Monday, June 24, 2013

dave and kate's chocolate brownie

We were really busy over the weekend - our little girl is turning one this week and we held a birthday party for her on Saturday evening.

The party almost looked like it was not going to happen with the PSI going up to 400. We were really fortunate as the haze cleared on Saturday morning, and we could have the party as planned.

Cake baked by my wonderful cousin!

Decorated the function room.

Party favors for the kiddos. 

Our little pride and joy!

Since Sunday was a relatively quiet day, I thought I would bake something simple. Something that would go down well with my (sort of) reflective and (a little) pensive mood.

Something that would not involve a ton of washing up. Something I could mix by hand. Well, with a hand whisk anyway.

I guess a brownie was the answer.

There are gazillion brownie recipes online. What is the perfect brownie for one could be someone else's worst nightmare.

To start with, I am not a cake/brownie/cookie/ anything-that-is-sweet fan. (Yes, I know you have heard that one before). Added to that, I detest all nuts and dried fruit.

So when I bake a brownie, it has to be a "naked" brownie. For that reason, I use only the best chocolate since there really is nothing but the intense flavour of good chocolate here.

To start, I melted the butter and the chocolate in a metal (or glass) bowl over a pot of simmering water. This was done very slowly because I did not want any water to come into contact with the chocolate.

Once the chocolate and butter had melted, the bowl was taken off heat and I added the sugar.

Using a hand whisk, I whisked the sugar into the melted butter-chocolate mixture.

You would end up with a grainy mixture.

Which is all-okay.

Once the eggs and vanilla extract had been added and whisked into the mixture, it became smooth.

The flour was added, and folded into the mixture.

Once the flour had been incorporated (do not over mix), the batter was scrapped into the lined baking tray. If you are adding nuts, add them before you add the flour.

I used an 8-inch square pan. If you prefer your brownie to be thicker, use a smaller baking tray.

The brownie was baked for about 25-30 minutes or until it felt set in the centre.

Once cooled, I lifted the brownie out of the pan and cut it into squares.

The texture of this brownie is somewhere in between cakey and chewy.

The flavour is very intense. I was only able to eat one or two squares at a time.

With a glass of cold, cold milk. :)

Dave and Kate's Chocolate Brownies (Makes 16 small squares)
Adapted from recipe by David Labovitz

8 tablespoons (115 g) unsalted butter, cubed
2 ounces (60 g) unsweetened chocolate, chopped.
1 cup (200 g) sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup (75 g) nuts, chopped
optional: 1/4 cup (25 g) roasted cocoa nibs
1/4 cup (35 g) flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat the oven to 325ºF (160ºC.) Line an 8-inch (20 cm) square pan with a large rectangle of foil, leaving the overhang over the rim of the pan. Butter or spray the inside of the foil lining the pan with nonstick spray.
2. In a medium saucepan set over very low heat, melt the butter and the chocolate, stirring frequently, until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar, then mix in the eggs and the vanilla extract.
3. Stir in the nuts and cocoa nibs, if using, then the flour and salt. Scrape the mixture in the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until the brownies feel just-set in the center. Remove from oven and let cool. Once cool, lift the brownies out of the pan by grasping the foil overhang, the cut the brownies into squares.

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