February 6, 2014

Lindt takes brownies to a higher level

The folks at Lindt know that chocolate is tempting and resistance is futile. After all, the Swiss chocolatier has been making fine chocolates since 1845.


Dishing the news about the Sacramento area food scene

The folks at Lindt know that chocolate is tempting and resistance is futile. After all, the Swiss chocolatier has been making fine chocolates since 1845.

Recently, we taste-tested the company’s new “classic chocolate brownie mix,” the first baking mix ever released by Lindt. We came away very impressed. The mix comes in two flavors — chocolate and white chocolate-coconut, and retails for $12 at

I’ve eaten my share of brownies, but had never baked any, so this would be a kitchen adventure. Wouldn’t it?

The classy-looking cardboard box has a photo of four brownies on the front, stacked up and looking perfect. Inside the box were two 3.5-ounce bars of Lindt Excellence “smooth dark” chocolate (70 percent cocoa), and a bag of brownie mix. I needed to supply 5 tablespoons of butter, 3 eggs, parchment paper and a baking pan.

“Makes 16 2-by2-inch brownies,” said the directions. OK, then, let’s rock.

First, the chocolate bars needed to be broken into pieces, mixed with the butter and melted together, either by microwave oven or double boiler. I broke up the chocolate, which smelled so good I ate a few pieces (that won’t matter, right?), threw in the butter and stuck the bowl into the microwave.

Next came the eggs. Hmm. I had jumbo-size, so used two instead of three. That shouldn’t matter too much, right? I whisked the eggs, added the brownie mix and stirred for 15 seconds.

Uh-oh, was that the microwave oven timer? Yep. I had to stir and melt the chocolate-butter mixture a few times to get it right — in and out of the microwave — then whisked it into the eggs-brownie mix batter.

Uh-oh, I’d forgotten to preheat the oven to 325 degrees. But it won’t matter if the batter has to sit out for 9 minutes, will it?

For the heck of it, I tossed in a big handful of chopped walnuts and stirred them around. Really, that shouldn’t affect the recipe, should it?

Now I was ready to pour the brownie mixture into a parchment paper-lined baking pan. Uh, sorry, but I don’t have a baking pan and really wasn’t positioned to dash to the supermarket for parchment paper. So I lightly sprayed a metal pie tin with Pam, poured in the mix and stuck the pan in the oven. “Bake 35 to 40 minutes,” the directions said.

I surveyed the damage. Chocolate batter was on my hands, smeared on my face, and streaked on the kitchen counter and the handles of the microwave oven and the gas-fueled oven. How did that happen?

As I finished cleaning up, it occurrred that I should have set the timer to 35 minutes, but it was too late — the brownies had cooked for 45 minutes. Which really wouldn’t matter too much, would it?

After the brownies had cooled, I cut them up and passed them around. We agreed: The recipe was forgiving and the brownies were moist, rich and, really, some of the best we’ve had. Give ‘em four stars.

Next time, I’ll throw in some raisins or dried cherries along with some pecans. Lindt won’t mind, will it?

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