Sunday, February 14, 2010

Dulce de leche brownies

Today I'm honored to be part of a special Valentine's Day blogging event, Chocolate Valentines!

Kate over at Serendipity contacted me a few weeks back and asked if I'd like to participate in this fabulous intercontinental event. The idea was for a little crew of us to each make something featuring chocolate and then link back to Kate's blog, who would in turn link to all of ours.  If you're not familiar with Kate's wonderful blog, you're really missing out. She's an American living in Belgium, and her beautiful blog describes her fascinating (and delicious!) life abroad. I couldn't say yes fast enough, especially when she added that she'd be happy to send me some chocolate from her local artisan chocolate maker.

About two weeks later, a little package arrived at my door from Belgium, containing two kinds of chocolate: chocolate for eating (which turned out to be some of the most fabulous chocolate I've ever had) and chocolate for baking. 

I had a few ideas about what to make with this special chocolate and came very close to making enchiladas in mole. But in the end, I chose the dulce du leche brownies from David Lebovitz's great book, The Sweet Life in Paris. I briefly considered making dulce de leche from scratch like Jessica did over at Apples and Butter. But in the end I took the lazy way out.

The brownies turned out highly chocolatey and laced with gooey, molten dulce de leche.

 Let's get a little closer.

I liked these brownies, but they were a tad sweet. The husband felt they were too much, although let it show for the record that he ate a rather large piece without fussing about it until afterward. I would make them again--but they are definitely the kind of brownies that need to be toted along to a picnic or party. No household of two should be consuming an 8-inch pan of these.

Thank you, Kate for organizing this fun event. I can't wait to check out what everyone else did with their Belgian chocolate. And to all of you readers, Happy Valentine's Day!

Dulce de Leche Brownies
From David Lebovitz's The Sweet Life in Paris

8 T. salted or unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for greasing the pan
6 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 c. unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla extract
1 c. flour
1 c. toasted pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped, optional (I skipped)
1 c. confiture de lait (dulce de leche)

Preheat oven to 350 and generously grease an 8" square pan and line the bottom with a square of parchment or wax paper.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add chocolate and stir constantly over very low heat until melted. Remove from heat and whisk in cocoa powder until smooth.

Add eggs one at a time, then stir in the sugar, vanilla, and flour (and nuts, if using).

Scrape half of batter into prepared pan. Drop one-third of the dulce de leche in prune-sized dollops, evenly spaced, over the brownie batter, then drag a knife through it to swirl it slightly. Spread the remaining brownie batter over the top, then drop spoonfuls of the remaining dulce de leche over the batter. Use a knife to swirl the dulce de leche ever so slightly. (If you overdo it, the whole thing will bake into a bubbly mess. Just drag a knife once or twice through the batter and leave it at that.)

Bake for 40-45 minutes (mine was done in 40), or until the center feels just slightly firm. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Cut the brownies and wrap individually, then distribute freely.

DL notes that the brownies actually become better the second day, which I found to be true.


  1. woohoo, come to mama is all that comes to mind for me! looks killer good and decandent, yeehaw!

    happy valentines day!

  2. I love the sweet gooey kind... Not too often, but special occasions (Like getting bonus chocolate), i would dig in

  3. Jain:) They do look rich..I bet my husband would like them:) Great got the word across:)

  4. Oh, these are calling my name...I am loving your blog!

  5. How fun. I love how your hubby took one for the blogging world and ate them before declaring them too sweet. : )

  6. I don't think a brownie can get better than this regarding its gooeyness. These look incredible! But sweetness does have its limits....

    Hope you are having a great Valentine's Day

  7. Madame Hungry Dog, Those look Fabulous! They would be gone in 2 minutes at my house. Whenever you have to rid yourself of these sweet treats send them my way! I may even share with these pesky teens.
    Happy Valentine's Day!

  8. Absolutely wonderful! I must give these a try. My daughter and co-workers would love them!!

  9. These brownies look so decadent, maybe a once in a while, cheer up a blue day treat?
    Thanks for visiting me in Normandy.

  10. yes, we got closer, but i want to get closer still! i want a hunk of those gooey treats right in my face! excellent use for the chocolate. :)

  11. oooo...gooey. Yum! If I got any closer I'd go cross eyed :) Fun event and I'm ashamed to admit I have yet to visit Kate's blog yet, but will remedy asap.

    Hoep you were spoilt on V-day!

  12. How decadent and delicious! I hope you had a wonderful valentines day.
    *kisses* HH

  13. HD, these make my heart sing. I can tell that they'd be on my hips for a veryvery long time! I love dulce de leche, but I've never made it. I'm always afraid of boiling a can for hours...

    I love these photos too. That second one, with the light coming through that little flippy bit... Oh, man, is that gorgeous.


  14. Ooo those look seriously good. I've never made Dulce de Leche myself but I keep seeing so many different recipes that use it that I am tempted to try it for myself one day.

  15. Oh yes! You can get as close as you want! I adore dulce de leche in just about anything and it would be fantastic in a brownie. Got to make them. Then I can get REALLY close! :D

  16. Thanks, everyone! These are certainly decadent and delicious and worth a try if you're so inclined! And thanks to all the new visitors--I hope you'll all be back again!

  17. Funny, I made brownies this weekend, too! if the pictures come out, I'll be posting about them soon.

    This type of brownie would be perfect with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream on top, I think. :)

  18. Oh my, those look amazing. Some ice cream with them would cut the sweetness. Or something... :D

  19. Molten dulce de leche? Oh my...I want a bathtub full of that. ;)

  20. Ah, nothing says love like gooey chocolate goodness! Glad you had such a great Valentine's Day!

  21. Camille: brownies are in the air! Looking forward to your post. ANd yes...vanilla ice cream would be perfect with these!

    Bob: Not sure ice cream would cut the sweetness but it would be awesome with them! ;)

    Food Gal: Right?!

    Chef Aimee: Thanks, hope yours was great too!

  22. Oh, I've been looking for a good brownie recipe, and I love dulce de leche. So this looks interesting to me. But yeah, I am worried about the sweetness factor. Maybe I'll try it with less dulce de leche. What a fun project!

  23. Ben: that's what I was thinking about the dulce de leche--just using a little less next time, I think 2/3 of a cup would be plenty for a small pan of brownies! Let me know if you try them.

  24. Hungry Dog, I have no idea how I missed your Chocolate Valentine post when I clicked on all the links! Yikes, I've missed a whole week of possibilities to make these! I made dulce de leche when I first saw this recipe of David's online, and I fell IN LOVE with dulce de leche (there's some in my fridge, actually ... hmmm). But I've never made the actual brownies - but now I definitely will, with your suggested modification. Yum - and happy belated Valentine's Day to you and your husband!

  25. nightowlchef: Let me know if you try these, and what you think! And happy belated Valentine's Day to you too! :)

  26. YUM-O! LLLLLovely! BAM! give me more chocolate. Hi to The Husband!

  27. Dear Hungry Dog,
    These brownies are amazing! Please find below mencion of your site and recipe at my food blog.
    Maria Carra