Sunday, October 23, 2011

Classic Fudgy Chocolate Brownies

I believe the majority of people from young to old love chocolate. Chocolate is such a versatile ingredient. It can be used to make wonderful desserts from the simple chocolate icecream and brownies to the decadent chocolate cakes and pies. We can have a cup of piping-hot chocolatey drink on a nice, rainy, cold day. The best chocolate drink I had was when I was at Stanley Park in Vancouver many, many years ago. It was cold and wintry. The cup of hot chocolate in my hands then was simply heavenly.
Besides using chocolates in sweets, we can use them in savoury dishes too. Lots of fine dining use chocolate as a sauce or accompaniment to their food.
For this brownie posted here, the recipe is taken from Bittersweet by Alice Medrich. It's crusty on the outside and gooey on the inside. This recipe requires you to place the pan of the ready-baked brownie onto a pan of icebath to cool it. I think this is the trick to getting a gooey and fudgy brownie on the inside.

4 oz unsweetened Hersheys chocolate bar, chopped
225g unsalted butter
225g castor sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt
2 large cold eggs
60g plain flour
2/3 cup walnuts or pecan pieces

Line the bottom and sides of a 8” square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.
Pre-heat the oven at 200°C.

1. Place the chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Stir frequently until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
2. Remove the bowl from the pot. Stir in the sugar, vanilla extract and salt with a wooden spoon.
3. Add in the eggs one at a time, stirring until the first one is incorporated before adding the next.
4. Stir in the flour and beat with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until batter is smooth, glossy and beginning to come away from the sides of the bowl, about 1 to 2 minutes.
5. Stir in the nuts. Scrape the batter into the lined pan and smoothen the top.
6. Bake in the lower third rack of the oven for about 20 minutes or until the brownies just begin to pull away from the sides of the pan.
7. Meanwhile, prepare and ice bath: Fill a roasting pan or large baking pan with ice cubes and about ¾ inch of water.
8. When the brownies are ready, remove from the pan from the oven and immediately set it in the ice bath. Take care not to splash water on the brownies. Let the brownies cool.
9. Remove the pan from the ice bath, lift up the ends of the parchment and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Cut into 16 or 25 squares.

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