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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Little Bites of Heaven

Are these not adorable?
A couple of months ago Williams Sonoma was featuring a baking pan that was shaped like a donut.  It was so cute and I kept thinking how cute it would be to make a cake shaped like a donut.  But what's the point of a cake shaped like a donut?  Shouldn't the cake taste like a donut too?  And if it tastes like a donut then isn't it a donut and why do I need the pan?

Here's my point.  I don't usually get lured in by specialty baking pans.  I don't have a ton of storage and after making and serving a cake shaped like a donut once or twice, I think the whole thing might get a little old.

So imagine my surprise when I saw and purchased a brownie bite pan just like that.  I didn't even think about it.  I just knew I had to have that pan.  I just knew that making those cute little brownie bites, all chewy and delicious, was going to be worth the cost of the pan.

And it was.  The little brownie bites (about four bites each, to be exact) are the perfect combination of chewy and dense.  They're all the best things about a brownie in a bite size little package.  And they're so cute, which is not to be discounted.

This is what my brownie bite pan looks like.  Each little cup holds about 2 tbl. batter.
Now mind you, I've only used the pan once and the true test will be if I use it over and over.  But I think I will because these brownie bites are so adorable.  And if I don't, I guess I'll have to revert back to my browse but don't buy policy when it comes to specialty baking pans.

I like this brownie recipe from Nigella Lawson although any brownie recipe (or brownie mix, for that matter) will do nicely.

Recipe:  Everyday Brownies
(Nigella Lawson)

* Note:  To make brownie bites, spray a brownie bite pan with cooking spray.  Spoon 2 tablespoonfuls of batter into each cup and bake at 375 for 25 minutes.  If making a pan of brownies, use a 9x13 pan and see below for additional instructions.


1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch salt
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
About 6 ounces milk chocolate, chopped into small nuggety chunks (or 1 cup chips)


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Melt the butter over a gentle heat in a medium-sized saucepan.

When it's melted, add the sugar, stirring with a wooden spoon (still over a low heat) to help it blend with the melted butter.

Whisk together the cocoa powder, flour, baking soda and pinch of salt, and then stir into the pan; when mixed (this will be a very dry mixture, and not wholly blended at this stage), remove from the heat.

In a bowl, whisk the eggs with the vanilla extract and then mix into the brownie mixture in the pan.

Stir in the chopped chocolate and quickly pour and scrape into a foil-lined baking tin or disposable foil pan, spreading the mixture with a spatula, and cook in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes. It will look set, dark and dry on top, but when you feel the surface, you will sense it is still wibbly underneath and a cake tester will come out gungy. This is desirable.

Transfer the pan to a rack to cool a little before cutting into 16 pieces.

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