Theo Chocolate: A yummy option for a fair trade gift
Chocolate? Ben Affleck? Valentine’s Day? Changing lives? Oh, and brownies? Perfect brownies?
What do these things have in common? Besides being the key components of every teenage girl’s dream date from about 1995-2003, these have been cause for a lot of excitement in our office.
Ben Affleck, director of the Oscar-nominated film “Argo,” is the founder of the Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI), an organization working to bring positive change to eastern Congo. ECI recently teamed up with our vendor Theo Chocolate, the first and only Organic, Fair Trade certified bean-to-bar chocolate factory in North America. Together they’re offering a 100 percent Congolese cocoa, with a portion of the proceeds going to ECI to help the farmers and their families. See Ben Affleck talk ECI and Theo Chocolate on CBS here.
We’re proud to offer Theo Chocolate, and in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we’d like to share Theo’s very own Chocolate Chunk Brownie recipe:
- 3 Theo 70% Dark Chocolate bars (3oz. each)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 stick butter (8T)
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup + 2T all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract, optional
Butter an 8 inch baking pan and line with parchment, leaving a small overhang to ease removal of the finished brownies.
Preheat the oven to 375F.
Unwrap all three bars. Set 2 whole bars aside. Take the third bar and break 2 sections off (about 1oz.). Place these 2 sections aside with the 2 whole bars; this chocolate will be for melting.
Place this melting chocolate in a heatproof bowl along with the sugars and butter; set the bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir occasionally until butter and chocolate are completely melted and the mixture is just hot to the touch. Cool slightly.
Meanwhile, take the remainder of the third bar and chop it up into small chunks. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk the salt and flour together very thoroughly to ensure there are no lumps. If your flour is lumpy, sift it after measuring. Set the flour and salt aside.
Remove the melted chocolate, sugar, and butter mixture from the heat and carefully dry the outside of the bowl with a towel. Crack the eggs and whisk them into the warm chocolate mixture one at a time until thoroughly combined. Whisk in the vanilla extract, if using.
Gently stir in the flour in 2 additions, then stir in the chunks. Pour immediately into the prepared pan and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs attached but not wet with raw batter.
Cool completely before cutting, if you can wait that long!