Food Feedback: TMI on the brownies? And do we need more witloof?

March 8, 2012 8:34 am
  • The offending/entertaining brownie, made with Oreos
    The offending/entertaining brownie, made with Oreos
  • One reader loves witloof, or endive, so much he wants to start "Friends of Witloof."
    One reader loves witloof, or endive, so much he wants to start "Friends of Witloof."
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Adjust a rack one-third up from the bottom of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. You need a tube pan with a 10- to 12-cup capacity, preferably one with a rounded bottom and a fancy design. Butter the pan well (even if it has a nonstick finish) and dust all over with fine dry bread crumbs, invert it over paper, and tap out excess crumbs. Set the pan aside.

Place the cookies on a cutting board. With a sharp, heavy knife cut them one at a time into quarters; at least, that should be what you have in mind -- actually, they will crumble and only a few will remain in quarters. Set aside.

Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter until soft. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and the granulated sugar and beat to mix well. Then add the eggs one at a time, beating until thoroughly incorporated after each addition. On low speed add the dry ingredients in three additions alternately with the sour cream in two additions, scraping the bowl as necessary with a rubber spatula and beating only until incorporated after each addition.

Place about 11/2 cups of the mixture by heaping teaspoonfuls in the bottom of the pan. Smooth with the bottom of a teaspoon and then, with the bottom of the spoon, form a rather shallow trench in the mixture.

Now add the cut-up Oreo cookies to the remaining batter and fold them in very gently, folding as little as possible just to mix them with the batter.

With a teaspoon place the mixture by heaping spoonfuls into the pan over the plain batter. And, with the bottom of the spoon, smooth the top. This is going to be the bottom of the cake, but the cake doesn't know that and it rises into a round dome shape. To prevent that a bit, spread the batter slightly up on the sides of the pan, leaving a depression in the middle. It will not help completely, but it can't hurt.

Bake for 1 hour until a cake tester inserted gently into the cake comes out clean and dry. When done, the top will feel slightly springy to the touch. During baking the cake will form a crack around its surface and the crack will remain pale -- that is as it should be.

Cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Then cover the pan with a rack and turn the pan and rack over. Remove the pan. Let the cake cool.

Break up the chocolate and place it in the top of a small double boiler over warm water on low heat. Cover with a folded paper towel (to absorb steam) and with the pot cover and let cook until barely melted. Then remove the top of the double boiler and stir the chocolate until completely smooth.

Put the endives in a saucepan with just enough water to cover. Add the lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer until the endives are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain well but reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid for the sauce.

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First Published 2012-03-07 23:14:58

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