This was not meant to be a post. After all, this isn’t in any way my recipe, but it is one I am truly excited about. There are some things in life that, once you find, there is absolutely no need to meddle with or alter in any way, and this recipe right here is one of those things.
Let’s get one thing out of the way first real quick. I have been dreading this confession for ages, but I guess it had to happen sooner or later.
Alright, here goes: I am not a big fan of chocolate.
There. Phew. What a relief!
Are you still here? I know, I know, blasphemy…but it’s the honest truth. I simply don’t enjoy chocolate as much as most people do, especially in it’s plain, unaltered, bar form. You’ll never catch me with a piece of chocolate in hand, something about the texture just doesn’t do it for me. Please love me still?
I do occasionally however, enjoy a good brownie, an excellent chocolate soufflé or an oozy chocolate fondant, but they have to be REALLY UBER special to lure me in.
Back when I was living at home with my family, my younger sister and I would sometimes treat ourselves to a boxed brownie mix, which until finding this recipe here was the best I’ve had. They were the only brownies that came out truly fudgy, slightly chewy and with a crackly top. I wasn’t too keen on finding a better recipe because of my lack of chocolate enthusiasm…that is, until I married my husband.
He, like most normal mortals, LOVES chocolate in all shapes and forms, and especially brownies. Every now and then he’d subtly try to hint at me possibly making him a batch, and I often resorted to boxed mix out of ease and absence of a better recipe. I never felt really good about using a boxed mix though, because they often contain unnecessary additives/preservatives, which always bothered me. Reading labels has become both a blessing and a curse…amiright?!
Since moving to Australia, I tried a few from-scratch recipes floating around the internet, but they always fell short. They were always either too cakey, too sweet, too dry or just not quite right. Then I came across this recipe on Food52.
It is originally by the brilliant Alice Medrich, who is a phenomenal cookbook author with an impressive arsenal of recipes and cookbooks under her belt and is actually referred to as ‘the First Lady of Chocolate’. I mean, this lady KNOWS her chocolate you guys, if I was going to trust someone to give me the best brownie recipe, who better to trust?
The element that caught my attention here was the use of cocoa powder as opposed to chocolate (which is what most brownie recipes call for). I always have unsweetened cocoa powder on hand, and the desire for brownies usually presents itself very suddenly and late at night, when a trip to the grocery store is just not an option…so the fact that it is made with only cocoa powder, no melting or chopping of chocolate at all, was a big tick. The second reason I decided to try this recipe was because all the ‘Genius Recipes’ featured on Food52 are, well, GENIUS. I trust them entirely.
And boy, am I glad I did! They came out SO good, I found myself reaching for seconds (me! the chocolate snob!) and my husband reaching for the tray and cradling the whole damn thing in his lap for the rest of the night until it was all but gone. They are So fudgy, SO intensely chocolatey and SO incredibly decadent! I’ve made them about half a dozen times ever since, and my only addition to the recipe was a VERY generous sprinkling of flaky sea salt on top just before baking. It just creates the most ADDICTIVE salty-sweet balance that is friggin IRRESISTIBLE.
I just HAD to blog about this. Firstly, because I cannot help sharing all my food discoveries with you guys. I just love you way too much not to. Second, because I felt I wanted to explain the recipe instructions in a bit more detail, in my slightly annoying, super wordy style, and write the ingredients in weight rather than vague cup measurements (ugh. hate them). I can’t help that either.
One more thing I can’t control? This was meant to be a “short quick post”. HAH! I’m hopeless.
So last week, when I was invited to my first thanksgiving dinner and asked to bring something chocolatey, I made a triple batch and grabbed the opportunity to take some photos, because for once we had to resist eating them in half an hour straight.
So, without further ado, here it is! The only brownie recipe I’ll ever be using. Yes I’m sure.
- • 140g unsalted butter, cubed
- • 250g sugar
- • 85g unsalted cocoa powder
- • ¼ tsp. salt
- • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- • 2 eggs
- • 65g plain flour
- • flaky sea salt, for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 160C (325F)
- Line a 20cm x 20cm (8"x8") square baking pan (preferably non-stick) with baking paper, leaving a good excess of paper overhanging on the sides (this makes it easier to remove the brownies from the pan later). Set aside.
- In a large heatproof microwaveable bowl, combine the butter, sugar, cocoa and salt. Microwave on high in 30 second increments, taking the bowl out to give it a stir between each round. Repeat until the butter has melted and everything is even and mixed well. The mixture will be gritty from the sugar, that is ok. Stir in the vanilla.*
- When the mixture is warm (just not hot!), stir in the eggs one at a time vigorously with a wooden spoon until combined and the mixture is smooth, thick and shiny.
- Add the flour, and stir until you can't see the flour any longer. Using your wooden spoon or a spatula, stir the batter vigorously for about 30 seconds more.
- Pour the batter into your prepared pan and smooth the top gently (don't worry too much about making it perfectly even, it'll spread and even out once in the oven). Sprinkle the top generously with flaky sea salt and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out with a few moist crumbs. Don't over-bake! You want it to be fudgy in the middle.
- Leave the pan to cool completely on a rack before removing the brownies from the pan onto a cutting board by lifting the edges of the baking paper on opposite sides. Cut into whatever size you like and enjoy! They keep well in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.
• Feel free to add a handful of chopped nuts if you like. Just stir them into the batter right before pouring it into the pan.