Friday, February 7, 2014

A Brownie Recipe. Or Two.

This is my first attempt at a serious culinary post, so please bear with me.

Since I first started cooking (I was around 14) I have amassed countless readings of Wikipedia articles about almost every food that has come across my path. This, doused with too many visits of food blogs and recipe websites would make my food knowledge short of legendary (Virginia, seriously?)
Said knowledge, however, translates in a fairly low read about to cooked recipe ratio.

How it usually ends

Anyway, there is one item in the ever-expanding universe of recipes that I have made almost as much as I have read about: brownies (I bet you didn't see it coming).

My first approach to the chocolaty dessert par excellence was through this book, a solid recipe that however, has not stood the test of time.
In fact, as soon as I discovered the myriad of brownie recipes on the web my attention shifted on new ways to execute, embellish and enjoy one of the simplest desserts known to man.

There have been zucchini, pumpkin and bean brownies for when I felt exceptionally health-conscious and then there have been peanut butter, fudge, Julia Child, fondant and cheesecake moments which unequivocally show that health consciousness in not really a long term thing.

But as I encountered last week a new species of brownie, it became clear that I had to dust off and polish the old artillery and thus set my roomie on the path of fudgy and dark-tinted nirvana.

This post is to avoid this

The recipes – one regular, one vegan– are very straightforward, one bowl and a short list of ingredients. You can take them up a notch by folding in the batter nuts (ca. 100 grams), chocolate chips (same) or if you are like me, use a couple of cheap truffles to create ginormous poodles of marvel. Do not fuss too much with precise measurements, brownies are a relaxed affair.

Simple Brownies
Adapted from All Recipes

100 grams unsweetened chocolate
150 grams butter
350 grams white sugar (a little more if you use brown sugar)
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package of vanillin or vanilla sugar (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
115 grams all purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Grease or cover in foil a 25 cm square pan.

In a bowl microwave chocolate and butter together on medium for a minute and stir. If needed, keep microwaving it until it melts. (Alternatively, instead of a bowl you can use a pot on low heat in which you melt the butter and chocolate).

When it has cooled down a little, stir in the sugar and the other ingredients except the nuts.

Once combined, add the nuts, pour in the pan and let it bake for circa 30 minutes (baking time depends on how you like your brownies and how your oven works)

Vegan Brownies

125 grams all purpose flour

230 ml (1 cup) water
350 grams white sugar (a little more if using brown)
1 teaspoon salt
1 package vanillin or vanilla sugar (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
125 ml vegetable oil
90 grams cocoa powder

Preheat oven at 180 C. Grease a 22 cm square pan.
In a bowl toss everything together and mix very well. Pour in the pan and bake for 25 minutes.

Note to self: Virginia, get a camera if you wanna get anywhere with this blogging thing. KolourPaint simply won't do in the long run.

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