Ganache-Filled Brown Sugar Bars
- ACTIVE: 40 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 3 HRS
- SERVINGS: MAKES 32 BARS
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 pound bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 2/3 cups packed dark brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Boil the cream over moderate heat. In a food processor, finely grind the chocolate. With the machine on, add the hot cream and process until smooth. Scrape the ganache into a bowl and let stand until firm, 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°. Lightly butter a 10-by-15-inch baking pan. Line the pan with wax paper; butter and flour the paper.
- Whisk the flour with the salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar at medium speed for 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Beat in the vanilla. At low speed, beat in the flour in 3 additions; the batter will be fairly stiff. Spread the batter in the pan. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
- Cover the baking pan with a large wire rack and invert. Remove the pan and peel off the wax paper. Invert the cake onto a large cutting board. Using a long serrated knife, halve the cake crosswise. Spread the ganache evenly over one of the cake halves, leaving a 1/8-inch border. Top with the other cake half. Cover and refrigerate until the ganache is set, at least 2 hours.
- Trim the edges of the cake. Cut the cake lengthwise into 4 strips, then cut each strip crosswise into 8 bars. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
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