Saturday, August 6, 2011

Chocolate Brownies!

Now this is the second time that I am baking this week, but it is OK, I am not really breaking the once-a-week baking rule because I am actually about to go to Belgium for two weeks where I will have no oven and baking gear. So I am making up for it in advance with a treat that I often used to make on the weekend. Chocolate brownies are hugely varied and I actually have several very different recipes for them but these are the classic ones. The recipe originally came out of the old Cadbury's Cookbook that I had at home, which was full of amazing recipes. I really must find that cookbook when I visit home. So these brownies are amazing in that they have no chocolate, only cocoa, but you would never know that to taste them. I get the feeling though that I have actually altered this recipe at some point, for one I think it originally used far less cocoa than I use, and maybe less eggs too. Of course this recipe is very adaptable, so while I have other recipes for different types of brownie if you want you can actually just take this one and add, say, melted chocolate to make it richer, or chunks of chocolate of different varieties, or leave out the cocoa and melt white chocolate into the mixture. Or leave out all chocolate, use brown sugar and make blondies. It is amazingly fast to make as well, there will be brownies ready in under an hour. So let's cut to the chase and just get on with the recipe.


Brownies

3 eggs
1 1/2 cups (320 grams) white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
1/2 cup (60 grams) cocoa
180 grams melted butter
3/4 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

First of course you need to preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and grease your tin - I use a tin that is sort of like a swiss roll tin but a little deeper - it's about 20 by 30 cm and maybe 2 cm deep or so. A square cake tin with sides of 20 to 25 cm will do, or anything that you have and depending on the size you will have flat crispy brownie or fatter, softer brownie.

The mixing of this brownie is quite interesting, it doesn't use the creaming method. You can cream it though, just as normal you could begin with the butter (not melted though) and cream in the sugar, then add the eggs, then the dry ingredients. The mixture will have more air and seem larger and fluffier. But that is not how this recipe is and the original way is good and really easy.

So what you do is you start with the eggs in a large bowl and give them a quick whisk, you add the sugar and vanilla and beat that in as well as you can - this recipe is easily done by hand, no need for an electric mixer here. Sift in the cocoa and beat that in, then the melted butter and beat that in too. Finally sift in the flour and baking powder. If you are adding any melted chocolate or chunks of chocolate now is the time to do it.

Pour your mixture into the prepared tin (if you can for a moment stop eating it that is, because it's a really amazingly sweet and chocolatey mixture). Bake for half an hour to 50 minutes (depends how you like your brownie) - a skewer should come out clean. Now either eat while warm and gooey or let it get cold, it's good no matter what. Have with a glass of milk maybe. A cafe near to where I lived once used to heat up the slices of brownie and serve them with plain yoghurt, it was really good.

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