Friday, 16 May 2008

Michael Smith's Banana Brownies

The Barefoot Contessa, my personal idol, won over her hubby, Jeffrey, with brownies. There is something about a moist, dense brownie that pleases the senses like cake cannot. They are over the top, hedonistic, reach for a drink desserts. This month's Food Network Canada Cooking Club Challenge is Michael Smith's Banana Brownies - and who am I to turn down a challenge? Besides, it contains bananas, it's practically health food.

Michael Smith’s Banana Brownies
Yield: 12
“A recipe is merely words on paper; a guideline, a starting point from which to improvise. It cannot pretend to replace the practiced hand and telling glance of a watchful cook. For that reason feel free to stir your own ideas into this dish. When you cook it once, it becomes yours, so personalize it a bit. Add more of an ingredient you like or less of something you don't like. Try substituting one ingredient for another. Remember words have no flavour; you have to add your own!” Michael Smith.
Who can argue with that?

1 lb. dark chocolate
2 sticks (1 cup) of butter
4 x eggs
4 x ripe bananas
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp baking powder

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
Melt the chocolate and butter together in a small bowl set over a pot of simmering water.
In a separate bowl, mash together the eggs and bananas. Add the flour, sugar, cocoa and baking powder and stir to combine. Pour in the melted chocolate mixture and stir.
Butter and flour an 8” by 8” baking dish and pour in the batter. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean and the brownies are firm to the touch.
Note: Yields 8 large or 12 small brownies.
I followed the directions as they were, I just used chocolate chips rather than dark chocolate as they cost far less. Use what you like.
I did put parchment in the pan after buttering it and then buttered the parchment too. I left a little sticking up to use as handles to pull the brownies easily out of the pan after they had cooled a bit. Finish cooling on a rack before slicing. Then share with those you love. Or those you want to love. Maybe you'll win someone over.