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Edgemont Bakery Brownies

Southern_'s picture

Here's a nice recipe for "adult-strength" brownies, which I originally posted in "Cooks Talk":

b Edgemont Bakery Brownies

4 oz unsweetened chocolate

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1-1/4 cups sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla

4 large eggs

2/3 cup flour (stir with fork before measuring)

1-1/4 cups chopped nuts

Melt chocolate and cool to room temperature. Preheat oven to 325 °F. Grease and/or line 9- by 9-inch pan with parchment. Cream butter until fluffy. Add sugar in thirds, beating until light and creamy. Beat in salt and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time. Add chocolate. Fold in flour and nuts by hand. Pour batter into pan. Bake until top is dry and toothpick comes out barely moist when inserted 1-1/2" from center (22 to 25 minutes for metal pan, 17 to 20 minutes for glass pan). Cool completely in pan on rack. Yields twenty 1- by 3-inch bars.

Now my pan was 10-1/2" by 15-1/2", which resulted in a baking time of maybe 20 minutes. I have another pan just like it, which I lined in parchment, then sprinkled with granulated sugar. When the brownies were ready to come out of the first pan, I flipped them into the second pan and iced their new top (formerly the bottom) with chocolate fondant. Why? Because that's how it was done back in the 1960’s at the Edgemont Bakery. Unfortunately, it was run by a dashing young baker who burned out due to the insane hours that he kept the shop open (7 am to 9 pm, seven days a week??) and ended up running off to Texas with a lady friend. My family mourned the loss of those brownies for years ... until the day that I tried out the recipe for Adult Chocolate Brownies from Linda Burum’s "Brownies" (NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1984) and froze upon recognizing that distinctive smell. All right, back to the Promised Land!

These brownies are so wonderful that, for the sole purpose of making them, I acquired the paraphernalia necessary to make fondant from scratch: a hand-held scraper, a big marble slab (courtesy of a younger brother who's an incurable junk collector), and metal candy-making bars (four lengths of stainless steel, 1" square stock, found buried on the shelves of an old cake decorating supply house, where the staff didn't even know what to charge me for them anymore). Nowadays, Sugarcraft offers an item called Metal Pastry Bars, intended "for marble pastry boards, so candy won't run off marble," in a set of two 16-inch and two 18-inch bars for $40.00. Click on the link and then search the page for "bars" twice -- it's the second reference. And Bridge Kitchenware has larger ones from France (chrome-plated steel, set of two 20" and two 30" bars) for $105. They don't offer 'em online, though, so you'll have to request a print catalog if you're interested …

b Chocolate Cream Fondant

3 oz unsweetened chocolate

1-1/3 cups hot water

4 cups sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

2 tablespoons butter, cut up into small pieces

To prepare: Either (a) position metal candy bars to form 12- by 18-inch space on marble slab or (b) set out a 15- by 24-inch cookie sheet, at least 1-inch deep. Melt chocolate in top of double boiler over a little water. Preheat another oven eye to highest temperature. Combine hot water, sugar, and corn syrup in a 3-quart saucepan, then place over high heat. Stir constantly until sugar dissolves. Clip candy thermometer on pan and cook to 240 °F (about 12 minutes) without stirring. When syrup starts to boil, prevent crystallization by washing down sides of pan with a pastry brush dipped in water. (Wash down sides twice more as syrup cooks.) Remove from heat. As soon as bubbles subside, pour hot syrup away from you onto marble slab or into cookie sheet. Do not scrape pan. Cool 30 minutes on marble or 20 to 25 minutes in pan. Fondant is ready to work when it (or the pan) feels lukewarm. Scatter butter pieces and pour chocolate over surface. Quickly work with scraper, lifting edges to center from all sides. Work fondant until stiff enough to hold the scraper straight up by itself (more than 5 minutes), then knead until soft and creamy (about 3 minutes). Place in airtight container, covered with damp cloth. Seal container and refrigerate. Age for 3 days. Keeps for 3 weeks.

To use: Break fondant into pieces, then place them in top of 1-1/2-quart double boiler over water. Set over lowest heat. Stir constantly with wooden spoon, adding 1 or 2 teaspoons of water as fondant melts. When temperature reaches 105 °F, pour melted fondant over brownies. Let coating set at room temperature for 20 minutes, then repeat. If fondant gets thick again, add a little more water and warm back up to 105 °F before applying second coat.

aussiechef's picture

(post #25495, reply #1 of 3)

So this is where this recipe is hidden. Couldn't figure out where I had been reading about fondant and big slabs of marble. Thanks.

carolina_Greenwalt's picture

(post #25495, reply #2 of 3)

Hello, I'm new to mastering the art of making FONDANT used for icing cakes rather than the traditional butter frosting or others. I have a recipe, but I believe there has to be an easier failure proof method. Can you help!!! I live in Santa Clara, California. Thank you. Carolina

Southern_'s picture

(post #25495, reply #3 of 3)

Late in the original discussion, Gerard posted this tip: "You don't need no bars, pour it onto a clean tray, you don't even need marble. The easiest method is pour it straight into a mixer and turn it with a paddle on low speed until it turns white (fondant). For other candy, the tray will work fine. I wipe the tray with an oiled cloth to keep it from sticking. If you work in front of a fan, the temperature will drop quick enough. It helps to oil all tools, especially your hands. If the sugar can't stick, it won't burn, it just feels like it does but that's your imagination." (Click this link for a quick virtual visit to his business, the Savoy French Bakery in Brookline, MA.)