Here’s a treat for you and me this 2012 – the Bestest (ya, I know Wren and Martin are turning in their graves) Brownies I ever made. So first – HAPPY 2012! May we eat, drink and be merry cause tomorrow we may have to die-t! (Mayan calendar doomsday prediction and all). And second – you guys HAVE to try this recipe. Make it your New Year resolution. At least you’ll end up keeping one! Why is this so amazing? Well, its made of cocoa not tempered chocolate. Yes, you heard me – Cocoa. I know all the purist will disagree that only molten, melting chocolate can produce the best brownies but I have to admit, your preconceived notions will be shattered like mine. This recipe is all over the net for the best brownies ever – so a thousand or so people can’t be all faking it. And more importantly I would not tom-tom my a$$ off about some not quite there product! (Well, atleast not till April Fools Day ;). So go ahead and indulge. I on the other hand, will pray every day that you don’t get fatter this year. (I have to do something to absolve myself after leading you all into temptation!) HAPPY 2012!!!
Bestest Cocoa Brownies
Prep time: 15 mins
Baking time: 35 mins
Makes: 16 squares
What you need:
140 gms / 10 Tbsp unsalted Butter
1 ¼ cups/ 280 grams Sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp unsweetened Cocoa powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp pure Vanilla extract
2 large Eggs, cold
1/2 cup all purpose Flour
2/3 cup walnut pieces (optional) – I din’t use any
What to do:
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 160°C. Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.
Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and set the bowl in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and hot enough that you want to remove your finger fairly quickly after dipping it in to test. Remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot. It looks fairly gritty at this point, but don’t fret — it smoothens out once the eggs and flour are added. (Note: Many people who have tried this recipe have found that this step works just fine in the microwave. I din’t try it cause I din’t feel like :P)
Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. (I used a beater for 5 minutes.) Stir in the nuts, if using. Spread evenly in the lined pan.
Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 35 minutes (Medrich’s suggestion is 25 but it took me at least 10 minutes longer to get them set.) Let it cool completely on a rack. (A better option is to toss it in the fridge for a couple of hours. This is only so that you can make clean lines in the brownie while cutting it.)
Lift up the ends of the parchment or foil liner, and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Cut into 16 squares. Serve with New Year aplomb! 😀