Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Brownies No. 1

Of all the sweet things I have baked, I would have to say that brownies are not something I'm known for. I've baked a number of brownies, given them to friends, brought them to out-of-town trips and parties and although my friends rave about them, I haven't been fully won over by brownies. Not yet.

The first brownie recipe I have ever baked, and when I say recipe, I mean a real recipe from scratch and not one of those 3-step, just add eggs and water recipe - I'm looking at you, Gab and Krio Bustamante - was Nigella Lawson's Christmas brownie recipe which called for white chocolate chips to be added to the batter right before baking. It was good. I would sometimes put walnuts and my friends would like it, drizzle some caramel sauce and they would like it. Problem was, I personally wasn't crazy about them.

Upon realizing that my blog does not have an actual brownie recipe yet, I thought that it's about time I posted one. By far, this is the best brownie recipe I've made. It's incredibly simple with basic ingredients that it doesn't even call for bicarb soda or baking powder. Perhaps that's why it's so good, it's basic. Never underestimate basic! I've made brownies where I put Oreos in them, but essence-wise, this brownie is so much better.

I got this recipe from The Smitten Kitchen and she calls this her favorite brownie recipe. As one of the blogs I religiously follow, I thought it wise to stick with a recipe she personally has made over and over. I was not disappointed, and neither will you be if you try it.

Smitten Kitchen's Favorite Brownies
click here to be redirected to her post

3 ounces (85 grams) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 stick butter, plus more for coating
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp table salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8x8 baking sheet with parchment paper and butter the parchment or spray with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, double boil the chocolate and the butter and whisk until smooth. Remove from the heat and continue whisking. Add the sugar, whisking and add the eggs, one at a time. Add in the vanilla and the salt and whisk. Gently add the flour, little at a time and whisk until fully incorporated. Pour onto the pan and bake for 25-30 minutes r until a skewer comes out clean.

Upon checking the brownies halfway through baking time, I found it to create a shiny, crusty top and instantly got giddy. A shiny, crusty top usually means - to me and Mom, anyway - that this brownie is bound to be good.

Mom got a little too excited and started to lift the parchment paper when it came out of the oven, which explains the broken crust. After swatting her hungry hands away, I let it cool. And you should too, before cutting them into squares or devouring them altogether.

I can't believe it. Here's my idea of a perfect brownie. It's not cake-y because then it would be more of a cake, and the fudgeness level is spot on. Plus crust! It was sweet and definitely chocolatey despite only using 3 oz chocolate! A word of caution also, this recipe calls for unsweetened chocolate, hence the sugar level. If you're using bitter-sweet chocolate or semisweet chocolate, you might want to add less sugar. Now, I didn't use an 8x8 pan as instructed, shame on me, but I couldn't find my square pans anywhere so I had to make do with what I had, thus baking my brownies for a little longer. Either way, taste-wise, it's incredible, I mean it. 

If you notice, I topped this post as Brownie No. 1, because I'll be baking more kinds of brownies soon. With nuts, maybe with a cheesecake swirl, possibly with bourbon. Now that I'm getting excited, I'll leave you at hopes of making some brownies for your enjoyment and I shall go to my notebook of experimental recipes to well, experiment.

As ever,

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