Dense. Chewy. Chocolatey. Eat them cold or eat them warm. With or without ice-cream. Dotted with nuts, mixed with peanut butter or cheesecake. For something that's just a brown square of dense sponge, they sure are good, to put it rather mildly.
In my baking adventures I've made complicated cakes, detailed cookies and pretty cupcakes. I had yet to make a Brownie, and trust me, they're so easy to make I felt embarassed when I made my first batch. *blush*
I've been watching a lot of Ina Garten's "The Barefoot Contessa" on Food Network* and she made what looked like killer Brownies, so when I finally decided to make them (still embarassed), I ended up looking at her recipe, along with a few others (read: over 50. Boy there are a lot of Brownie recipes out there!).
Now, as much as I love watching her show (there's just something about her, like the Aunt I wish I could have), I just don't trust her recipes. Sorry! I'm just not sure why pepper has to go into everything (well, nearly, at least it's left out of things like cake) and why lots of flavour = 2 to 3 tablespoons of salt. That's just going to make it salty.
Sorry, I digress.
The point is, while I think that her recipes as a whole are not to my liking, taking the base of her recipe and tweaking it, is to my liking. As was the case with these Brownies.
When I first made them I found them to be far too bitter (possibly an error in translation of US to European chocolate terms) and the coffee flavour came through quite strongly, rather than just enhancing the chocolate. Second time round, a few things tweaked and adding pecan nuts and milk chocolate chunks, I was in Brownie heaven!
Chewy, moist, dense, chocolatey, nutty, eaten warm or cold, these babies will cure any chocolate craving.... for a year! :D
400g Good Quality Dark Chocolate (70% cocoa mass)
225g Unsalted Butter
3 Extra Large Eggs
1 1/2 cups Granulated White or Golden Sugar
2/3 cup All Purpose Flour
1 Tbsp Instant Coffee Granules
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 Tbsp Baking Powder
2 cups Pecan Nuts, roughly chopped
200g Milk Chocolate, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp Salt
- Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C Fan Assisted)
- Grease and flour a 25cm x 25cm dish or baking sheet
- In a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water, melt together the unsalted butter and dark chocolate
- Allow to cool for about 10-15mins
- In a large bowl lightly beat together the eggs, instant coffee, vanilla and granulated sugar
- Slowly stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool completely to room temperature
- In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt
- Fold into the cooled chocolate mixture
- Fold in 1 1/2 cups pecan nuts and the chopped milk chocolate
- Pour mixture into the prepared dish
- Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of pecan nuts on top of the mixture
- Bake for 20 minutes
- Remove from the oven and rap the baking dish on the counter to let the air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough
- Carry on baking for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean (crumbs are ok, wet batter is not)
- Allow to cool thoroughly at room temperature on a cooling rack
- Cut into squares and serve!
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten's Outrageous Brownies on Food Network
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 weeks
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 weeks
Wrap well and freeze for up to 6 months
*I actually really do love watching Ina's show & I really do wish she was my aunt, she's inspired some amazing meals from my kitchen!