Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Baking Blitz: Chocolate Brownies

Well, I took the advice of commenter Daniel and chose brownies as my second lunchtime baking effort. For anyone who didn't see last week's cookie post I decided it would be an amusing challenge to attempt to bake something delicious in one of my lunch breaks each week. It may have worked out better for me today if I had also asked for Daniel's brownie recipe, since his baking is known to please many, and I had some minor stresses with the one I chose!

The recipe had been discussed on the Foodlovers forum, and had rave reviews from several people who had attempted it - so I figured it was a pretty good bet. I wonder if I'm just not much of a brownie person, because despite using good chocolate (~50% Callebaut) I'm just not excited by them at all. In fact, I am having no trouble resisting the platter sitting beside me, still half-full of brownie - very unusual for me! Everyone else seems pretty keen on them, but I do wonder about the honesty of people who are being offered free food - I tend to think they are extra nice in the hopes I'll keep bringing baked goods to work with me. ;-)

Unfortunately it took a little too long to cook - I went over my lunch hour by 15 minutes - and I think it would be improved by cooking at a lower temperature for longer still, as the outside was a bit dry by the time the middle was cooked. Overall they worked out well, though, and the half I put slivered almonds on top of was especially delicious as they toasted up beautifully and provided some crunch.

Unfortunately I can't show you the steps involved as I had run out of camera batteries and had to put the one set I had on a quick charge. Doesn't that batter look delicious, though?

To spice up the basic batter a bit I sprinkled slivered almonds on top of one batch, and broke up white chocolate buttons on top of the other. Both were delicious toppings; for me the almonds took the lead as they were crunchy and nutty (I omitted any other type of nut from the recipe, as I didn't have any on hand). The white chocolate was also pretty good, though, it kinda caramelised. Mmmm...

Chocolate Brownie
2 1/2 cups chocolate chips
350g butter
1 Tbsp vanilla essence
5 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
2 cups cashew or macadamian nuts (optional)
icing sugar (to dust)

Preheat oven to 150 C. Melt chocolate chips and butter in short bursts in the microwave, then add vanilla essence.

Beat eggs and sugar until thick and creamy. Beat in the cooled chocolate mixture. Fold in the flour and nuts.

Pour mixture into a 25cm x 30cm tin (or two 25cm x 15cm tins) and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until firm around the edges but still soft in the middle. Cool and cut into bite size pieces, and dust with icing sugar to serve.

The brownies were pretty popular with my colleagues. In my haste I actually overcooked them slightly, but no-one seemed to mind! And now I have an excuse to make milk ice-cream to jazz up the leftovers - look out for that in the next few days. ;-) 

Recipe found on www.foodlovers.co.nz forums, originally from the Jazz Bar in Queenstown via Annabelle White. 


  1. I love it when the white choc caramelises. This is my favourite brownie recipe:

    I firmly believe a brownie needs three distinct layers: crunchy top, gooey middle, and fudgey bottom. That recipe ticks all the boxes. The caster sugar is vital for the texture.

  2. Thanks, Sarah! Will definitely have a go at that one. :-) I pretty much always use caster sugar anyway, except if I'm melting it.

    I like your definition of brownie - when I was trying my brownie today, I was wondering why people bother with brownies at all - your description there reminds me how good they can be. ;-)


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