I settled on this recipe after exhaustive trial and error, not unlike an honest-to-goodness pastry chef. (My complete lack of baking knowledge lends credibility to my claim of exhaustiveness.) I’m biased, but I think this recipe has the perfect balance of brownie textures—cakey and fudgy, with that distinctive papery brownie business on top. Flavorwise, it offers a sophisticated conjunction of dark chocolate and vanilla with a little pizzazz from the crème fraîche. We served these with toasted hazelnuts and extremely generous slabs of Brillat-Savarin cheese (for even more ’zzazz).
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