Monday, 11 July 2011

Awesome Cocoa Brownies

Brownies are a beloved favourite for all chocolate fanatics. Don't be mistaken that it took me this long to try out some brownies, having started off with a chocolate cake recipe. No, i tried one a few months ago, for which i can't remember the recipe source. What I can remember is that it was not worthy of talking to you about. It looked more like a dense cake that forgot to rise or become fluffy and had cracks all over the surface. The husband had one look at the finished product and pronounced it ready for the trash can. I blamed myself, not the recipe, for the failure and kept away till now. But wait, why i am telling you so much about the wrong brownie. This post is about the one I baked last night, the one that turned out awesome. You don't need 70% dark chocolate for this brownie, just cocoa powder and butter and sugar and eggs will produce this rich, fudgey, chocolaty brownie.
My renewed inspiration to try out another brownie recipe came from an unlikely source - my physiotherapist. I got a severe neck sprain 10 days ago (still can’t figure out why), and me being me, kept away from hospitals for 3 days. Finding out the hard way that I was not getting better without treatment, I finally got myself an appointment with the doctor. She has not only cured my neck pain but during our (chatting) sessions also inspired me to bake a brownie. So she was given the honorary first taste of my awesome brownies this morning during my last physiotherapy session. She told me that her previous brownie was yesterday at a mall and mine definitely tasted better. Let me throw my humbleness out the window for a little while and even quote her words “these are the best brownies I have ever tasted”. I am on cloud nine and neck pain – what neck pain? Don’t compliments cure everything?
I used Cadburys cocoa powder, though the powder itself doesn’t appear very dark, the brownies did turn out like dark chocolate. The original recipe calls for 2/3 cup of walnut pieces but I only had half that amount in hand, and you can still taste walnuts in each piece. The original recipe also calls for 140 grams of unsalted butter. I used 100 grams of salted butter (I can’t seem to find unsalted butter in Hyderabad), skipped the salt and substituted the rest of the butter with 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Otherwise I haven’t modified the recipe much. I cut the brownies around 10 pm last night and my sleepiness probably comes through in the photographs. It was not a lack of effort, mind you, (I clicked more than 30 pics) I will just blame the lateness of the hour.
Adapted from SmittenKitchen. Yes, another one from there.

  • 100 grams unsalted butter + 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt - skip if using salted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, cold
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup walnut pieces (optional)
Place a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 325F. Line a 7x7 inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil leaving a little extra on two opposite sides to lift up the brownie out of the pan later.
Combine the butter, salt, sugar and cocoa powder in a glass bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Add the vegetable oil and give it a good stir. This will now look like a grainy paste with all the sugar granules. Allow to cool for a few minutes until the mixture becomes warm and is no longer hot. Stir in the vanilla. 
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing it in after each addition. Add the flour; mix it in until well blended into the batter. Now stir the batter vigorously for about 40 strokes (I am not entirely sure why this is necessary. It was a step in the original recipe and I followed it!) Fold the nuts in, if using, and spread evenly in the lined pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes (mine took 36 minutes) until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out with slight crumbs sticking to it. Allow to cool completely on a rack. You can then leave it in the fridge for a little while to be able to cut the brownies with clean lines. I made 25 mini squares. If you want larger pieces, you can cut it into 16 squares instead.
And hey, if you are still looking for a reason to make this right away, it’s a one bowl recipe, less cleaning afterwards.


  1. la u r a star!! and ur brownie's needs a big round of applause not jus becoz they taste jus so awesome but they jus made my day today!
    I hope u feel better to take on the world and keep showering ur tender loving care with ur culinary tricks and treats!!

  2. Thank you, your comments made my day too, possibly my week :-)

  3. Great brownie recipie, a keeper nice moist and rich.


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