My dad thinks that my life is spiraling out of control and that I'm failing out of school. Rest assured, I'm not. Sure, I'm definitely a tad bit overdramatic and telling him that I totally failed my midterms didn't help, but he should know by now that "failing" in my mind means getting a B. Yes, even I can agree that I've definitely been off my routine lately, been going out too much, skipping my pilates classes too regularly, et cetera, but dude.... chill out. (Oh and about that giant hickey I came home with last weekend.... oops?)
I always say that March and October are the two most hectic, nerve-wracking months of the entire year. This year hasn't been any different. School is crazy. Life is crazy. My roots are crazy. Everything is crazy.
This past weekend I came to the realization that even though this break from the regularly scheduled program that is my life was much needed, getting my shit together is even more necessary. First things first —for the love of God please stop me from making an Iggy Azalea reference right now — I've got to reconcile with my beautiful KitchenAid. She thinks I've been cheating on her lately.... so I made some brownies as a peace offering!!!
I've been super inspired by my childhood lately, and when I say that I mean the part of my childhood where my brother and I would polish off a whole box of Cosmic Brownies in one night. I made a personal vow to never eat store-bought desserts in high school, so I've been on a mission to bring Cosmic Brownies back into my life in the most bougie and pretentious way possible. How did I do that exactly? Hella browned butter, some really expensive cocoa powder, salted caramelized milk chocolate ganache, and about 40-plus dollars of Valrhona chocolate stuffed in, around, and on top. Yep, I'm that guy.
Brb, I've got to tend to these heinous roots. No really, they're so far gone that I can't even write them off as natural ombré anymore. In the meantime, make these brownies! You can even call me Little Debbie. Miss Deborah if you're nasty.
Grown-up Cosmic Brownies
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- ¾ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. espresso powder
- 2 tsp. vanilla bean paste or extract
- 2 large eggs, cold
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- ⅔ cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup chopped Valrhona Caramelia
- 1/3 cup chopped Valrhona Dulcey
Preheat oven to 325F and line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper.
In a medium-sized saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Cook the butter, whisking constantly, until golden brown.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the browned butter with the sugar, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth and set aside to cool for a few minutes. Add one egg at a time, mixing thoroughly in between each addition. Mix in the oil. Sift in flour and mix with a wooden spoon for fifty strokes, until the batter is thick and glossy. Fold in the chocolate.
Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool while you prepare the ganache.
Salted Caramelia Ganache
- 4 ½ oz Valrhona Caramelia
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 2 tablespoons Valrhona Caramelia crunchy pearls
- 2 tablespoons Valrhona Dulcey crunchy pearls
- 2 tablespoons Valrhona Opalys crunchy pearls
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the chocolate, cream, butter and salt, cooking until melted. Whisk the mixture until smooth. Pour the ganache over the brownies. Working quickly, spread the ganache evenly over the brownies.
Immediately transfer the brownies into the refrigerator or freezer to set. This should take between 30 minutes and 1 hour. Sprinkle on chocolate pearls halfway through. When you’re ready to serve, bring the brownies to room temperature and cut into squares.