14 March 2009

From brownie to volcano

Part of the goal for today's party was to re-create the Volcano dessert from the Rainforest Cafe on a smaller scale. To start, I made brownies last night. It's been a while since I had made brownies so I chose to use the "Best Brownie" recipe from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook (13th revised ed., paperback):

6 oz unsweetened chocolate (I actually used semisweet)
3/4 cup butter (my bad, I used margarine)
4 eggs
2 tbsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
2 3/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts (I skipped the nuts)

(Notice that there is more sugar than flour. Not for the calorie counters out there!) Mix the eggs, vanilla, salt and sugar for 8-10 minutes until well blended. Meanwhile, melt butter and chocolate over low heat, stirring frequently. Add chocolate mixture to egg mixture then gradually add flour. When combined, add walnuts. Pour batter into greased and floured 9x13 pan. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes. Do not overbake! Let sit for at least 2 hours before cutting.

The result was a brownie with a firm crust at the edges and a very chewy centre -- perfect for the Volcanoes:

The desserts were a hit -- as were the build-your-own pizzas, tunnel and tent play structures, and (surprisingly) the punching bags. Fun was had by all but we were pretty happy when 5:00 rolled around and parents arrived to collect their kids.

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