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Mar 16, 2008 02:51 PM

Maison Cakao brownies and brownie roundup

Whomever suggested these: I cannot thank you enough. They were very very good. I no longer need to make Nigella's three stick of butter brownies and gain 10 pounds in one day. I can treat myself with these without the feeling that I am overpaying for baked goods that I can easily replicate at home. We are talking about dark chocolate here. Not sickly sweet, intensely chocolatey, with fantastic texture that is not cakey-nor too chewy: with a nice crack on top. No sugar coma, just good brownies. Yum. Umm and they are huge!

Now the roundup:
Olive et Gourmando: These are not horrible, but not as special as I thought they would be considering the hype. In fact, they almost tasted ordinary.
Cocoa Locale: Nice texture with a kick of spice, but when there is cakes I'll get the cakes
Les Chocolates de Chloe: Just a little bit of salt, and some pecans. Not bad, but too much milkiness for my taste. But to each her own, smoother chocolate fans might love these.

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  1. I love ChloƩ's because of the salt, but boy are they expensive!

    1 Reply
    1. re: mainsqueeze

      Yes, especially considering they they are smallish compared to other brownie opportunities in town.

    2. Would be curious to hear what others think of the brownies at Juliette et Chocolat. They look great! But I was so full after hot chocolate that I couldn't bring myself to buy one.

      6 Replies
      1. re: moh

        Very high quality, dense, moist and rich (probably a good thing they don't post the fat content). Generously sized. Less cake-like than Cocoa Locale's. They once had a "healthy" version that was less sweet and heavy and contained some whole grains and maybe nuts but didn't sacrifice elegance or choco intensity. None of them are cheap.

        1. re: carswell

          WHAT??? Brownies have fat in them????

          1. re: moh

            Yup, but relax - like salmon - it's the good kind of fat.

            If anyone is interested in making their own, Kpzoo can vouch for the fact that I have a killer recipe. Just let me know if you want it.

            1. re: maisonbistro

              As a matter of fact, I'd be really interested in your recipe. Would you mind posting it here for everyone? Also, if anyone knows the recipe for Maison Cakao's brownies I'd be more than grateful!

              1. re: Simon Patrice

                VERY IMPORTANT: These brownies are better the next day. They "settle" and get dense and delicious. If you eat them once cooled after baking, you will find them "cakey" - trust me - much much better the next day. Please let me know what you think of them, if you make them -


                I cup unsalted butter or margarine (but of course butter makes them that much better)
                2 cups sugar
                2 tsps vanilla
                4 eggs, slightly beaten
                1 cup all purpose flour (I used unbleached and it doesn't make a difference)
                1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa (dutch process - not Fry's)
                1/2 tsp salt
                8 oz semi sweet chocolate, coarsly chopped (OPTIONAL - I put about 4 oz and it's nice to find a chocolately chunk to bite into every few bites)

                Heat oven to 350F. Grease a 13x9 pan.

                In a medium saucepan over low heat melt butter. Add sugar, vanilla and eggs (right into the saucepan) and beat with a hand mixer til smooth. Stir in flour, cocoa and salt (I always sift cocoa first 'cause it always has lumps in it), mix. Add chocoalte pieces. Pour into pan and bake for 30-40 , minutes. Cool completely, cut into bars. Yield 36 bars.

                I baked mine exactly 30 mins.

                I also iced them with this:

                1 1/2 cup icing sugar
                2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
                1/4 cup soft soft butter
                2 tbsp milk
                1/2 tsp vanilla.
                Combine all ingredients until smooth.

                1. re: maisonbistro

                  i'm not really in the mood for brownies but i'll definitely make them sometime. i'll e-mail you then :)

      2. The trick with the Olive and Gourmando brownies is that you have to ask for a piece from the inside of the pan. The side bits and especially the corner bits are definately not worth the $3.50. (More flour-y, drier, and disproportionate on the chocolate!) One of the ladies that work there once claimed to me that they don't even sell the side-bits, but clearly they do. Now the center pieces on the other hand...another story all together. Now I have a craving. Did you know O&G has released their brownie recipe?

        1 Reply
        1. re: CroqueMadame

          Mmm! So they make their own chocolate chips *and* put espresso in them - no wonder they're so divine (and addictive - I have a friend who calls them "crack brownies")! Thanks for the tip about the recipe, I'm printing this out right now. :-)

        2. Tried to go there today, for their brownies. Maison Cakao closed all week to rest, re-opening Tuesday April 1st.

          1. I got brownies from Olive and Gourmando, Maison du Cakao, Juliette et Chocolat, Patisserie de Gascogne, and will be going to Cocoa Locale, Chloe and Babette this afternoon for more. Tasting tonight! Should be fun.

            9 Replies
            1. re: riboflavinjoe

              The Cocoa Locale brownies are delicious. So spicy and perfect. I find that the way they're cut into slices seems to make them seem larger and more satisfactory than the usual square format. Make sure that you have some milk on hand, though. It's pretty much impossible to talk after without something to wash it down. They're that chocolatey.

              1. re: riboflavinjoe

                So, the tasting went well, we were all pretty full at the end, and didn't even finish them all. TOO MUCH! Each was nuked for 12 or so seconds, and in general, all were outstanding except the Gascogne one which was alright, but a bit dry. I wasn't skeptical about the Juliette et Chocolat one, but it was really good, and we all agreed it was delicious. Babette's brownie had chunks of confit ginger in them, which gave it a unique character. Chloe's brownie was outstanding, a milder more fruity chocolate used in her brownies than in the rest. The Cakao one was ooey gooey goodness with chocolate chips here there and everywhere in the brownie. Cocoa Locale was a unique experience, obviously. It was the only one with icing and also had the hot spiciness that people rave about. Olive and Gourmando was so gooey it looked like the surface tension of a just over filled glass of water. one touch to it, and it gooed itself all over the board, it was outstanding. I would highly recommend every brownie in every place (except for Gascogne), each had a unique character and was delicious in its own way. Prices went from about 2.50 to 4.50. Smiles that were all around the table: priceless!

                1. re: riboflavinjoe

                  "...and it gooed itself all over the board"

                  Isn't it disturbing that I find the above fragment of sentence very very appetizing?

                  Thanks for the report. You have some lucky friends.

                  1. re: riboflavinjoe

                    Riboflavinjoe, you rock! Thanks to you and all of your friends for taking the carbohydrate hit. I now feel I can safely eat brownies almost everywhere in Montreal.

                    BTW, when you say Babette, I assume you mean Festin de Babette?

                    1. re: riboflavinjoe

                      Succeed photon! left to right: bottom left: cakao, above that cocoa locale, next bottom gascogne, above that juliette et chocolat, middle olive and gourmando (almost all gone), right top babette, bottom right chloe.

                        1. re: SnackHappy

                          I don't remember brownies in season 5. Or are you saying that eating fine Montreal brownies and watching season 5 of BTVS go well together. I can get on board with that!

                          1. re: rcianci

                            I was just commenting on the picture.

                            Check out the upper right quadrant.


                            1. re: SnackHappy

                              Ah! I see it. I second your mmmm.... But, you know, still better with chocolate. :)