I like to think of myself as relatively well-versed in brownies, but I am so regularly surprised by completely new-to-me types that I should accept my ignorance as a given and move on. This recipe, for example – brownies studded with chocolate covered raisins. I’d never encountered them before picking up Yvette Van Boven’s cookbook Home Made, which is too bad because they were clearly designed for my Glossettes-obsessed 11-year-old self. She was a chocolate-smitten kid with a high tolerance for sugar, and these brownies would have been her new favourite thing.
Fifteen years later, my tastes have shifted away from the sugar-shock experience, but these brownies have their time and place. They’re packed with sweetness but the beating you do in Step 2 makes this a lighter, airy brownie that’ll satisfy a sugar craving without leaving you feeling weighed down. If you like your sugar in smaller doses, cut the brownies up small and serve them for a mini-dessert after dinner when you’re too stuffed for more, or when you have company who doesn’t care for more than “just a bite.” You could calm down the sugar experience by reducing the sugar in the batter, substituting regular raisins, or omitting the raisins completely, but that feels a little like betraying the essence of the thing. These are a sugar-lover’s brownie, and if you’re one of those, to you I say – I found your new favourite thing.
Chocolate Raisin Brownies
adapted slightly from Home Made
1 1/4 sticks butter, cubed
8 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 cup chocolate-covered raisins
1. Using a bowl or double boiler, set butter and chocolate over simmering water and stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine eggs, sugar and vanilla. Beat for several minutes, until the mixture becomes a foamy batter. Set the electric mixer aside and add the following ingredients, folding in after each addition: the chocolate-butter mixture; the flour & salt; the chocolate-covered raisins.
3. Pour the batter into a greased baking pan and bake at 340 degrees for 30 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. Set the brownies on a wire rack and let them cool in the pan until room temperature before slicing.