Friday, August 24, 2012

Dangerous Cocoa Fudge Brownies

    I have never been known for being lady-like or for having anything less than a potty mouth on me. So I shall go ahead and exclaim in the most unladylike manner: "I did it! I f***ing did it!" The 'it' that I am referring to is my quest to make a fudge brownie using only cocoa powder and no actual chocolate. A search on the Internet will show you that most fudge brownie recipes use semisweet/dark chocolate for the texture and flavour.

Made using ingredients you probably already have at home

      This is the first time that I have baked two brownies in one week. Surprisingly I have not received any complaints from my husband, who does not have a very sweet tooth. Having said that, he liked the previous brownies so much that he had 3 pieces in one night. As for this brownie, we had 2 pieces each. He liked those brownies better because he "likes frosting on his brownie". Pfft! What does he know!! Anyway, it should not be any wonder if both of us gain a few kilos in the next month.
       I woke up early one morning and was still thinking of finding the perfect recipe for fudgy brownies. I told the husband that I could try a recipe I've just seen but maybe he doesn't want more brownies in the house? No. He said "Go for it!" So I did, and I am glad for it.
      I think that I am entitled to changing the name of this recipe because I made alterations to it. I hardly ever follow recipes to the T. I have chosen to name this 'dangerous' because they really are. These brownies have a shiny, sticky skin and definitely leave no room for arguments about whether it is a cake or a brownie. They are soft, chewy and dense. They are perfect!
     The original recipe can be found here. Like I said, I altered the recipe. It was mostly because I had to, not so much that I wanted to make changes to the recipe. I did not have enough butter and cocoa powder at home so I improvised with the margarine I use on my bread. Please use the full quantity of butter of you have it at home. My recipe is as follows:

Dangerous Cocoa Fudge Brownies
makes 12 pieces (or more if you cut them smaller)

140g unsalted butter/margarine 
*(I used 110g butter and 40g Becel Light Margarine)
1 cup plus 1 TBSP caster sugar (approx. 215g)
(add another TBSP if you like sweeter brownies)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (approx. 89g)
1 tsp instant espresso powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, cold
1/2 cup plain flour, sifted (66g)

1. Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease and line a 8x8inch (or slightly smaller) square baking pan with baking paper or foil, leaving some overhang on the sides.
2. Heat some water in a small pot till simmering. Combine sifted flour and baking powder.
3. Put the butter, sugar and cocoa powder in a heatproof bowl. Put the bowl over the pot of simmering water (bain marie) and stir the contents periodically with a spoon until melted together smoothly. 
4. Take the bowl off the heat and in the espresso powder and vanilla. 
5. Put aside to cool until you can dip your little finger into the mixture for 2 seconds without burning it.

6. Now add one egg into the mixture and stir until well mixed. Repeat with the second egg.
7. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour in 3 batches until your mixture is smooth.
* I refused to whisk or beat the mixture at any point because I wanted as little air in it as possible.
8. Pour the mixture evenly into the baking pan and put into preheated oven.
9. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out with a little batter clinging to it. This took 20 minutes for me. 
10. Leave to cool in the pan for 15 minutes then lift the brownie out by the overhang and put in the fridge to chill. When cold, cut into pieces.

You don't want the edges to be hard or burnt so watch the oven carefully. The brownie should look shiny and not be wobbly when you shake the pan.


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