A Phoenix From The Ashes

Sassy on her school trip to Auschwitz

I am a classic second generation Holocaust survivor.

My third generation kids are unabashedly Jewish and unabashedly Israeli and I so wish my parents were around to see how I have raised my phoenixes out of the fires and ashes of the camps.

Last year for Yom Hasho’ah (Holocaust Remembrance Day) I posted a story about my mother’s relationship with chocolate that still gives me goose pimples.  On the eve of Yom Hasho’ah this year I always find myself thinking of my parents, and how the Holocaust shaped their lives and my life, and how it almost always revolved around food.

Brewed coffee and Joltin' Joe DiMaggio, one of my favorite flavor combinations

My mother didn’t so much love chocolate as revere it.  Chocolate for her was something to be savored, not an everyday treat.  Coffee, on the other hand, was almost a religious experience.  I have vivid memories of coffee in various grinds and brews in our house.  Unlike chocolate, I was not allowed to partake, to worship at the Mr. Coffee machine, but the love of the magic bean must be in the genes (in spite of the fact that I’m adopted), because I dearly love my brew.

My father's sister Sara and her three children, turned to ashes in Auschwitz.

The ceremony for Yom Hasho’ah will start in about two hours.  In Israel, your regularly scheduled television shows are replaced by documentaries, movies and interviews all having to do with the Holocaust.  The radio only plays somber music.  Tomorrow a siren will go off all over the country and most everyone stands still in remembrance.

Tonight I think I want to remember through a tradition taught to me by my parents, we remember what was and we celebrate what we have today, through food, of course.  And what a better way than to combine two of my mother’s food favorites, chocolate and coffee.

Super Fudgy Triple Chocolate Espresso Brownies

Not for the faint at heart, although if you are faint at heart, this should certainly give yours a jolt.

  • 200 grams (8 ounces) dark chocolate
  • 3 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons instant espresso or 1 1/2 tablespoons instant coffee powder
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter , cut into quarters
  • 3 large eggs , room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup  flour
  1. Adjust the oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 180 C (350 F) degrees.
  2. Spray 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick vegetable cooking spray.  Even better, line with parchment paper.
  3. In medium heat-proof bowl set oven a pan of almost-simmering water, melt chocolates and butter, stirring occasionally until mixture is smooth.  You can also do this in the microwave, nuking on high for 2 minutes, stir, and nuke again for one minute and stir until smooth.
  4. Whisk in cocoa and espresso powder until incorporated.
  5. Set aside to cool slightly.
  6. Whisk together eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a medium bowl until combined.
  7. Whisk chocolate mixture into egg mixture; then stir in flour until just combined.
  8. Pour mixture into your prepared pan, spread into corners and level surface with rubber spatula; bake until slightly puffed and toothpick inserted in center comes out with a small amount of moist batter clinging to it, 35 to 40 minutes.
  9. Cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours, then remove brownies from pan.  If you used parchment paper you can just life the whole thing out of the pan on to a cutting board.
  10. Cut into 1-inch squares and serve.
These brownies are delicious at room temperature, but even better frozen and slightly hard and wonderful to gnaw on.

Photo by GaylaJ on Recipezaar.com

About Miriyummy

All I want to do is live happily ever after.

Posted on 18 April 2012, in Brownies, Chocolate, Coffee, Dessert, Family Life, Israel, Mom, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Mirj; you tear out my heart…

  2. Ditto Ileana. Mirj, your words just bring tears to my eyes.

  3. a spoon of espresso grounds into any chock cake does wonders

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