Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Three words.... Obscene Chocolate Love

When we want something extremely decadent, I would usually turn to our favorite brownie recipe. But since I was going to turn this into a treat for the weekly Wednesday Treat Day for Jeff to bring in tomorrow, I wanted to give a new recipe a go and boy did we ever hit gold. Coworkers... get yourselves ready for a hump-day sugar high!

Pure love in the form of chocolate, Thick Mint Brownies made me weep with my eyes rolling backwards as I took a small bite from the fork. You know... quality control. This extremely rich brownie has a vivid hidden layer of filling very much like you would find in a peppermint patty - though a little less minty. As you slide a fork through the thick luscious chocolate ganache and into the brownie layers, you will find yourself hitting chunks of dark bittersweet chocolate.

Each piece is dense and fudgy with an intense chocolate bite. While these could be perfectly fine with no frosting as they have the type of crisp crust on top that would shatter as you slice into them, we just had to gild the lily with a creamy ganache. These cut very clean even though they are not your cakey type of brownies. Not a fan of peppermint? Why not flavor the hidden filling slab with kahlua, rum or maybe even a coconut extract?

While I wipe the drool running down my face after thinking about my piece of brownie, I guess we should move on to dinner (although I debated just having another brownie and calling it a night!) Tonight's dish, Beef Tagine with Dried Plums and Toasted Almonds was a little unusual for us to make. I say that because we don't often have red meat with this kind of spice combination.

You start off the dish by making a sweet Moroccan blend of spices called Ras el Hanout. You will be left with some extra which you could use to season other cuts of beef or even salmon. The beef is slowly cooked in a mixture of the spice blend, onions, beef broth and water in the oven until extremely succulent tender. Near the end, dried plums and honey thicken the sauce and bring a sweetness to the meal. Since I've never made something like this, I'm not sure if the sauce was too thin or not - but it worked well for us with a side of flat bread to mop up the flavorful drippings. I may suggest reducing the amount of honey as it was almost too sweet. Nutty toasted sliced almonds scattered on top finished the dish with contrasting crunch.


  1. Those brownies look amazing! Of course, with chocolate and mint its hard to loose....

  2. I say flavor it with coconut!
    chocolate and coconut are flavors that completely compliment eachother


  3. I think you should start off with the beef and end with the brownie :)

  4. DEFINITELY gonna have to try those brownies Joe, and like funwithyourfood, I may have to go with the coconut option. MMMMMM!!!!

    BTW - do you own a tagine to make this dish, or did you just wing it with other kitchen cookware?

  5. wow, that looks like an amazing dinner and brownie! i love chocolate mint and chocolate coconut would be just as divine. i'm impressed!

  6. I just about licked my computer screen! Those brownies look outrageous! And the beef looked pretty darn tasty as well.

  7. Robyn - Yeah!

    Teddy - I agree, it would work nicely here.

    Wheresmymind - I tried, couldn't wait to test them!

    Annie - Thanks!

    Jeph - I actually just made it using a Dutch oven - a Tagine is on my wishlist somewhere!

    Kickpleat - Thanks!

    Erika - Both were so good!

    Barbara - Wish I could have shared!

  8. Yummy looking brownies! And I see you have moved closer to me now!

  9. mint and chocolate together is so good! this is totally going onto my list of to-make! cheers

  10. Diva and Lauren - Thanks for checking out the site!

  11. I am drooling everywhere. Hang on- let me grab some paper towels....Chocolate and mint: MY FAVE! You may have surpassed the girl scout thin mint. These look incredible.

  12. Brittany - They were swooped up in a hurry when we served them!