As promised, I brought in my Marbled Chocolate Almond Brownies to work this past Friday. If I do say so myself, they were as good as I remembered them! ;) And the container, empty save a few crumbs, is one of my favourite sights.
And now for something completely different: for those of you who know me, I am very much a scientist. As one of my friends from uni knowingly declared: “you were one of those kids that got excited about learning, weren’t you”. Yes, indeed, I was. Which is why I was so ecstatic that I had the opportunity to—well for lack of a better word—“play” with dry ice. ☺
Dry ice, simply put, is solid carbon dioxide. You’ve probably seen it used in movies or in stage sets as a way to generate eerie white mist. Solid carbon dioxide has a temperature of -78.5C and when the extremely cold dry ice comes in contact with room temperature air or warm water, a process called sublimation occurs. Sublimation is the transformation of the solid carbon dioxide into a gas, with no interim liquid phase, and is in effect what you are observing when the ghostly mist slowly unfurls itself across the stage.
It’s extremely cold temperature also makes it an effective way to transport materials that need to be kept below freezing.
So, now children, I hope you have enjoyed your science lesson for today. Don’t forget to do your homework!
Marbled Chocolate Almond Brownies
Marbled Chocolate Almond Butter Brownies
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup almond butter
2 large eggs
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 oz dark or dark chocolate with hazelnuts, chopped
1/2 teaspoon butter
1/4 cup almond chocolate spread
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 inch square metal pan with non-stick foil.
2. In a mixing bowl, using medium speed and high speed of an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until soft. Beat in vanilla, almond extract, and almond butter, then add eggs and beat just until mixed in. Scrape sides of bowl and beat in baking powder and salt, making sure they are evenly distributed; Add flour and stir until it is mixed in. Spread 2/3 of the almond butter batter in pan.
3. Make swirl mixture. Melt chocolate and butter in a small microwave-safe bowl at 50% power. Alternatively, you may use a double boiler or bowl set over a pot of barely simmer water. Remove melted chocolate from heat and stir in chocolate almond spread. Drop spoonfuls of chocolate almond mixture over almond butter brownie batter and drag a knife through to make a marbled pattern.
4. Spoon the rest of the almond butter batter on top and run your knife through once more to really get that lovely marbled effect.
5. Bake on centre rack for 30 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from the side of the pan and centre seems set. Cool pan on a wire rack. When brownies hit room temperature, chill them for an hour or so. Lift from pan and cut into squares.