Thursday, November 22, 2012

Brownies... Again

If I had to pick one thing I bake the most, it would be brownies.

So it follows that I will probably have multiple posts about them.

Brownies aren't necessarily my favourite thing to eat. It's just that when you're baking for a lot of people brownies usually seem like the safest option.

They're easy, they're quick, they're chocolate. You usually can't go wrong.

Work (and traveling for work) has kept me away from baking and from blogging and I haven't been able to post as regularly as I'd like. I have so many recipes in my head but until I get the time to actually make those recipes, this post will have to do.

This recipe is pretty much the same as the Triple Chocolate Brownies I posted back in June, adapted from Brown Eyed Baker, except I didn't add extra chocolate chips this time. And I have more photos (not that you really need a photo tutorial for brownies, it's really a one-bowl affair). 

Important! Don't compromise on the chocolate you use, it makes all the difference.

(Again some of the photos are not great because I was baking at night and the light in my kitchen is quite ugly.)

4 oz unsalted butter
1 cup (8 oz) semisweet chocolate, chopped (I used chocolate chips)
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp coffee dissolved in 1 tablespoon boiling water

1. Preheat the oven to 180⁰C (350⁰F).

2. In a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter together.

3. When it has melted, add the cocoa and whisk until smooth. Set aside to cool.

4. Whisk together the eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt. 

5. Add the chocolate mixture and stir.

6. Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl. Add the coffee mixture and stir well.

7. Grease a sheet of foil with oil or butter and line an 8-inch square baking pan with it (don't skip this part, it makes removing the brownies much easier)...

... and spoon the batter into the prepared pan.

8. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. The standard toothpick test wont work for brownies. For cakes, you insert a toothpick in the centre of the cake and if it comes out clean, your cake is done. However brownies will still be a bit sticky and there will be some crumbs stuck to the toothpick. As long as the batter isn't still liquid and runny, your brownies should be done in about 45 minutes.

9. Let the brownies cool completely in the pan before you cut them. This is important! If the brownies haven't cooled properly then cutting them into squares is quite problematic.

It may even help to refrigerate them before you cut them.

Another tip: If you're having A LOT of trouble cutting the brownies then lightly grease the knife and dust it with flour, cocoa or icing sugar, the way you would grease and flour a cake tin and see how easily it slices through the brownies, giving you perfect neat borders. You may have to repeat the greasing and flouring a couple of times though.