Ecuadorian Chocolate Brownies

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Dear Eric,

I’m so sorry for my delay. Truly. It’s been a busy time, forgive me.  By now your classes have started; how have you been filling your days? I’ll tell you how I’m filling mine: Writing all the time. Your dilly bread looks delicious, and I can testify to the internet that it is good because I have had it. I think you warmed it up a bit in a pan with some butter one time for me, and that was amazing. I like that recipe because it uses cottage cheese, which I feel has become known as an “old people food”. I like cottage cheese! Before you left, did you ever have the homemade cottage cheese at Hendershots? It’s good. I think I remember you telling me you like to bake this bread in a glass dish- but why, again? Why not a loaf-pan type shape? I’m getting hungry just writing this, please ship me some bread ASAP.

I had some lovely fish dishes to share with you; but I’ve decided to save them for later because I have something very delicious to report.

My professor recently returned from a trip to Ecuador, and the following Monday I came in to find a large block of chocolate on my desk with a recipe for “BROWNIE-ENGLISH” taped to the plastic. I was quite curious about the story behind this hunk of chocolate with its roughly translated recipe, but as my professor was on a conference call at the time, I simply put it to the side of my desk and started answering emails.

Very Interesting Picture of Chocolate
Very Interesting Picture of Chocolate

It turns out that while in Ecuador my professor tasted a brownie that was one of the best, perhaps even THE best brownie she had ever tasted, and she very kindly brought back to me the Ecuadorian chocolate and recipe necessary to recreate said delicious brownie. What a great gift! I loved it.

I followed the recipe exactly; yes, I weighed the ingredients rather than measuring them by volume (except for the liquid and eggs, of course). I knew you would ask. Since I was on a mission to perfectly recreate a dessert I had never tasted, I followed the recipe as closely as the rough translation allowed. The result was wonderful. These brownies are moist but not the oppressively dense fudgey type of thing often prized among the brownie-undercookers of the world.  Please note, friend, that this brownie is extremely rich. 8 eggs. 4 cups of sugar. This is a special occasion brownie, not a brownie to be smothered with ice cream or stuffed in a lunch box. So, please, do not go overboard with this.

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This brownie has a light, crispy crust on top that makes for a great crunch when you bite into it. the inside is moist and melt-in-your-mouth rich. I feel spoiled for all other brownies now. (Just kidding, I will still eat lesser brownies. A boxed mix brownie is kind of like delivery pizza. Sometimes, it is just what you want. Fun Fact: I’ve never ordered delivery pizza myself. The times it has come to my house, someone else did all the ordering and whatnot. ). I took these to the office, which seemed only fitting……and we enjoyed them greatly, I have to admit.

These brownies redeemed my last brownie baking experience, in which a very, very tired version of my self accidentally doubled the oil in the recipe and wound up with a batch of hard-as-a-rock, grizzled brown bits that were effectively fried in their own double portion of oil. I wonder how this recipe would fare with regular old baking chocolate from the grocery store….or where I can get my hands on a few pounds of Ecuadorian chocolate.

Happy Cooking!

Court

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