I find brownies fascinating. When I was about six or seven years old, my kind-of-godmother (who was and is one of my childhood heroes of the kitchen along with my mother) got me and my brother an American cookbook for youngsters. It was illustrated with awesome drawings and had all the classic recipes from corn on the cob to mini sausage rolls. You even got these colourful measuring spoons with the book to make cooking even easier.
Unfortunately my English wasn’t quite there yet at that age, and so my first attempt at brownies was a complete failure. We scraped that sweet, burnt, collapsed mess from the bottom of the pan for weeks.
A couple of years have passed since though, and making these milk chocolate and cocoa brownies was my second attempt (well, that is if we can count my blondies from last year as brownies). It was a blast. I’m not a fan of cake – in fact I hate cake if it consists of anything else but icing – but these brownies are nothing like sponge. With a thick, gooey consistency, they literally melt in your mouth.
This day also marked the first trial of my year-old silicone ‘tin’, which I absolutely adore – I just never had a chance to try it. I love the heart-shape, although I must say that for transferring a liquid batter in it into the oven, it is absolutely useless.
Anyway, for these delicious and crumbly brownies, you’ll need:
200g unsalted butter 200g milk chocolate for cooking 85g plain flour 4 tbsp cocoa powder 250g brown sugar 3 eggs
So to start off, prepare. Butter your tin and line with parchment paper.
Put your sugar and eggs in a bowl and whisk for about 7-8 minutes. Seriously. This has to rise in volume and look gooey and light brown. When that’s done, set aside.
Sift your flour and cocoa powder into a bowl and add a pinch of salt.
Finally, melt your chocolate and butter in a bowl above hot water until no lumps remain and you get that beautiful, shiny liquid consistency. Let this cool to room temperature before you proceed.
When the chocolate is cooled, add it to your egg and sugar mixture and fold the two together gently, so as to keep the volume in the mix. When nicely encorporated, add your flour and cocoa to the bowl, sifting again, and mix everything together gently – don’t overdo it! It may look very liquid and lumpy, but don’t worry about that.
Transfer the mix to your tin and bake at 180 degrees for about 35 minutes. It is ready when the top has formed a kind of papery film and is slightly risen. Take the tin out and leave to cool completely. It may look soft and not at all brownie like – but this is when the magic happens. When you come back after your long stroll to distract yourself, you will see that the brownie has hardened and shrunk in the middle, and you may now cut into it.
Honestly, these are so very simple and are good anytime, anywhere. I kept them refrigirated because I wanted them to firm up a bit, but they’re awesome when still kind of warm and gooey in the middle too.
Vera Sugár, graduate with a journalism and creative writing degree, started writing at the age of 10. Passionate about literature, arts, history and languages, she speaks fluent English, French and Spanish. Her works are available at http://goodaswinter.wordpress.com.