Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Theo Chocolate Brownies

I am about to change your life in two words - Theo Chocolate.  Already familiar?  Good for you!  Not familiar? Don't worry - all your dreams are about to come true.  I first discovered Theo Chocolate when I was living in Cincinnati and my local grocery store had a display of these beautifully wrapped chocolate bars with innovative flavor combinations.  I got hooked on the Coconut Curry Milk Chocolate bar and have never looked back. 

I met the founders Joe Whinney and Debra Music in 2007 when I was buying food for for a national retailer. I traveled to their lovely little factory in Seattle and fell head over heels in love with everything about them.  The way they think about chocolate comes from a deeply committed place to make life sweeter for all.  Theo was the first Bean to Bar, organic, fair trade chocolate company in North America.  They help the world by responsible agricultural practices and being on the ground ensuring that the farmers that they buy from are fairly compensated for the cacao they grow.  Oh and their chocolate is AMAZING!
Eat Theo Chocolate more and often - it is your duty to be a better citizen in world we live in. 
Consequently, one of the founders is one of my best friends.  Friendships grow stronger when there's a chocolate factory involved - trust me!
Anyway, go to Whole Foods and pick yourself up a few bars of this insanely good chocolate.  Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone - they are masterfully crafted bars and flavor combinations; there is no wrong answer.
This recipe is the factory's chocolate brownie recipe.  They are dark, and deep, and they will love you as much as you love them.   Brownies are very unconditional. 
Life changed!

3 Theo 70% Dark Chocolate bars (3oz. each)
¾ C granulated sugar
¼ C packed brown sugar
1 stick butter (8T)
3 eggs
½ C + 2T all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. vanilla extract, optional
Butter an 8 inch baking pan and line with parchment, leaving a small overhang to ease removal of the finished brownies.
Preheat the oven to 375F.
Unwrap all three bars. 
Place this melting chocolate in a heatproof bowl along with the sugars and butter; set the bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir occasionally until butter and chocolate are completely melted and the mixture is just hot to the touch. Cool slightly.
Meanwhile, take the remainder of the third bar and chop it up into small chunks. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk the salt and flour together very thoroughly to ensure there are no lumps. If your flour is lumpy, sift it after measuring. Set the flour and salt aside.
Remove the melted chocolate, sugar, and butter mixture from the heat and carefully dry the outside of the bowl with a towel. Crack the eggs and whisk them into the warm chocolate mixture one at a time until thoroughly combined. Whisk in the vanilla extract, if using. 
Pour immediately into the prepared pan and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs attached but not wet with raw batter.
Cool completely before cutting, if you can wait that long!  


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