Monday, 31 August 2009

terribly good fool-proof* chocolate brownies

I'm not bad at baking if I do say so myself, but brownies have always eluded me. they usually turn out too cakey. I love cake, but cake isn't brownie. so this recipe makes me feel happy and clever. and heavier. sigh.

a lady from a book-making class I went to a while back gave it to me. we took turns making morning tea, and this was her contribution. she must be very devoted to it - when I asked for the recipe, she wrote it straight down on a scrap of paper without having to think.

this works beautifully with the Basco all-purpose gluten free flour as well. dangerously scoffable especially when you cut it into little squares. wafer-thin, don't you know?

  • 125g butter
  • 125g dark chocolate
  • 1 cup almost-but-not-quite firmly packed brown sugar (the darker the better)
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 1/3 cup plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3 eggs

  • as with all baking, it's best if ingredients are at room temperature
  • preheat oven to 180C, if you're lucky enough to have an accuate oven
  • grease and line a small pan about umm... a bit smaller than A4-sized and about 3-4 cm deep. that's what I use and it's just right. I'm crap at measuring pans, which is naughty, because for baking you should try and use the same dimensions as described in the recipe. except she didn't tell me
  • melt butter, chocolate and brown sugar together in a medium bowl - about 40-50% power in a microwave, minute at a time and stir in between
  • sift cocoa, flour and baking powder together into a larger bowl. yes, you lazy bugger. sift. it does make a difference, especially with the cocoa
  • add the butter/choccie/sugar mix to the dry ingredients and combine
  • lightly beat the eggs (just to combine them). I use the bowl that's just had the wet ingredients in, because it saves washing up another...
  • mix the eggs in - fold and stir rather than beat. no need to beat
  • pour into the pan
  • bake for approx 35-40 minutes. test by skewer or wait until the brownie has risen in the centre (it won't rise much) and has slightly cracked open
  • cool a little in the tin then turn out and cool completely

I have to add, resist the urge to slice it when it's still warm, because a) it's much more crumbly and just gets messy, and b) much as I'm a fan of scoffing straight out of the oven, this is SO much nicer after a few hours, or even the next day. the moisture content rises and it becomes perfectly brownie-like, but when it's still warm it's drier and cakier. so a bit of patience pays off. and it is brilliant straight from the freezer. unfortunately.

*no guarantees


anti ob said...

Sounds yummy Speedy, but the leave it out to gather moisture thing? Doesn't work when there's no moisture. We can leave a packet of crisps open for weeks and they don't go stale, but _adding_ moisture does not happen...

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

no, it's not adding moisture from the atmosphere, it's just letting the moisture content of the brownie settle. cool it, slice it and pack it into a container and then a couple of hours later it's turned from cake into brownie.

it's the same with some cakes you make too - it's yummy when it's hot straight out of the oven but it's like a different thing once it's cooled down and been iced.

Anne-Cecile said...
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