Thomas Keller “Compost” Brownies

If your household is anything like mine your perennial ghoulish holiday leaves you with a plethora of sweets to last you until the following trick or treats. This year I was determined to do something more creative than simply adding them to my cereal in the morning. I happen to be a chocolate lover and chocolate tends to liven a bowl of “plain Jane” cereal like nobody’s business. I am fortunate, or cursed, by a child who is not a big fan of sweets and even when she indulges, she prefers to reach for the fruit candy before the decadent chocolate. Why cursed you ask, because somebody has to eat all that chocolate! I digress, this year I found a way to enjoy and dispense the lot of candy in one motion!
Thomas Keller Brownies {Compost}

Recipe courtesy of:


3 / 4 cup flour

1 cup cocoa powder

1 tsp salt

3 packages of butter (350g)

3 large eggs

1 3/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cup chopped chocolate chips type

powdered sugar for garnish


Preheat oven to 180C. Fat 22cm pan with butter and flour.
Sift the flour, cocoa and salt and set aside. In a saucepan melt half the butter and place the rest in a bowl. Add the melted butter to the bowl with the remaining butter and mix, leaving pieces of butter. Wait until the mixture is at room temperature.

In a mixer beat eggs with sugar until they make a cream, add vanilla and add a third part of dry mixture of flour and then a third part of butter. When finished add the chocolate chips and mix well.Bake for 45 minutes or until knife comes out goal to almost dry. If it comes out wet. Cool on a rack, cut and serve with powdered sugar.

I have been so looking forward to making these. If memory serves me correctly I attempted them once and ended up with bark. I burnt them beyond recognition and had to dump the entire batch! Several months separated from this debacle I was determined not to allow this same issue to befall me. I was extra careful in combining my ingredients and felt good about the recipe until I poured it onto my cookie tray and it just didn’t look right. However, I plunged forward and paid extra attention to it in the oven.
My principal substitution, of course, was the Halloween candy instead of the chocolate chips. Included were Snickers(my favorite candy bar on the planet), Ghirardelli squares, M&M’s (plain and peanut), Ferrero Rocher, and some dulce de leche bon bons. I simply chopped them up into more manageable pieces and folded them as the chips would have been.
Upon placing them in my temperature shortened oven I decided to also short the time considerably. I set my timer for 30 minutes and was on top of the cooking from the beginning. I was checking on them every 10 minutes. At one point I even lowered the temperature further, to 300F. After 25 minutes I pulled them, a toothpick came out mostly clean and I decided to let them cool in the tray on a cooling rack. This approach worked perfectly! I cut the individual brownies with a pizza cutter which provided clean cuts and easy lift off from the tray. I think next time I will just go with the 300F oven from the beginning.
These brownies are very decadent and not for the faint of heart. They are beautifully gooey inside and have a slightly crunchy top. The little surprises you find in every bite are pleasantly comforting. I personally swooned on two after they cooled. Word to the wise, they are filling!

This entry was published on November 25, 2012 at 3:54 am. It’s filed under Desserts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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