These two-bite, in-between-cupcake-and-brownie, treats are just delightful. They should only be made in a mini-muffin pan (they aren’t right for baking full-size), and as such, are great for little get togethers or late-night or after-school snacking. [This is quickly becoming a hyphen-heavy post.] I took Alice Medrich’s advice (it is her recipe, after all) and added some mint ganache to the top, which makes these little bites even more of a treat. And, the green sprinkles seemed to dress them up even for St. Patrick’s Day. This recipe comes from Medrich’s Chewy, Gooey, Crispy, Crunchy book, where she calls them “Lucy’s Chocolate Minis.”
Mini Mint Brownies
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons (4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons natural (non-alkalized) cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 14 tablespoons (1 ¾ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
- 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70% cacao), coarsely chopped
- 1 1/3 cups (9.33 ounces) sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven.
Combine the flour, cocoa, and salt in a small bowl and mix thoroughly with a whisk or fork.
Place the butter and chocolate in a medium to large heatproof bowl set directly in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir frequently until the chocolate and butter are melted and quite warm to the touch. Remove the bowl from the water bath. Whisk in the sugar and vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well to blend each before adding the next. Add the flour mixture and whisk just until smooth and blended, not longer.
Spoon about 1 ½ tablespoons of the batter into each muffin cup — the batter will come almost to the top of each liner. Bake for 14-18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Rotate the pans from front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking. Cool the cakes on a rack.
Stir the chopped mint into the cream. Cover and refrigerator for at least 8 hours and up to 12 hours. Strain the cream into a small saucepan, pressing gently on the leaves to drain out as much cream as you can. Discard the mint leaves. Heat the cream to a simmer. Meanwhile, put the chocolate into a clean bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Cool; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.
To use, remove the ganache from the refrigerator and check its consistency. If it is smooth and creamy, it can be used right away. If the ganache is too fluid or soft to spread without dripping, stir it vigorously with a rubber spatula for a few seconds (it will appear to soften; don’t worry) and return to the fridge for a few minutes, then check again.