Many health experts support the belief that some natural food sources are so rich in antioxidants and essential nutrients, they are deemed superfoods. They're referred to as super because their nutritional properties are supposed to help lower cholesterol, improve mood and even reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
There is no legal or medical definition of what constitutes a superfood, so there is no official list. However, most iterations I've seen include a similar variety of fruits and vegetables, plus walnuts, salmon, green tea and a few others.
With zero will power these days, I need as much nudging to eat super as possible. So I wanted to make sure I modified this week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe to include something with good nutritional value. Di of Di's Kitchen Notebook selected French Chocolate Brownies. Some may argue that good chocolate has antioxidant properties, which is probably true if you eat a single brownie. But, I suspect the benefits kind of cancel out if you eat the full plate. (Is it wrong to eat a whole batch in one sitting?)
When I went to purchase the raisins for which the recipe calls, I noticed a display of dried blueberries. The packaging called out the antioxidant properties of blueberries and I decided to go that route. One for the nutrition, but (get real; we're making brownies here) two for the unique chocolate-blueberry flavor combination.
The prep for this recipe was fairly straight-forward and moved quickly. Others mentioned that the top of the brownies had cracked, so I kept close to the oven and removed the pan as soon as it looked like a crack was forming. I cooked it for 50 minutes and the consistency was perfect. The taste was very rich and chocolaty, but I was a little disappointed with my blueberry experiment as we couldn't really taste a strong blueberry presence. We occasionally got a bite of blueberry here and there, but no consistent blueberry taste.
Completing the blueberry theme, I paired the brownies with a scoop of homemade Blueberry Sour Cream Ice Cream, also from Dorie. The gorgeous blue-purple color popped against the white plate and dark brownie. We could really taste the blueberries in the ice cream, which can probably be attributed to using fresh berries compared to the dried berries in the brownies. All in all, the combination was extremely decadent and delicious. I would definitely make the brownies again, but might try adding fresh strawberries next time.
Check out more brownie action here.
French Chocolate Brownies
makes 16 brownies
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup dried blueberries
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons; 6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into 12 pieces
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 300°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, butter the foil, place the pan on a baking sheet, and set aside.
The brownies are good just warm or at room temperature; they're even fine cold. I like these with a little something on top or alongside—good go-alongs are whipped crème fraiche or whipped cream, ice cream or chocolate sauce or even all three!
Wrapped well, these can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.
More Dorie recipes I've made from Baking: From My Home to Yours
Pecan Honey Sticky Buns
Peanut Butter Torte
Fluted Polenta and Ricotta Cake
Bill's Big Carrot Cake
Fresh Tangelo Cream Tart
Gooey Chocolate Cakes
Perfect Party Cake
Brioche Raisin Snails
Russian Grandmothers' Apple Pie-Cake
Pecan Sour Cream Biscuits