Saturday, 24 September 2011
My friend Lisa had a birthday yesterday and I knew immediately what I wanted to take to her party: grasshopper brownies from one of my favourite food blogs, Smitten Kitchen. A dense, fudge-y brownie topped with mint-flavoured white chocolate ganache and bittersweet ganache. I made them once back in January for my English class and everyone loved them, but they're so incredibly rich that I never make them unless I have lots of other people to help me eat them!
I never knew why these were called "grasshopper" brownies, but I posted about them on Facebook and my uncle says that according to Wikipedia "A typical grasshopper cocktail consists of equal parts Crème de menthe, Crème de cacao and fresh cream, shaken with ice and strained into a chilled cocktail glass.")
Then he added, "If I mix one with Kahlua instead of the Creme de menthe, I call it a "Cricket"!" So I guess the "grasshopper" refers to the chocolate-mint (and the Creme de menthe, which I didn't use since I didn't have it.)
I didn't do any step-by step photos other than this one while I was cutting them up - Deb covered that nicely. I did make a few changes, mostly due to the shortcomings of my kitchen at the moment. The recipe says to line the pan with aluminum foil; I didn't have any, so I skipped that step, instead greasing and flouring the pan. The brownies came out just as easily as they did last time when I used the foil. I followed Deb's suggestion and used slightly less cream in the ganaches than the original recipe calls for; I didn't quite cut it in half, but I didn't use the full amount either. I put in probably twice the peppermint extract, because I love peppermint, and I had fun with the green food colouring. (I think it would be fun to make two pans of these at Christmas-time, and tint the white chocolate ganache green in one pan and red in the other!)
Also, I left out the cocoa powder in the brownie batter, since it turned out I was wrongly convinced I had some in my cupboard (and I made these at about 11:30 at night, so running to the store was not really an option.) I added in a wee bit of powdered sugar instead. I had dark brown sugar, not light, and not enough of it, so I used what I had of the dark, then supplemented with a bit of white sugar. Basically, I didn't follow the recipe at all, but it turned out okay anyway!
They always get rave reviews, and they look fancy but they're really easy to make. There's a lot of "put this in the fridge and let it cool for x amount of time", so they're a lengthy process but you can go and do other things in between. I recommend the recipe highly!