Sunday, November 22, 2009

Brownies by Request

Mmmmm brownies. My favourite recipe for brownies is from Donna Hay's Modern Classics Book 2 (it's reproduced in her Simple Essentials Chocolate book with 1/4 of a cup less flour). I had a special request for brownies about a week ago and didn't quite make it happen, so with the rain pouring down outside today I thought it was a good day for their chocolatey rich goodness. Unfortunately, despite making these more than 10 times before, today they didn't turn out the best. I could have denied the disaster, but would that offend the blogging gods?

As you can see, I was unable to keep all the yolks together when I cracked the eggs - I think it looks like a smiley face sticking its tongue out.

The cocoa I use is Cote d'Ivoire Red African Cocoa from Coffee Snobs which is 100% cocoa, no sugar, no fillers, no dairy, no nuts,  gluten free and delicious. I usually use a 60-70% dark chocolate like Lindt when I make these, but this time I used Cadbury Old Gold mildly dark chocolate (45%) as there were 8 220g blocks sitting in the pantry from a special offer that involved the purchase of 12 blocks for $5.99 from 1-day!   Unfortunately I can't blame my failure on using a different chocolate than usual, as I have produced quality brownies using this chocolate before.

I thought I'd make brownie muffins, and just reduce the cooking time. Can you say burnt? How about stuck?

They were only a little crisp on top and I didn't need to actually present them to anyone except my boyfriend, who luckily understands that I can't always be perfect, and the deliciousness was still there - a little drier than normal, but still quite good.

What did I learn today?
  1. Don't decide that your baking powder is probably a bit old and throw in a bit more to compensate, it's a brownie, not a volcano, it doesn't really need to rise that much.
  2. Donna knows best. If she says use a slice tin, use a slice tin.
  3. Give up on maintaining a constant temperature in my oven, or even achieving the temperature I want - today it was set at 220, preheated for 30 minutes, and fluctuated from 130 to 190, when I wanted 160.
Chocolate Brownies - Donna Hay Modern Classics Book 2
200g dark chocolate, chopped
250g butter, chopped
1 3/4 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted
1 1/4 cups plain flour, sifted
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees. Place the chocolate and butter in a saucepan over low heat and stir until smooth. Allow to cool slightly.

Place the sugar, eggs, cocoa, flour and baking powder in a bowl. Add the chocolate mixture and mix until combined. Pour the mixture into a 20cm square slice tin lined with non-stick baking paper. Bake for 50 minutes or until set. Cool slightly in the tin.


  1. "It's a brownie, not a volcano" --- that made me laugh! :D

  2. Hey Agnes, I'm surprised it took me so long to realise it. It's quite obvious now I think about it, chocolate treat, geological structure.....

  3. Amusing and good post. I made a batch earlier in the week and got burnt brownies too. What I learnt was to loosely cover the tin with a piece of foil and remove it in the last 10 or so minutes so it can crust up without burning or changing the temperature. The kitchen is about experimenting, so great job!

  4. TP, I've been successful before with this recipe, but the last couple of times, not so great. I'll try the foil idea, I miss the gooey centre I used to be able to achieve. I think that might do the trick.


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