Friday, August 18, 2023


The very first batch of brownies I ever made was not a success. Incredibly dry and crumbly, and somehow overly sweet, yet lacking flavour at the same time.
However, that batch taught me how to analyse a recipe, to see what could be improved, to see what I can do differently next time, and how to use a pan of brownies that did not turn out that well, and turn them into something I like. It is the mindset of curiosity that is one of the most important elements in cooking and baking.
Many years have passed since that batch of brownies, and I can proudly say I have a few recipes that I use over and over again, that produce a delightful dessert every single time, this recipe being one of them. I have used it as a fudgy cake base with a simple topping, as cake layers, and as a base for cake pops; it is amazingly versatile and forgiving.
Feel free to use either fresh or defrosted raspberries, just make sure that, if using frozen, they are strained well. Even if you wish to use raspberry jam, it will work just as well, which is one of the reasons I love this recipe so much.
If you like your brownies really fudgy, check them for doneness early, when they're just baked. On the other hand, if you prefer them with a cakey texture, let them bake for a few more minutes. I do love them fudgy, so I usually bake around 18 minutes, and consider them done as soon as a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out with a few moist crumbs.
I chose to frost them with a blend of melted cooking chocolate and smooth peanut butter, but the frosting is completely optional, of course. They are perfectly delicious on their own, as well as served with plenty of fresh fruit.

120 grams plain flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
25 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
small pinch of salt
150 grams light brown sugar
70 grams raspberries, fresh or defrosted
30 millilitres vegetable oil
150 millilitres warm water
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste

Take a large bowl, and sift in the flour, baking soda, and cocoa powder. Whisk well to combine, add in the salt and sugar, whisk well once again, and set it aside. Take a separate bowl, add in the raspberries, and mash them well with a fork or a whisk. Add in the vegetable oil, and blend them well together. Once blended, add in the water and the vanilla, and mix again. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients, and whisk until only combined.
Take a rectangular baking pan (20x30 cm), and line it with baking parchment, bottom and sides. Pour in the batter, level it nicely, and bake immediately in a preheated oven, at 200˚C, for about 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the very centre comes out mostly clean. Let the brownies cool in the pan to your liking, slice them up, and serve. Yields 12 servings.

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