Ever since I finished my finals two weeks ago, I have been sleeping until 9:30 or 10 a.m. everyday. However, I had to get up a wee bit earlier yesterday for the first day of my internship, and boy, was it brutal. The morning wasn't too bad, but I had to take a nap at my desk during my lunch break so that I could survive the rest of the work day. The afternoon felt soooo long, and I shot out of the office as soon as the clock struck 5 p.m.

This is my first regular office job, so I was thankful that I didn't have to give even a thought to work after 5 p.m., which is much different than going to school. After taking a guiltless nap, I went to town in the kitchen and whipped up this week's Tuesdays with Dorie selection--French Chocolate Brownies--as chosen by Di of Di's Kitchen Notebook. The brownies easily came together, which was nice since I needed something simple to do to unwind after work. The only part that gave me problems was flambéing the raisins.

I have long had a fear of fires. I've never been burned by an open flame, so I'm not sure why I become this meek and lame coward whenever I have to work with one. It took me a long time to relax around a Bunsen burner in Chemistry lab, and I am still a bit uneasy each time I turn one on. So it was natural that I approached this recipe with some apprehension. To make matters worse, I didn't have any long matches and had to use a long-tipped lighter. I worried that the flames would grow wild and ignite the entire lighter, so much so that I set aside a glass of water just in case a real fire started and decreased the amount of rum by 1/2 tablespoon to make it more manageable. However, all of my worrying was for nothing because everything went smoothly. The blue flames just did their thing and then peaced out. It was actually kind of pretty, and I was smug as hell that I had done the deed.


Ingredients (adapted from Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours)

  • 6 ounces of chocolate (combination of bittersweet and semisweet), chopped
  • 8 tablespoons of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon golden rum
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
Gently melt the chopped chocolate in a double boiler, being careful not to overheat. Once melted, remove from heat and stir in the butter until its melted. Set aside.

In a small pot, heat the raisins and water until the water is almost completely evaporated. Remove from heat and add the rum. Carefully ignite the rum with a match or lighter, and flambe the raisins. Once the flame dies down, set aside the raisins.


In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs and sugar until a pale and thick mixture is formed, which will take about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed and add the chocolate-butter combo, mixing just until the chocolate and butter are incorporated. Add the dry ingredients, and mix on low for 30 seconds. Finish incorporating the dry ingredients by folding by hand. Finally fold in the raisins and whatever liquid is left in the pot with them.


Pour the batter into an 8x8-inch baking pan lined with foil and lightly greased with butter. Bake the brownies for 35 minutes at 300 degrees F until the top becomes dry and cracked and a cake tester comes out clean.


These brownies proved that my oven must run warmer than Dorie Greenspan's. In the book, she had instructed to bake the brownies for 50 to 60 minutes. However, I decided to check on the brownies at the 35-minute mark, and they were ready to come out of the oven. Luckily, I noticed the cracked top in time because the brownies were just right in terms of their moisture content. These brownies were pretty much perfect; they were moist, chocolately, and not too sweet. The brownies weren't fudge-like, but they weren't cake-like either; they were somewhere in the middle and fluffy in texture. The cracked top looked elegant in my opinion, and I liked the taste of it. They weren't like traditional brownies, but I still loved them. I definitely will be making these again in the future. The only change I would make is maybe add more raisins since my dad requested more.

I highly recommend trying this recipe in your own kitchen if you have the funds to make this decadent dessert (the price of butter and chocolate has gone up so much!). It's easy, comes together quickly, and produces a super yummy dessert.

Last bite!

38 comments:

  1. noskos said...

    Nice looking brownies and great that you overcame your fear of flambeeing!  

  2. Christine said...

    I have a fear of fires to so I know what you went through with the flambe. I envisioned my kitchen just going whoosh in flames! Your brownie looks great all nice and crackled!  

  3. Jess said...

    Beautiful brownies - I also had the fear of bunsen burners in school, so this was a challenge for me as well. We did it!  

  4. Engineer Baker said...

    Congrats on overcoming your fear of the flambe!  

  5. Marie said...

    Great looking brownie and congrats on the conquering your fear of flambe-ing! Well done!  

