xmlns:fb='http://www.facebook.com/2008/fbml' Cocoa Brownies--The Delicious Experiment.....

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Cocoa Brownies--The Delicious Experiment.....



December is a ridiculously busy month with year end chaos at work, decluttering my home in preparation for a new year, studying with my 8 year old for tests,  deciding, shopping, gift wrapping (bah humbug), get togethers....It's also the month I give myself a free pass to indulge....which guarantees that "eat less,  join the gym, abandon testing recipes" will once again appear in first place on my list of resolutions. 

I know what you are saying…Another dessert! I know, I am not sorry. I have so many recipes to share with you, I don’t know where to begin. The truth is all my recipes, notes, un-filed paperwork and bills which were piled high on my desk (next to a window) were thrown into a closet minutes before I hastily evacuated my home as Storm Sandy approached…and I am sure you can envision what that clutter looks like now…

This recipe was not intended to be a post, but since I was under the influence….of chocolate and sugar….it turned into one. You see, last week I had a craving. A craving for something decadent. Something utterly sinful. Something moist. Dense. Soft. Chewy. Dark. Delicious. Satisfying. With lots of chocolate flavor....[Did I mention I love chocolate!!!!!!!!!!!]


I unearthed a few brownie recipes and did some delicious experimenting…I used unsweetened cocoa powder(Trader Joe's), because that’s what I had on hand. Recipes with ½ cup of flour yielded a recipe that was too fudgy and chewy. I then increased the flour, which resulted in a brownie that was cake-like. So I removed the baking powder… I used one egg, then two, whisked it a lot, whisked it a little, tried with brown sugar, white sugar, a combination of brown and white. I ate and ate some more. Until I was so wired from the excess sugar consumption, I was forced to meditate to stabilize my heart rate..….. Ommmmm…..It was fun. While it lasted. 




With the nagging fact that my dreaded 40th year is approaching, [1 year, 1 month and 10 days or 406 days to be precise],  I predict that there will be an increase in the occurrence, intensity, severity of these cravings….…Another Ommmm….

These brownies are not too fudgy, not too stick to your enamels chewy, not too cakey, but are moist, chocolaty, with just the right texture (pour moi)….and divine. If these are the qualities you desire in a brownie, then whip up a batch immediately and have yourself a good ole time…. Consider the repercussions after January 1st, 2013...that is if the world doesn't end on December 21st.....


Cocoa Brownies

1 stick butter (1/2 cup or 8 tablespoons) (preferably organic)
2/3 cup all-purpose flour 
1/3 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder** (chocaholics please use 3/4 cup)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional

Preheat oven to 325°F.**

Melt butter in a bowl over sauce pan with water over medium heat...(or in a microwave). Cool.



Line an 8x8 inch baking pan with foil, leaving a two inch over hang on both sides. 

I wrapped it on the outside first, so it will easily fit into pan...

If you have an aversion to foil, use unbleached parchment paper. [UPDATE: I now use parchment paper and don't need to grease it]...




Mix flour and cocoa powder in a small bowl. Set aside.


To the "cooled" melted butter, add sugar, salt and vanilla. Mix briefly. Add eggs (one at a time) and mix vigorously until just combined (about 15-20 times total). [I added them all together here for picture purposes and the brownies were still great.....]..I used Himalayan salt...



Add the flour and cocoa mixture and fold in until smooth. Fold in nuts--if using. 
(OPTIONAL--sometimes I add the cocoa powder only(not flour) to the melted butter, so this step of "folding in" is easier..i.e. less flour mixture to fold in..)




Pour the batter into the baking pan and spread evenly [smooth top], pushing batter to the edges. 




****Bake @ 325°F for 30-35 minutes until edges become stiff but center is still soft and moist (but not uncooked) to the touch. Toothpick inserted in the middle should not be clean but have little crumbs. [30 minutes was adequate in my oven]




Lift out of pan using foil overhang and place on a wire rack to cool. Cut into 16 (or 9) pieces. 




I never said cut evenly....guess who ate the brownies on the lower right corner???


These brownies satisfy my need for a chocolate fix--on a regular basis--nowadays--as an appetizer, main course, snack ( I try to stay away from dessert, I hear it's no good for you ;-) ...)....but if i ever find a better recipe, I will be sure to post updates immediately....

**Recipe UPDATED 12-23--I increased the cocoa powder from 1/3 cup to 3/4 cup,  decreased the oven temperature to 325 and increased the cooking time from 20 to 30 minutes...even more moist and chocolaty...OMG!!! must...stop....experimenting...

****Wrap leftovers in plastic and store in the refrigerator. 



Hope you enjoy....

Cooking with love,
..for chocolate,
..and saying NO to boxed brownie mixes..,
Ria




1 comment:

sam said...

Looks yummy!!! Can't to try....

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