October 01, 2006
a slice of brownie
a slice of brownie
with a cup of good espresso
or probably a long black will do
Whenever I eat a slice of brownie, my heart sings. Not only because the chocolate tastes so goooood, but also the nuts which enrich the flavour tends to melt me down, to the bottom of the baking paper, to the very last piece.
I love all sort of goodies made from chocolate. And I love to use my 70% chocolate bars. Call me a chocoholic, but it's true. Chocolate makes me happy.
tra la la tri li li...
By the way, I've tried many brownie recipes. Some recipes offer simple ingredients (what's so or not so simple about chocolate brownies?) with or without eggs, others offer much richer versions with adding chopped nuts, chocolate chips, or even cream cheese and berries. I've tried these lots a lot. They are all nice, they have their own characteristic of flavour. What I don't like about brownie is that they sometimes become solid like a brick when left eaten for 2 - 3 days. I want them to stay soft, not to lose its melt-in-the-mouth sensation, until the very last slice, to the very last crumbs.
Until I've tried a recipe from David Herbert's (again) simple cookbook (boy, this man is truly making simple recipes which works EVERY time!). The sponge is soft and yes-oh-so-melt-in-the-mouth sensation is there. The crust which is developed on the surface of the cake is definitely a great start to follow a deeper bite. My suggestion is use your best chocolate and the freshest ingredients as much as you can, then you won't go wrong!
by David Herbert of The Perfect Cookbook
125g (4oz) dark chocolate, roughly chopped (I use 70% cocoa)
125g (4 oz) unsalted butter, cubed
1 1/2 cups caster (superfine) sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
100g (3 1/2 oz) pecans or walnuts, lightly toasted and roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 160C (315F, Gas Mark 2-3). Grease a 20x30cm (8x12 in) baking tin and line the base and sides with baking paper. Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of hot water, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Allow to cool. In an electric mixer, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla essence for 3-4 minutes, or until pale and fluffy. Beat in the cooled chocolate mixture. Add the flour and beat until smooth. Stir in the nuts. Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking tin and smooth the surface. Bake for 30 minutes, or until dark brown and the top has formed a crust. Allow to cool in the tin. Remove and cut into squares. Dust with icing (confectioners') sugar to serve.
Tips from David:
To make orange and macadamia brownies, omit the pecans or walnuts and stir into the mixture 2 tsps of finely grated orange zest and 100g (3 1/2 oz) of roughly chopped macadamia nuts.
Brownies can be drizzled with melted chocolate or spread with chocolate icing, or frosting.