Hello friends – how goes the long weekend? Good you say? Let’s make it great by rustling up a pan of these brownies. All it takes is some undecidedly fancy ingredients to get some pretty darn delicious results. Now I have had a go-to brownie recipe for a long time now, it is quick and delicious. With a few notable exceptions other brownie recipes have left me feeling a little ‘meh’ especially the ones that have involved elaborate procedures and recommended that I wait 24 hours before trying a piece – laughable really.
When I came across this one from Cookie + Kate I had a feeling. For one she takes crackly tops seriously, as do I. For another she seems to really get that a brownie, a perfect brownie, should be mostly fudgy but with a little bit of heft. A rich caramelly back note, a touch of coffee and a little extra cocoa powder doesn’t hurt. Also I think the stirring is kinda magical – the last 50 strokes at the end – don’t skip it.
Speaking of skipping things, I think I may have failed to mention something – the South Asian Bloggers Network. A duo of wonderful women came up with the idea of bringing South Asian bloggers under one banner to help foster the advantages of a community both in terms of blogging support and sponsorship. You can read more about it here.
Well the same duo also came up with a challenge a few weeks ago – a two week blogging challenge, a post on each weekday for two weeks straight making for a total of 10 posts over 14 days. Bring it on I say! Actually moment of truth: I totally panicked and am now faking a cool bring-it-on-its-no-bigs attitude. What I am genuinely excited about is bringing you a slew of yummies over the next two weeks – as my insta followers now I have been cooking and baking away and now it’s time to get blogging!
Hope you enjoy this sweet start to the next two weeks!
The Very BEST Cocoa Brownies
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch slice
1¼ cups sugar
¾ cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon espresso powder or very finely ground coffee (optional)
2 cold large eggs
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
⅔ cup flour
2 ounces dark or semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped (or ⅓ cup chocolate chips)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit with a rack in the lower third of the oven. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper and grease the paper. Now time to brown some butter, melt it in a heavy bottomed saucepan and cook stirring until it turns golden brown with caramelly bits. Remove the pan from heat and briskly stir in the sugar to allow it to dissolve – Kate suggests this has much to do with them crackly tops and I agree. Now throw in the cocoa powder, sea salt, baking powder and espresso powder. Mix well. Let the mixture cool for 5 minutes.
Energetically mix in the eggs one at a time with a spatula or wooden spoon. When the mixture looks thick, shiny and well blended, then pop in the vanilla extract and the flour. Stir until you no longer see streaks of flour. VERY IMPORTANT: 50 Strokes, put some elbow grease into it people.
Fold in the chocolate chunks or chips. Spread the batter in the lined pan, then use a knife to make light swirls in the top of the batter. Bake on the lower rack for about 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Cool the brownies in the pan on a baking rack, remove from the pan by lifting the parchment paper once cool and cut into squares.