Friday, February 2, 2018

Bangor Brownies

I heard a really funny story today.  I was taking an Uber.  I took the cheaper option, and so there were other travelers in the car.  When we dropped of one of the passengers, the driver told me that the man who had just exited the car was pretty upset.

The man hadn't realized that he was taking an Uber pool instead of the single passenger option.   In short, it took this man two hours to get home from the airport.  The driver hand picked up multiple passengers and dropped them off by the time the man arrived home.  The drive would have probably taken about 45 minutes without stops.  He would have arrived home sooner if he had just taken public transportation.

The driver didn't know what to do because the app was arranging all the pick ups and drop offs.  He was so funny about it, that I laughed for the rest of the trip.  I'm still giggling about it actually.

Last year for Christmas, I asked for and received a cookbook called American Cakes.  I made a hummingbird cake from this book for my last birthday.  I also made a cherry upside-down cake shortly after receiving the gift.  It explains the provenance of the cake in addition to providing the recipe.

According to the cookbook, Bangor, Maine has been associated with the brownie for over 100 years.  She tells a possible apocrophal story of a homemaker who forgot to add baking powder to her chocolate cake, and thus created the first brownie.  It is a fun book.  I would recommend it.

The ingredients are 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, 1/2 cup butter, 1 up granulated sugar, 2 large eggs, 1/2 cup cake flour, pinch of salt, and 1/2 cups pecans.  The recipe calls for walnuts, but I used pecans.

 I creamed together the butter and sugar for two minutes.  I then added the eggs one at a time, stirring until each egg was fully incorporated.

I stirred the melted but cooled chocolate.

I stirred in the flour and salt until just combined.  I then folded in the chopped pecans.

I baked these in tinny loaf pans.  The original recipe suggests baking the batter in an eight inch square pan.  I baked them for 18 minutes at 350 degrees.  The recipe suggest baking for 18 to 22 minutes.

These were good brownies.  They were rich and had a dense brownie consistency.

It wasn't a chewy brownie though.  It had a more cake like consistency.  The top became caramelized and a little crunchy.  

The chocolate wasn't overly rich.  It had a good chocolate flavor, but it wasn't a rich, pronounced chocolate flavor.

 I wouldn't say this was my favorite brownie recipe, but it was a toothsome and decadent treat nonetheless.

 I prefer a chewier and richer brownie, but I ate it with gusto anyway.  The pecans added some nuttiness and crunch.

These were scrumptious brownies.  I would recommend the cook as well.  All the recipes I have tried have been delicious.  It has been fun to read about the history of the cakes as well.

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