By Val, The Cookie Queen
Brownies are named for their rich, dark, chocolatey colour. Although chocolate has been paired with sugar in sweet pastries for about 400 years (it was introduced to Europe from America in the early 16th century) brownies have only really been around since the late 1890s.
It would be fair to say that they really are an American speciality. Brownies are divided into cakelike and fudgelike categories. I don’t care for the cake like variety myself and will stick with the fudgy ones.
It has been such a long time since I have featured a Foodie Sunday here, that as way of an apology I would like to share over the next 4 posts, four of my favorite brownie recipes. As well as today’s, we will do vegan brownies, gluten-free brownies and brownies sweetened with date purée.
These are the recipes that I use in my business.
Exactly as I do them. The only thing that I have that you probably don’t have is my brownie pan! It is from 1962, beaten up, belonged to my mother, and yields perfect brownies every time. You may need to experiment a little to find your perfect pan.
I know my past couple of posts have featured recipes or ideas that don’t need weighing, but the brownie recipes do need a little more care.
In most cases the ideal brownie pan is 8 inch x 8 inch. (20cm x 20cm). 9 inch x 9 inch (23 x 23cm) will do at a pinch but it will give a slightly different result.
You can also use a rectangular brownie pan.
A fudgy brownie is done when you put a toothpick in the middle and it comes out with crumbs clinging to it. If it comes out clean they are overcooked.
That doesn’t mean you can’t eat them of course, but you will have to try again!!
I use a mixture of ounces, grammes and American cup measurements
and hope that it works for you as well as it does for me.
4 ounces butter (112g) softened
1 cup of brown sugar (the soft moist kind) otherwise use white sugar (half brown and half white works too)
100 grams unsweetened chocolate MELTED (You need about 90 grams, but I allow 100 in case you have to taste it!)
1 or 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
2 eggs, room temperature
2/3 cup of flour
1/4 tsp salt (added to the flour of course)
About 170 grams of chopped chocolate. I use about 2/3 milk and 1/3 white, use what you want!
(You can also add about half a cup of chopped pecans – I personally just don’t like nuts in brownies.)
As ever, please use the best quality chocolate you can – baking does not turn bad chocolate into good chocolate.
Line your brownie pan with greaseproof paper. Preheat the oven to 350°f or 170°c.
Beat the butter and sugar together with an electric hand mixer, Kitchen Aid or similar. Add the melted chocolate. Add the vanilla.
(I always melt my chocolate in the microwave, despite being told not too. Just melt it slowly and on a low wattage. Make sure the bowl that you use is totally clean, and absolutely dry before adding the chopped chocolate. Open the microwave door every 30
seconds and stir it)
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Slowly add the flour and salt. Keep scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Fold the chopped chocolate chunks in by hand. Turn the batter into the lined pan and level the surface.
Bake for about 25 minutes, it depends on your oven. The top should be kind of shiny and dry. It may crack a little when you test it with a toothpick. that is no problem. Let them cool for about half and hour before cutting them into squares.
If there are any left over, store them in an airtight container. I put mine in the fridge but you don’t have to.
Let me know how you get on!