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"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." - James Beard


Sunday, March 6, 2016

Chewy Chocolate Brownies

This winter has been kicking my ass. I've been super busy with work and other stuff and haven't had as much time as I'd like to cook in my new kitchen (or to write blog posts).

For weeks I was craving brownies but didn't have the energy for baking. I tried to assuage the craving with a mug cake and even a Jos. Louis but it had to be brownies. 

The thing is, brownies are very easy to make. As long as you have the ingredients on hand you can whip them up in a few minutes and have brownies within the hour.

Luckily I had high-quality unsweetened chocolate in the pantry and the rest of the ingredients are staples so I was all set.

I've tried many brownie recipes over the years and read the debates about the merits of cake-y and fudgey brownies, but my preference is for a chewy brownie.  This recipe makes the perfect brownie for me.

Here's what you need:

3/4 cup butter (170 grams or one and a half sticks)
57 grams (2 ounces) unsweetened chocolate 
1/3 cup (43 grams) cocoa powder
2 cups (400 grams) granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 cup (128 grams) flour
1 tablespoon vanilla
Maldon salt (or other large-flaked salt) (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line an 8-inch square (preferably metal) baking pan with parchment paper or foil so the paper hangs over the sides making the brownies easy to remove once they're baked and cooled.

Melt the butter in a medium pot over medium heat and add the chocolate, stirring until melted.  Let it cool for a few minutes, then add the sugar and cocoa powder, stirring to combine.  Add the eggs, flour and vanilla and mix them in.  The batter will be extremely thick, dark and glossy.

Pour it into the prepared baking pan and spread the batter evenly. Sprinkle salt flakes over the top of the batter.  This is optional but I think it takes these brownies over the top!  You need to use Maldon salt or another large-flaked salt, not kosher salt or table salt.  Use about 1/2 a tablespoon to get a nice light sprinkling.

Bake the brownies for 35 minutes.  It will be tempting to taste them while they're warm but they will be so much better once you let them cool.  And even better if you chill them! For some reason these really shine straight out of the fridge!

Chill for an hour, then cut the brownies into small squares and serve. They have a deep chocolate flavour and a great chewy bite and the crunch of the salt on top makes them perfection.  So easy, you've got to make these!

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