Friday, June 12, 2015


I like brownies and make them quite often. They are immensely easy to prepare, and they always taste great, no matter how you serve them - hot, with a dollop of vanilla bean ice cream, or cold, with caramel sauce. Or even plain, just dusted with icing sugar, which is how I like them the most. One important thing you need to remember when making brownies is that you do not overbake them. That is, unfortunately, quite easy to do, as they are usually thin and can go from perfectly fudgy and baked to dry in minutes.
Since every oven is a little bit different, keep an eye on them while they bake, and check them with a toothpick. Brownies are done when a toothpick comes out with just some moist crumbs sticking to it. It is fine even if you slightly underbake them, they will still taste great. One more thing to keep in mind - the type and quality of the cocoa powder you use will determine how good your brownies taste.

Ultimate cocoa brownies

150 grams butter
200 grams light brown sugar
30 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2 large eggs
45 grams plain flour
1 tablespoon cornflour (corn starch)

Dice the butter and put it in a heavy-bottomed pan. Sift in the cocoa powder over it and melt it over medium heat until well blended. At first, it will seem like the ingredients are not going to come together, but be patient and let the butter melt slowly. Add the brown sugar, and mix well. It will look grainy at this point, and that is fine. Set it aside for a few minutes, until it cools down slightly. Crack the eggs into two separate small bowls and prepare a whisk. Add the fist egg to the warm batter and immediately whisk it in very well. If you wait too long, the residual heat in the batter will cook the egg, leaving the brownies with clumps.
Add the second egg in the same fashion, and finally, add the vanilla and blend really well. When the eggs are blended in, sift in the plain flour and cornflour and gently fold it in the batter. Do not overmix the batter, about 20-30 strokes with a rubber spatula should be enough.Take a small baking pan (18x18 cm; 7x7"), grease and flour the bottom and sides, pour in the batter and gently level it. Bake it in a preheated oven, at 160°C (325°F) for about 15-20 minutes. Check it with a toothpick, to make sure it isn't overbaked. Let it cool completely before serving.

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