Dede Wilson

creator of 

Double-Layer Truffle Brownies

(from Bake it To The Limit)

 
These are quite remarkable. They begin with a dense, fudgy brownie base filled with walnuts, which would be enticing enough, but then a ganache layer is baked right on top for a richer than rich taste and texture. These are one of my foolproof recipes that I go to again and again. And they keep wonderfully in the refrigerator for almost a week – frozen, they barely lose any of their oomph over the course of a month. Truly a flexible recipe. (Psst, eating them straight out of the freezer aint bad either). Stick with chocolate that’s between 50% and 60% cacao. These originally appeared in my second book, Bake It To The Limit.

Makes 32 brownies

 
Bottom Layer:

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into large pieces

2 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate, such as Valrhona Equitoriale 55%, finely chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon instant espresso powder

Pinch salt

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/4 cups walnut halves, lightly toasted and finely chopped

 
Top layer:

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, such as Valrhona Equitoriale 55%, finely chopped

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into large pieces

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 cup heavy cream

Pinch salt

1 teaspoon instant espresso powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg, at room temperature

4 large egg yolks, at room temperature

 
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Coat a 13 x 9-inch pan with nonstick spray.

For bottom layer: melt butter and chocolate together in double boiler or microwave.  Stir in vanilla, instant coffee and salt. Whisk in sugar and eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Add flour and stir briefly just until smooth. Stir in nuts and scrape batter into pan.

For top layer: melt chocolate and butter together in double boiler or microwave.  Off heat, whisk in sugar, cream, salt, coffee and vanilla. Add eggs and yolks one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Stir until smooth. Pour over bottom layer, using an offset spatula, if necessary, to spread evenly.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until top has a dull cast and the edges are just pulling away from the pan sides. A toothpick inserted in the center will have a bit of moist batter clinging to it. Do not over bake. Cool completely on wire rack.

To serve, these must be at least slightly chilled. After cooling to room temperature, refrigerate for about 1 hour to facilitate cutting. Refrigerate in airtight container up to 1 week or freeze up to 1 month. (Separate layers with parchment paper).

 
Bake it to the Limit Variation

You will need a 1 1/2-inch round cookie cutter and 35 dark chocolate covered espresso beans. Cool brownies to room temperature, then refrigerate for 1 hour. Cut out 35 rounds with the cookie cutter (rows of 7 across and 5 down). Place each round in a small fluted paper cup, if desired, and top with a chocolate covered espresso bean. Follow storage and serving instructions above.