Outrageous Brownies | Outrageous Brownies


stack of brownies

I’m not sure if I should thank the Barefoot Contessa or curse her. These outrageous brownies have wrecked my virtuous light day/clean eating/cutting back intentions more often than I’d like to admit. I say I’m making them for my son who has the proverbial hollow leg but … seriously who’s not going to eat these if they’re around? They truly live up to the Outrageous Brownie name she gave them in The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. Unbelievably rich, moist, dense and really, really chocolaty. This recipe is a massive pan of brownies so be forewarned.

Before you make them let me just say, you’re welcome… and I’m sorry.

Outrageous Brownies (adapted from Barefoot Contessa Cookbook)

  • 1 lb of unsalted butter
  • 1 lb plus 12 ozs semisweet chocolate chips (divided)
  • 6 oz unsweetened chocolate
  • 6 extra-large eggs
  • 3 tbsp instant coffee granules
  • 2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (divided)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 12 x 18 x 1 inch baking sheet. Melt the butter together with 1 lb of chocolate chips and the unsweetened chocolate in a medium bowl over simmering water. Allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, coffee granules, vanilla and sugar. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, sift together one cup of flour, the baking powder and salt. Add to the cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the 12 ozs of chocolate chips in a  medium bowl with 1/4 cup of flour, then add them to the chocolate batter. Pour into the baking sheet.

Bake for 35 minutes till a toothpick comes out clean. Do not over bake! Allow to cool and cut into squares.

I have four of the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks and every recipe that I’ve tried is just amazing. A lot of my favourites come from this book and the curried couscous from the same book is a cottage staple.

outrageous brownies


French 75 Cocktail | French 75 Cocktail

French 75 cocktail

It’s called the French 75 and, no, I’ve never heard of it either,  but we tried this recipe on the weekend and wow, it’s a keeper. Perfect for sipping on a Friday night.

Created in 1915 in New York the recipe apparently had such a kick that it felt like you were being shelled by the powerful French 75mm artillery field gun. It’s also called the Soixante Quinze which is a much more elegant name, in my opinion.

French 75

  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1/3 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of gin
  • 3 tbsp of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 bottle of well-chilled champagne (we used cava)
  • garnish of lemon

Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and cool. Add gin and chill till cold. (Can be made ahead to this point) Add the fresh lemon juice and mix. In a champagne flute add 2 tbsp of the gin syrup and top up with champagne, garnish with lemon.

There was an evening last summer when we were all together at the cottage after one of those perfect long Nova Scotia beach days. You know the kind that helps you make it through the winter… or April. We were sipping the most amazing gin and tonics and life was pretty near perfect. That’s what this cocktail recipe conjured up for me.

Delicate Lemon Pudding | Delicate lemon pudding

It’s lemon week here and in honour of my wonderful Mother who loves all things lemon flavoured here is an old family favourite, a lovely delicate lemon dessert.

Lemon pudding

Delicate Lemon Pudding

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs separated
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp grated lemon rind
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup milk

Cream butter, add sugar and cream well. Beat egg yolks until thick and lemon coloured. Add to first mixture along with lemon juice and rind. Fold in flour and stir in milk.

Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into lemon mixture. Pour into greased baking dish and set into a pan of hot water. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. Serve plain or with whipped cream.

Lemon pudding