Thursday, March 25, 2010

Chewy Brownies

Chewy Brownies
Home Cooking

I dedicate this post to that precious time slot between around 12 midnight and 2am when your brain starts bombarding your stomach with relentless hunger signals. This is usually when I have 5 browser windows open, each with a different food blog, recipe or restaurant review and I flip through and perve on the food. Every 5 seconds, I'll change my mind about exactly what I'm craving at that moment.

I found this brownie recipe one night. Well, more accurately I saw a bunch of absolutely irresistible photos and clicked into the recipe. They just looked sooooooo sticky and decadent and glorious. Very, very convincing. I set aside one task-free Friday afternoon to do a bit of therapeutic baking.

Chewy Brownies
Makes 20

  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp instant coffee(optional)
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp boiling water
  • 30g unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped (I used Lindt 80% dark chocolate)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 and 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 and 3/4 cups plain flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 180g bittersweet chocolate, cut into cm squared pieces (I used I Love Coles brand Belgium milk chocolate)
  • macadamia nuts (optional - I dropped about 1/2 cup in half the batter)

1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a baking pan (recommended 20 x 30cm tin) with foil or baking paper.
2. Whisk cocoa, espresso powder, and boiling water together in large bowl until smooth. Add unsweetened chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted.3. Whisk in melted butter and oil. (Mixture may look curdled.) Add eggs, yolks, and vanilla and continue to whisk until smooth and homogeneous.4. Whisk in sugar until fully incorporated.
5. Add flour and salt and mix with rubber spatula until combined.6. Fold in bittersweet chocolate pieces.7. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake until toothpick inserted halfway between edge and center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes (mine took nearly an hour because the pan I used was too small and the batter was too deep).8. Transfer pan to wire rack and cool. If you want the texture to be really chewy, let the brownies cool completely before cutting.9. Cut into 2-inch squares and serve. Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Sunday was going to be a lunch party with some friends so it was a good excuse to do some baking. It so happens that half of the brownies didn't make it to Sunday which should be some indication of how they turned out.

The baking tray I used was too small so the batter was deep in the tray. As a result, my brownies took a long time to cook (~ 1 hour) and a few of the center pieces were uncooked. I took them out because I didn't want the outside to get dry or burnt.

Texture shot

The rest of the pieces were quite awesome. They were moist, chewy, dense and chocolatey on the inside with a cripsy and light meringue topping. The brownies smelt amazing in the oven and my housemate even complimented my baking based purely on the smell.

Crispy top

I didn't think the recipe was very difficult. These AREN'T 'healthy' brownies but unlike some foods with sinful ingredients lists, they didn't taste too heavy or oily. Having said that, you probably wouldn't eat more than 1-2 in a sitting (though Byron was happy to chomp them down by the handful).

At my lunch party, we ate them warmed up with vanilla ice-cream. ACE combination. Totally recommended. Will make again.

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