Tuesday 24 May 2011

Fudgy Cocoa Brownies

I seem to go through stages where I crave certain foods. They play on my mind, niggling away, demanding to be eaten and tormenting me with all the choices. A few weeks back it was cheesecake – my birthday peanut butter cheesecake being the delicious results. These past few weeks I’ve been hankering after brownies.

“Ok, make a batch of brownies then” you might think, but I have yet to find my ‘perfect’ brownie recipe and have you ever tried searching the internet for a simple chocolate brownie recipe? The results must roll into the hundreds – if not thousands of different recipes, each one claiming to be ‘the best’ ‘the ultimate’ the ‘walk over hot coals good brownie’ leaving me bleary eyed and undecided about which one to try.

After a while adaptations of the same recipe kept popping up. A brownie recipe made by Alice Medrich called Cocoa Brownies which is made entirely with cocoa powder and no melted chocolate. What? A brownie recipe without any chocolate, how can that be good? Yet everywhere I saw it, it got rave reviews. So in the end I decided to test it for myself and this became my brownie recipe to end my brownie cravings.

The recipe is incredibly quick and easy to put together and uses only a saucepan and a spatula, meaning the clean up was quick too. The batter was dark, rich and glossy and smelt intensely chocolaty thanks to the large amount of cocoa powder called for. You’d never have guessed it didn’t have melted chocolate in there.

I used my new brownie pan to bake it in. A clever tin with a removable base with handles and even a centre divider that you insert before baking to allow the brownies to be baked in equal serving sizes. I think it also helped the outside pieces cook evenly, although my two middle pieces were definitely more under baked and gooey than the rest (not that I’m complaining!)

The finished brownies had the characteristic wafer thin sugary top crust with soft and gooey chocolate brownie underneath. They had a slight chew to them and a deep rich cocoa flavour, that certainly wasn’t missing the chocolate. I really liked how the bitter cocoa helped keep the brownies from being overly sweet.

They were very light in texture but defiantly headed more into the fudgy category rather than the cakey category. I baked them for 20 minutes but I may try just 3-4 minutes longer next time as the centre ones were a little too fudgy for me.

Incredibly moreish; they definitely satisfied my brownie craving. Alice Medrich refers to these as ‘The Best Cocoa Brownies’ and they may in fact be ‘the best’ cocoa brownies, but to me they are not The best brownies, close but not quite. I fully aware that everyone’s brownie preferences are vastly different and these are still delicious brownies so I’d encourage you to have a go and see for yourself.

Fudgy Cocoa Brownies
(Adapted from Bittersweet by Alice Medrich)
140g unsalted butter
280g caster sugar
50g cocoa powder
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
80g Gluten free (or plain) flour (I used Doves brand)

Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease and line the base and up two sides of a 9inch square baking pan with baking paper (or base only if using a brownie tin).
Dice the butter into cubes and add to a saucepan along with the sugar, cocoa powder, salt and vanilla. Heat gently, stirring every so often, until the butter is melted and combined with the cocoa powder and sugar. Beat briefly with a spatula to fully incorporate the ingredients – it will look grainy at this point - and remove from the heat. Leave to cool for 5 minutes.
Beat the eggs in a small bowl until broken down before beating into the chocolate mixture, a little at a time. The batter should become smooth and glossy.
Scatter over the flour and beat in using a spatula. Start in the middle and work your way out towards the edge to prevent it clumping.
Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 20-25 minutes until a thin crust has formed and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out with a few sticky crumbs attached, but no actual liquid batter.
Allow the brownies to cool in the tin before removing with the help of the baking paper or handles of the brownie tin.
Once cool, refrigerate for 30 minutes before cutting. This helps get a clean cut.
Cut into 12 brownies (or smaller for brownie bites).
Eat and enjoy!


Please Do Not Feed The Animals. said...

They certainly look good. I'm intrigued by your brownie tin - wow!

Unknown said...

Mmm, I love fudgy brownies. And these ones look so dense and fudgy and just yum!

Caroline said...

I've found myself at the same impass for a 'perfect brownie recipe.' The search results are overwhelming, and I can't possibly eat that many brownies to test them all... or maybe i can! ;) Yours definitely look like a great start!

Johanna GGG said...

Some days the internet is a curse when you just want the definitive recipe - I've never tried these but they always look good - one of my favourites is nigel slaters brownies in the kitchen diaries

Nic said...

They look really good, and the tin is awesome.
I have done 'that' search online for something too, and it can be quite frustrating for sure!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh yum I love trying brownie recipes, yet to find the ultimate one lol.. Your brownie pan looks great also ! :) x

Caroline said...

Oh yum, they look great. The brownie tin looks interesting too, hope it helps you find your perfect brownie!

buy rift account said...

WoW! they really look so delicious. . =)

Cupcake Crazy Gem said...

Thanks Katie! I was ushered in with great excitement that's for sure! these brownies look amazing and I am in love with your pan, I've been wanting to get one for a while and your post has inspired me to do so!

Unknown said...

Fudgey brownies are my one true love. I wish I had that pan, it's amazing! The brownies look awesome, heard a lot of raves for this recipe!

Alex Robinson said...

Just made these but added some chopped nuts :) they turned out great so thanks! As others mentioned I too was frustrated by the number of brownie recipes out there. Will definitely do these again and must get myself one of those tins, looks great!

Unknown said...

Woow I just made them now and me and my family ate them just now yum it's awesome