  6. Jules Someone said...

    Smug is fine. And the brownies look tasty!  

  7. Amy said...

    Your brownies look scrumptious!  

  8. April said...

    The crumb looks perfect on those! You're a better woman than me, I was a little afraid of the flambe.  

  9. Bumblebutton said...

    See-it really wasn't bad! And good luck on your internship--just try not to snore!  

  10. Linda said...

    Yum! I'm glad you went for it and set your fruit on fire!  

  11. Mevrouw Cupcake said...

    Go girl! Flambéing is awesome, it was my favorite part of the recipe!  

  12. Susie Homemaker said...

    i was scared of the flambe too, that's why I brought the hubby in on the project...congrats on being brave!  

  13. Annemarie said...

    You deserve to be smug!! Great job!  

  14. Amy said...

    These look delicious!!!  

  15. CB said...

    I have flambephobia but I am glad you overcame your fear. One of these I'll overcome mine... Great job!
    Clara @ I♥food4thought  

  16. Megan said...

    No fear of fire - I ditched the raisins! I agree that they are fluffy, not like a regular brownie. Yummy!!  

  17. Cafe Johnsonia said...

    Yummy, yummy, yummy! Brownies are so good.  

  18. PheMom said...

    Great job!  

  19. Mary said...

    Beautiful job Cecilia! I wish you luck with the new internship.  

  20. Rebecca said...

    You had every right to be smug as hell. Good luck with the new job!  

  21. Jaime said...

    great job! i was worried my first time as well (all i had were short matches) but now i know it's simple and easy!  

  22. Melissa said...

    I'd be smug too!  

  23. Carol Peterman said...

    I experienced first-fambe-fears last summer with baked alaska and it was so fun to go at it this recipe with flambe experience. Now you will be lighting all your food for that little flash of drama! Nice job.  

  24. Dolores said...

    Ah yes, I have fond memories of the transition from university to office... and several years later I treasure the fact that I only come home with homework on MY terms.

    Beautiful brownies. Glad you were able to temper your fear of fire (a fear I share, so I delegated the flambeing to my boyfriend)  

  25. rainbowbrown said...

    Oh that's too funny that you kept a glass of water handy. :) I love it. Congratulations!  

  26. ostwestwind said...

    Your brownies look very tasty, and congrats you overcome your fear of fire!

    Ulrike from Küchenlatein  

  27. Andrea said...

    Great looking brownies.
    Flambe is fun!  

  28. Jayne said...

    Good for you for going ahead with the flambe despite your fears!! Great job with the brownies, too!  

  29. Garrett said...

    I love working compared to school - it's so nice to be done with at 5, and not have to go home and study. No more staying up until 9 for a late math class. And don't worry, you're not the only one afraid of flames (luckily at my work, we don't use bunsen burners but instead use electric heating plates...more precise, and no scary flames!). Your brownies look very moist and yummy!  

  30. Shari said...

    Flambe-ing seems harder than it is. Way to go!
    Shari@Whisk: a food blog  

  31. Susan said...

    Those look delicious! I'm with your Dad - more raisins!  

  32. Aardvark Cakes said...

    Well done you! Who would have thought that a brownie could help someone over come a fear! Hx  

  33. Chris said...

    Yeah - no flambe here. I totally had vision of a crispy kitchen. So I just tossed in plain dried apricots. :) Your brownies look yummy!  

  34. Cecilia said...

    Thank you everyone for your kind, kind comments. I'm still finishing up these brownies, savoring them during my lunch breaks. I've decided that I like the texture and taste of the brownie-cake, but I'm not so sure about the raisins.

    Plus, I might be a bit more daring next time and add the whole amount of rum because I didn't taste it at all this time around.  

  35. Mara said...

    yay for flambe'ing...that last bite looks really good! hehhe. i did raspberries and chambord..it was yummy!  

  36. Chez US said...

    It was a great recipe wasn't it. Glad you did it. Now get some rest!  

  37. Jacque said...

    Mmmmm, that last bite looks scrumptious! Great job on your brownies.  

  38. Michelle said...

    Excellent recipe. Although I don't really cook with french food, I did try this recipe with Holy Food Imports carob which comes from Israel, and I found it adds to the international feel of the recipe.