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Archive for the ‘Chocolate’ Category

Deep Dark Brownies

Friday, July 23rd, 2010


Who doesn’t love a good brownie?


I’m absolutely convinced that the way to a man’s heart is a good steak sandwich and an amazing chocolate brownie. Well that’s the way to Mr Neurotic’s heart anway.


So this recipe is a tried and true favourite in our house. It is recipe that was adapted by the Baked boys for the Martha Stewart Show. Their original recipe can be found in their cookbook, named after their Bakery in NYC, Baked – New Frontiers in Baking.



Now in my opinion Ina Garten is the queen of Brownies, and I have a few friends who feel the same way but unfortunately her recipes make a lot of brownies. I also find this recipe is no fail. I’ve made it a lot and never once have I had a problem. It’s fudgey and cakey all at the same time and it can be adapted with blobs of peanut butter swirled in, the addition of nuts or even different types of choc chips (I’ve even done this with butterscotch chips). The other thing I love about brownies is that it’s a stove top recipe which means less mess and no mixing required. Now don’t get me wrong I love my stand mixer but sometimes you just want quick and easy.


So here it is. I assure you that you won’t be disappointed.


Deep Dark Brownies as seen on The Martha Stewart Show


Ingredients


¾ cup plain flour
1 tablespoon best-quality cocoa powder, preferably Valrhona
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup (125gms) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
¾ teaspoon instant espresso powder
140 gms dark chocolate
¾ cup castor sugar
¼ cup light-brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¾ cup chocolate chips (milk or dark or whatever you would like), optional


Method:


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line a a 18 x 25 cm slice pan with baking parchment.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, and salt; set aside. (or you can whisk…)
In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine butter and espresso. Place over low heat and stir until butter has melted. Don’t fret if the coffee powder doesn’t combine completely. Add chocolate, and stir constantly until mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in both sugars until well combined.
Add eggs and vanilla and continue stirring until well incorporated and mixture no longer appears grainy. Sift flour mixture over batter (or just pour in the whisked flour mixture), and stir until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips, if using. I like to add a tablespoon of the flour mix to the chocolate chips to coat them. This stops the chocolate from sinking to the bottom.
Pour batter into prepared baking pan; smooth top with the back of a wooden spoon or a spatula. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs, 28 to 30 minutes. A tip from Ms Garten herself is when cooking brownies half way through open the door and lift up the pan on one edge and drop it down on the shelf this apparently settles any bubbles and ensures an awesome brownie. I do it, not sure if it works, but I do it. She was a nuclear policy maker for the White House after all. Surely she knows about these things. Be sure not to over bake. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into 9 brownies.



Now my last tip is PLEASE let them cool in the pan. Mr Neurotic is extremely impatient so unless I bake these during the day they end up being hacked up whilst hot and you do not get the perfectly sliced brownie this way. Yes yes they still taste the same but who doesn’t like a bit of symmetry. I also love a brownie that has been left out to cool and the sides go all crunchy. Yum.

Emergency Brownie

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Ok so everyone has heard about the infamous 5 minute (or 3 minute in some circles) Chocolate Mug Cake… Now I did try it and well I wasn’t overly impressed. That is until I found this recipe. Not only does this recipe taste like a perfectly fudge like brownie, but it is also Dairy Free (if you decide to use chocolate chips you can substitute) and egg free.

I found this recipe online, and am unsure who to give credit to as there are so many copies of this recipe out there so to whoever you are THANK YOU!

Ok this is the recipe and the method that I have adapted to give the best results:

1 Minute Mug Brownie

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons Plain Flour

4 tablespoons Caster Sugar

2 tablespoons Cocoa (unsweetened)

2 tablespoons Water

2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil

A dash of salt

A pinch of Bicarb Soda

a handful of Chocolate Chips (optional)

Method:

In a mixing bowl or jug whisk together dry ingredients.

Add wet ingredients and combine to make sure there are no lumps. If you are going to add chocolate chips now is the time to do so. At this point it should look almost like playdough.

Get yourself a really wide teacup style mug or a wide ramekin. Try not to use a regular mug, you can but you will find it will be a bit more gooey at the bottom. And please whatever you do make sure your mug/ramekin is Microwave safe!

Pop the Mug/Ramekin Brownie into the microwave and cook for 1 minute on high.

Allow the Brownie to rest for at least 10 minutes maybe more. This allows the cake to cook more and densify (in a good way ;)).

Then top with either a scoop of ice cream or a nice pouring of cream. And this is the final result…

This recipe is my saviour. For those moments when you need a bit of comfort baking, but you’re either too sick, too tired or too emotional to contemplate baking. The other awesome thing about this recipe is that most people have these ingredients on hand all the time (well those of us that like to bake anyway). And one brownie shares perfectly between two hungry children for a warm afternoon snack.

***My apologies for the poor quality photography, unfortunately I only have my iPhone to work with at the moment.

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