Brownies-made easy

8 Feb

Hey, thanks for stopping by! I’m sure you get cravings for certain things, for the moment I’m on a Brownie kick. With ingredients calling me softly from the pantry in the early morning hours, I’ve found myself at all hours trying to perfect a formula that is dense (like me), gooey and has that shiny top crust that begs to be cut into. So let’s get started and lay out the ingredients; this is for one, eight inch tin.

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6 ounces, Unsalted Butter, cut into chunks

6 ounces, Semi-Sweet Chocolate (chip or chopped form is great, we’re using mini chips today)

6 ounces, All Purpose Flour

6 ounces, Sugar

2 Eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon, Vanilla or Liquor of Choice (We’re using Bourbon)

3/4 teaspoon Salt (Kosher, please)

1 cup Toasted Nuts of Choice (We’re using Walnuts), rough-chopped

 

Other items you’ll need;

bottom-lined baking pan, saucepan, spatula, sieve (optional), 1/4 size baking pan, or cookie sheet

 

Here’s the method- Oven to 350

With ingredients laid out and ready to go, place butter into the sauce pan and melt over medium heat.

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Once melted, add the sugar and the chocolate, and continue to melt while stirring. Note: you’ll want to see the sugar not fully dissolved, the sandy-granular texture is a good thing, just look to melt the chocolate at this point.

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Set off the heat for approximately 15 minutes, it needs this time to think about what it’s done.

While this is cooling down, take a moment  and toss the nuts in the flour. I’ve found that lightly coating nuts with flour suspends them in the finished batter, so they won’t all sink to the bottom of the pan. If you find that you cannot get most of the flour off, take a sieve and shake nuts over the flour bowl, setting the lightly floured nuts aside.

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After 15 minutes, add the eggs and vanilla/liquor to the mixture, stirring fully to incorporate. This resting time is needed so when you mix in the eggs, they won’t cook, but will incorporate into the batter. Note: Be sure to stir/fold the eggs in and not give into temptation by wanting to whisk, which would incorporate air. Remember you’re looking for a dense brownie, not a cake.

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Add the flour and salt, and stir in to just incorporate, and add the nuts.

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All of this goes into the lined pan, give it a tap on the counter to dislodge any air bubbles that may be trapped and into the oven for 45-50 minutes (watch that timer).

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To make thing a little easier, I usually place the cake pan onto a cookie sheet or 1/4 pan, this does two things; handling is so much easier & the additional insulation from the cookie sheet gives the finished brownie a nicer bottom (no burnt edges or bottom).

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Be sure to check for done-ness by sticking a skewer into the center of the brownie, it should come out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Once cooled, run an offset spatula around the edge, and flip over to remove. Remove the paper liner and slice to enjoy!

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Finishing Notes: The flavors can be manipulated, a little Rosemary or Thyme, or the addition of 1/2 teaspoon of Coarse Cracked Black Pepper would be welcomed, as would a little Cinnamon & Cayenne. A little candied Ginger, Garden Mint or 1/2 Lemon Zest would certainly brighten this brownie. Different choices of nuts; Macadamia, Almond, English Walnut, Pecan will give compliment the type of chocolate used.

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