Friday, 13 March 2009

The Best Brownies Ever.

This is not a baking blog, because I do not bake well enough to warrant it. Or enough, actually. But lately I’ve got quite into baking, and I’m not that bad at it! When it’s the simple recipes that you can’t really mess up, anyway.

Baking is good for these reasons:

1 - It's actually quite easy
2 - Everyone likes cake
3 - Everyone likes people who bring cake.

Therefore, everyone will like you! And will think you're clever for the homemade cakes of awesomeness. I'm incredibly popular with everyone now.

I love brownies. Loooove them. For a long time, they weren’t that common in England, and I think my first introduction to them was on holiday in America when I was 13, through a Betty Crocker box mix. And, wow. I ended up bringing back several box mixes with me as they didn’t exist over here, and they were always perfect. But gradually, brownies seeped into our culture (thank GOD) and now you can pretty much get them anywhere. We had them as a dessert at work last week. And they were amazing, by the way.

There’s an art to brownies because of their unusual consistency. The perfect brownie is slightly crispy on the top, but chewy and gooey inside. I made some brownies over Christmas that technically failed – they were undercooked, they collapsed – but my god, they were SO GOOD. The undercooking meant that they were so gooey inside. You practically had to eat them with a spoon. Yummm.

Anyway, I found a brownie recipe online recently and decided to have a go at them. But I ended up making various changes to the recipe because I’m a rebel like that. Milk chocolate instead of dark chocolate, for example. And I nearly always cook my brownies in muffin cups, because it means less washing up. And they’re much easier to serve. And you get bigger portions. These brownies came out so well, even though they were flawed. I overfilled the cups, and as I’d used self raising flour (which you’re not meant to do, I stupidly listened to my mother when she said that it was the same thing as all purpose flour, even though that makes no sense), they splurged everywhere. But they were still so tasty, really crunchy on the top and then the perfect consistency inside. REALLY chewy and moist, and they stayed tasty. And they weren’t over-sickly, either. I cooked them on Thursday night and they were still perfect by Monday night. By which time there were none left.

With a hen do coming up, I vowed to make them again, with my amendments and avoiding the overfilling mistake. But I still overdid the SR flour, and a lot of them came out like this:


But finally, I reached the right balance (actually, in the future from this post - December 2009 - and went back to edit this!) and got these perfect. They came out like so:



Fairly unassuming, but oh-so-good inside. With chopped up Dime bars and pecan nuts... wowwww.The Best Brownies Ever.
(previously known as Mississippi Mud Brownies, recipe stolen from
here)Ingredients

  • 2 large bars milk chocolate, chopped
  • 250g butter (yes, really)
  • 140g self raising flour
  • 40g plain flour
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 600g sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 bag pecans (optional)
  • 4 dime bars, chopped (optional)
Note: The original recipe called for 180g of plain flour. I instead put in 180g of SR flour by mistake. Some of the brownies exploded. After much tweaking, this is the perfect consistency, edited at a much later date. They don't explode any more. But still, whatever you do, don’t overfill the muffin cases. Especially if you put in all SR flour. 2/3rds, tops.
1 - Preheat your oven to 170 degrees celsius, with the rack set on the middle position. Grab a 13 x 9” baking dish and line it with aluminum foil with a little hanging over (so you can lift it out later) and spray with cooking spray. Alternatively just put them in muffin cases, which is what I do. J

2 – Melt your chopped chocolate and your butter until it's all smooth and glossy and fabulous.

3 – Let butter mixture cool slightly while combining your flour and cocoa in a separate bowl through a sieve.

4 - Whisk together your eggs and your sugar.

5 – Pour in your melted chocolate and whisk a bit more until combined, then add flour until no streaks remain.

6 – Stir in pecans, chocolate, dime bars, whatever else you want to add, or leave them out.

7 – Put in pan or muffin cases – and fill about 2/3rds - and bake for 25-30 minutes.

8 - Remove from oven. Eat.

Makes about 18-20.
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