I have just discovered a truly awesome dessert for St. Patrick’s Day. The recipe is flavored with a full bottle of Guinness Stout and is easily prepared from ingredients you are likely to have on hand, especially on St. Patrick’s Day weekend.
Not uncharacteristically, I am a little late to the game. This recipe came from a newspaper clipping. I think I found it in The Oregonian. The headline reads “Best Recipes of 2003.” There the recipe is attributed to “The New Irish Table” by Margaret M. Johnson.
I’m not sure why it took me a full decade to try it. I am a true fan of chocolate and I enjoy Guinness. Of course having the right recipe in hand at the right time to create a seasonal indulgence is a gift that sometimes escapes me. Luckily this year all of the required elements fell into place.
These brownies, though essentially basic, are still a bit unusual. While brownies are most often described on a scale ranging from chewy to cake-like these little gems are in a whole other realm. These have an elegant texture that isn’t really chewy, nor is it especially cakelike. Instead they have a consistency more like a mousse cake or even a light cheesecake. These have a fine, though heavy, crumb and the compelling attribute of being both moist and very chocolately without being overly sweet. They cut nicely into neat squares and look pretty topped with a dusting of powdered sugar.
I followed the recipe with little variation. By necessity I used regular sugar rather than the superfine sugar specified in the original recipe. They simply didn’t have superfine sugar at my local grocery store. I’m not sure what benefit it might offer anyway but I began the day determined to follow the directions as written, so I had to at least look. Once I couldn’t find the superfine sugar I figured what the heck and added a Tablespoon of espresso powder on a personal whim. I think I had Irish Coffee on my mind and I love the smoky depth that coffee flavors add to chocolate.
I also added a few minutes to the baking time. At 25 minutes, the maximum time prescribed in the recipe, they still left my testing toothpick covered with chocolate. I baked them for another five minutes before removing them from the oven. Once cooled, the center turned out to be done but the edges were a little dry. I might bake them just a minute or two less next time.