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CULINARY SOS

A bittersweet, but happy, ending

February 22, 2006|Barbara Hansen | Times Staff Writer

Dear SOS: Please can you get me the recipe for the brownies from Le Pain Quotidien? It's almost like a flourless chocolate cake. I've been trying for ages and I can't duplicate it.

LOIS BROOKS

Los Angeles

Dear Lois: These rich, moist brownies are wildly popular at Le Pain Quotidien bakeries. No wonder you've worked so hard to copy them. But labor no longer. Here is the recipe, adapted for use at home.

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Le Pain Quotidien's Belgian Brownies

Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Servings: Makes 14 brownies

Note: Adapted from "Cookbook" by Alain Coumont. The bakery uses Callebaut chocolate but other top quality bittersweet chocolates with a percentage of 60% to 64% cacao can be used.

9 ounces bittersweet chocolate

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

5 eggs, lightly beaten with a fork

1 1/3 cups superfine sugar

3 tablespoons pastry flour

1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Roughly chop the chocolate into pieces. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl and add the butter. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, until the two ingredients have melted. Mix well and transfer to a large bowl; set aside.

2. Sift the sugar and flour together, then stir into the chocolate. Add the eggs and mix well. Cover and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. The batter will thicken as it stands.

3. Spoon one-fourth cup batter into each paper-lined muffin cup. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. The brownies will still be moist when done; they will puff up and fall slightly as they cool.

Each serving: 326 calories; 4 grams protein; 30 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 24 grams fat; 14 grams saturated fat; 115 mg. cholesterol; 25 mg. sodium.

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