Plain Chocolate Brownies
What an imaginative name, I know. I’m not very good at naming recipes. This was originally from King Arthur Flour, claiming to be in between fudgy and cakey:
Fudgy, cakey, fudgy, cakey… can’t make up your mind? If you’re looking for a brownie that’s right in between those two styles, you’ve found it. These brownies combine a fudge brownie’s ultra-moist texture with a subtle cake-like rise, for the best of both worlds.
Most people generally fall into one of three brownie camps: fudgy, gooey, and moist; cakey; or somewhere in between. Me? I’m definitely not a cakey brownie person, but I do love them fudgy and gooey: the type of gooey that will leave a messy chocolate smear if you eat it with your fingers. Which you should. Also, they must have a shiny, crackled top, with irresistably chewy edges.
It’s difficult to achieve such perfection with one recipe, and that is why I forgive King Arthur Flour. Mine didn’t turn out fudgy at all; they were rather on the cakey side, but that could perhaps be remedied by reducing the baking time. Also, they introduce a unique method that will result in that signature crackly top that involves melting the butter and sugar together, but it didn’t really make a difference for me. I’ll still be on the hunt for a perfect brownie recipe, but I won’t hold my breath.
Ingredients you’ll need, minus the salt.
Melt the butter and sugar together (much easier with a microwave).
Beat the eggs with the rest of the dry ingredients.
Combine egg mixture with melted butter and sugar.
Slowly add in the flour in three additions, stopping just as it all looks combined.
Spread the batter into an 8×8″ square pan lined with baking parchment and place in the oven.
Let cool completely before cutting into squares with a sharp knife.
Plain Chocolate Brownies
- 115 g butter
- 190 g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 75 g Dutch-process cocoa
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp espresso powder (optional)
- 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 75 g flour, sifted
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Melt the butter using either a saucepan on low heat, or in the microwave. Once that’s done, stir in the sugar and bring it back to the heat to let the sugar dissolve into the butter, and set aside.
Break the eggs into another bowl. Sift the cocoa, baking powder, salt, and espresso (if using: it brings out the flavour of the cocoa and you can’t taste the coffee) over the eggs, and beat until smooth; it will be very stiff. To the egg mixture, add the butter and sugar, stirring until homogenous.
Add the flour in three additions so that any mess is minimised, and mix together until there are no lumps. Pour this into an 8×8″ pan lined with parchment paper, and bake for 25 minutes (note: the original recipe stated to bake for 30 minutes; I found this to be on the verge of overbaking. Use the toothpick test if you aren’t sure). Let it cool for half an hour to an hour before cutting into squares with a sharp knife. Resist the temptation to do so earlier, lest you end up with a crumbly mess!
Makes 16 brownies.
Like I said, these came out slightly overdone, but I’m not going to complain when I have an entire box of chocolate brownies to devour!