In this week's Chef and Tell interview with Samm Sherman, pastry chef of Linger and Root Down, she admits that the pot au chocolat, a dessert she had at the Kitchen years ago, changed her life, pointing her down the path to a pastry career. Today, Sherman shares her own recipe for salted pretzel brownies, a dessert that may just change your life. "I wanted to do something familiar with a twist, and I wanted it to be craveable," says Sherman, who created the recipe while she was pregnant. "Selfishly, I made it more fudgey, and I feel like the pretzels are such a perfect way to add salt and crunch to the rich, sweet chocolate brownies," she adds, noting that if you make these at home, make sure the brownies are chilled before you cut them (she uses a hot knife to make clean cuts) but serve them, she advises, at room temperature or even a little warm.
Salted Pretzel Brownie
For the brownies: 4 whole eggs 8 ounces sugar 8 ounces brown sugar 8 ounces butter 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 5.11 ounces Dutch process cocoa powder, sifted
Directions * Preheat oven to 350
1. Grease 9x9 pan with non stick spray (Sherman likes Vegalene) 2. In a mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk the eggs until white and fluffy and almost triple their volume. 3. Add vanilla. 4. In a mixing bowl combine sugars. Add sugar mixture to eggs and whisk to combine. 5. Sift together all-purpose flour and cocoa powder, add to egg mixture and mix to combine. 5. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, tap to deflate, and bake an additional 3 to 5 minutes. You can use a toothpick test for doneness. 6. Chill.
For the ganache: .45 ounce chocolate, 65 percent, chopped 1.5 ounce butter 6 ounces heavy cream
Directions 1. In a saucepan, heat cream till just before boil. 2. pour cream over chocolate and let set for 3 to 4 minutes. Gently mix chocolate and cream to incorporate completely. 3. While mixture is still warm, add butter and massage into chocolate mixture.
For the salty pretzel topping
4.5 ounces hard pretzels 2 tablespoons dried milk 9 ounces butter
Directions * Preheat oven to 325 degrees
1. Melt the butter 2. Crush pretzels in a food processor. 3. Combine melted butter, dried milk and pretzels and combine. 4. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until light golden brown.
To assemble 1. Pour warm ganache over top of cooled brownies. 2. Top ganache with pretzel topping. 3. Chill brownies completely before cutting but serve warm, or at room temperature.
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