stirring it occasionally, whisk together your eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl. once the chocolate is melted and smooth, add about half a cup of the chocolate to the egg mixture, whisking to combine. this helps slowly raise the temperature of your eggs so they don't cook! then add the rest of the chocolate mixture and whisk until fully combined. next, gently stir in your flour and cocoa powder until just combined.
pour your batter into the pan, and bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes with the rack in the bottom third of the oven. the brownies are ready when a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs hanging on. lift the brownies out of the pan and onto a cooling rack once finished.
while the brownies are baking, prepare your ganache. put the white chocolate into a bowl, and set aside. heat the cream and butter gently on the stove, stirring constantly, until the butter is melted and it comes to a gentle simmer. pour the mixture over your chocolate, and stir until the chocolate is completely melted and the ganache is smooth. stir in your mint extract, and taste it for mintyness. if you're really into mint, feel free to add a little more! cover and place your ganache in the fridge to cool.
now, the waiting game! the ganache needs at least 4 hours to cool in the fridge, though i like to just leave mine overnight. if you do wait overnight, wrap your brownies in plastic to keep them fresh. once it is cool (you'll know because it will be nice and thick, not runny), you're ready to assemble! this can be done on the cooling rack, a cutting board, or with the brownies placed back in their pan. however you please! scoop your ganache onto the brownies and spread evenly to cover the top, smoothing it as best you can.
if you want to take it up a notch, melt about a tablespoon of chocolate and drizzle it over the top for a little contrast!