I spent Friday night with some deadly cough-causing germs, a mug of hot water, an entire 9″ pizza and Julie & Julia. It is amazing what good food, and a movie about good food can do for the spirit. I’ve watched it before, but had forgotten just how badly Julie & Julia makes you want to race into the kitchen and churn out miracle after miracle.
So. I made these they-are-so-good-they-should-be-illegal brownies, some incredible peanut butter scones (coming soon) and mushroom sandwiches with homemade pesto for a lazy Saturday breakfast. Couple that with some great ravioli and pizza outside home, and the cough-germs, while still there, suddenly didn’t seem so evil.
Julia Child said “I like to eat!” when her husband asked her what she really likes to do. And just like Mrs Child, I do it well.
So, these brownies. Rich, chocolatey, super fudgy, chewy brownies studded with butterscotch chips. I won’t pretend they are healthy because they are ‘flourless’. But I will tell you I’d have a hard time choosing between these brownies and these. Or even these.
Making them is dangerously easy. If you can melt stuff, you can make these brownies. I’ve never used cornflour in brownies before, but they are essential to hold them together, according to the original recipe. I reduced the sugar to accommodate the sweet butterscotch chips as well as the sweetness of the cooking chocolate. I used a fabulous bar of Swiss dark chocolate and cocoa a friend got me from her Euro trip 🙂
My brownies took longer to cook than the recipe stated and I was worried they were still a bit moist after taking them out of the oven. I shot these almost immediately and noticed later than they seem to firm up on their own. I’d advise not going beyond 35 minutes in the oven to ensure fudgy, but not overbaked brownies. A few moist crumbs on a toothpick are ok. Remember that there’s no flour, so there’s nothing to absorb all the liquid.
A bit of melting, a bit of stirring and a lot of eating. That’s pretty much all you need to know about these. Get started!
What you’ll need:
6 tbsp butter (use 1/4 tsp salt if the butter is unsalted)
1/2 cup caster sugar (increase to 3/4 cup if you are not adding sweetened chocolate chips)
226 gms dark cooking chocolate, roughly chopped
2 eggs, room temp
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp cocoa powder
3 tbsp cornflour
A handful of your favourite kind of chocolate chips (optional)
What to do:
1. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and then add the sugar, stirring till blended. Add the chocolate and continue stirring till it melts completely. Keep lifting the pan off the heat for a couple of seconds to avoid burning the mixture.
2. Pour the mixture into a bowl, allow to cool for a couple of minutes and then add the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla and mix well. Preheat the oven to 175 C and grease a square or rectangular baking pan.
3. Using a small sieve (I used a tea strainer), sift the cocoa and cornflour into the batter, then the salt, if using. Mix the batter well and beat with a hand mixer for a couple of minutes till smooth and glossy. I found just using a spoon wasn’t enough for this. Fold in the chocolate chips now.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared dish and smooth it out. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, checking to see if the center is set, the top gets that lovely flaky crust and a toothpick comes out clean except for a few moist crumbs.
5. Set aside to cool for at least 1 hour so that you cut the brownies out easily.
Try not to eat them in one go 🙂 (But I won’t judge if you do).