Sunday, May 30, 2010

Chocolate brownies

Sunday summer afternoons are meant for lazying around, aren't they? Last summer when the heat would be unbearable to do any outside chores, my husband and I used to drive upto a nearby Starbucks adjacent to a California Mission. We would buy some coffee, snacks and then sit under the cool shade of the large ancient oak and beech trees overlooking the mission, savoring our treats and chatting mindlessly about this and that. My favorite treats were the chocolate brownie bites that Starbucks used to carry which I used to LOVE! I say used to because unfortunately atleast in the area where I live Starbucks doesn't carry them anymore. They were the best tiny indulgence ever! Just tiny enough that you won't feel guilty about eating them and oh so tasty! A perfect companion for an impromptu coffee picnic. We would get 3 brownie bites for $1 - one for each of us and the last one was guilt sharing one that both of us would try to pass on to the other but at the end we would always end up splitting it in half (which was a feat considering how tiny the bites were to begin with!).

Anyway, so coming back to the recipe, after Starbucks stopped carrying brownie bites I started looking for a good brownie recipe. My rule of thumb is to not bake anything with more than 1/2C sugar or 1/2stick of butter and definitely stay away from the ones which have both! But what the heck, rules are sometimes meant for breaking, right ;) specially for a REALLY good brownie!

After trying many brownie recipes I finally settled on this Joy of Baking recipe. The recipe is not low fat but the brownies turned out so wonderfully moist and chocolaty that every byte of it was worth the extra eliptical time in the gym :D These are not the cakey type of brownies and were not super sweet either. They were moist inside and had a flaky crust on the outside. If you have to incur the wrath of the fitness Godess then it may as well be for something totally awesome like this, right!

Recipe:
Ingredients:
3/4C all purpose flour
1C white granulated sugar
1/2C chopped walnuts
1stick butter (1/2C)
5ounces dark chocolate (I used Trader Joe's 70% cocoa dark chocolate)
2Tbsp cocoa powder
1/4tsp salt
1tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs

Recipe:
** Use good quality chocolate. Don't use a chocolate for baking that you don't like for nibbling.
** Melt the chocolate and butter well until no lumps are remaining. Everytime you add a new ingredient to the melted choco-butter mixture, make sure to stir and mix well before adding the next one.
** Its very easy to overcook the brownies which makes them dry. After about 30mins of baking add a toothpick in the center of the brownie. If the toothpick comes out clean, the brownies are probably a bit overcooked already, remove immediately. Ideally the toothpick should come out mostly clean but with some small moist lumps of brownies stuck to it (excellent tip found from the JoB link above).
** Keep the brownies in the center of the over during baking.
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F
  2. Chop chocolate into smaller pieces and cube the butter into smaller pieces. Add both to a stainless steel pot.
  3. Using a double-boiler method, melt the chocolate and the butter. (Hold the stainless steel pot with chocolate and butter over barely simmering water and stir continuously until the chocolate and the butter is melted)
  4. When both the chocolate and butter is completely melted, remove from heat.
  5. Add sugar and vanilla extract. Mix well.
  6. Then add cocoa powder and eggs (1 at a time; mix well after each egg has been added).
  7. Add salt, flour and walnuts. Mix well.
  8. Butter a 9" round baking pan and add the mixture to the pan.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out with small moist lumps.

33 comments:

  1. You wouldnt believe it, i was planning to make these yesterday! Ahh you read my mind, brownies look excellent!

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  2. They do look perfect !
    Haven't entered the baking world yet when I do this is sure bookmarked :)

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  3. interesting preparation. Looks superb n yummy dear.

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  4. Did you ask for brownies with coffee? Oh yes! always welcome! Your brownies are super cute. love the simple pic. :)

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  5. Sunday and Brownies...thats so so interesting PJ, my pal u sure had an absolutely wonderful weekend sweety!!!
    HEy have 2 US giveaways gng on , please do hop by and a very interesting one coming up!!!

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  6. Gorgeous brownies, i can have them anytime..drooling here..

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  7. Look absolutely delicious and moist!

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  8. PJ, u made me nostalgic, I am reminded of our stay in Goa where both of us would love to sit in CCD, listening music, opp the beach in Panjim or generally sit on the beach watching the sea, it was pure bliss and I do miss out that.
    Brownies are a favorite and for non guilty indulgence I make them sometimes using sugarfree natura. Yours are looking perfectly baked.

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  9. Looks so yummy and worth trying one

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  10. Wooow!!!different preparation n brownies looks perfect dear..

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  11. delectable brownies PJ..UK waether is down at the moment..so stuck in the house..

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  12. Oh my god, i made the exact same thing about 2 days baks and its an absolute fav..has made it way thru many occasions...weather here sucks....have a nice time

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  13. These look simply yumm and I wldn't mind doing those extra eliptical rounds for them either! And joy of baking is like baking bible for me most of the time! How is your work now? Hope things have calmed down in your work place and you are having a great memorial day weekend.

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  14. Weekend summer afternoons , lazying around and some delectable brownies... Wow!!! Cant ask for more :-)
    Have a great day dear PJ!

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  15. This is so yummy and looks perfect PJ....

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  16. Parita, these brownies were delicious. hope you make them soon :)

    Kanchan, i am not much in baking world either; except for occasional banana breads or brownies!

    Jay, thanks!

    Sonia, you should stop by sometime and i'll make you some brownies and coffee again ;)

    Mia, sounds great! I'll be off to visit the give-away in a jiffy.

    Priya, thanks!

    Miri, thanks!

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  17. Pari, Goa sure is a pure bliss! Making the brownies with sugarfree natura sounds great.. equally delicious and a bit less guilt too =p

    Sushma, thanks!

    Padhu, thanks!

    Sathya, thanks!

    Jagruti, weather here is very fluctuating.. sometimes sunny like summer summertimes rainy like winter. this weekend was luckily bright and sunny :)

    An open book, sounds great! look forward to your take on the brownies too :)

    Nithu, thanks!

    Preeti, work is much better now.. still gets crazy at times but luckily the weekend was free.. which is more than what i could have asked for this time :) thanks for asking dear! have a great Memorial Monday off.

    Rachana, thanks!

    Treat and Trick, thanks!

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  18. Lovely! I won't show these to my kids or I'd be making them very soon (or maybe I want them for myself too, can blame it on the kids always)


    Your work is creeping into the blog PJ :) I would love them brownie "bytes" too. Or where they called bytes? Around CA you never know.

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  19. they look wonderful...have you done any research on what we can use instead of eggs..I have read many but want to know something which is tried one

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  20. Indo, lol! and you are so right, ofcourse :D Glad you noticed it.. working with bits and bytes the whole week makes you type brownie "bytes".. lol

    Sayali, thanks! No, I have not baked a brownie without eggs so far. I have baked a banana bread which turned out just fine; a bit more dense may be but tasted fine. Google shows a lot of eggless brownie recipes; but sorry, none that i have tried yet :(

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  21. If you are looking for someone to share those brownies I am here to help ;).They look so tempting!

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  22. Brownies are definitely worth breaking the rules for! Sometimes you've gotta live on the edge :P

    These look amazing! I've never had the Starbucks ones but I'm pretty sure yours take the cake.

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  23. Oh wow yummy brownies..wish I could grab some!!
    Beautiful clicks.

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  24. Such an divine looking brownies. can i have one? :-) Looks soooo perfect and lovely click.

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  25. OMG they looks divine.. Ur making me drool and crave something chocolatey now PJ. I love brownies.. this has come out soooooo good and wish I am there to share one from you dear.

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  26. PJ, absolutely.. thanks for the help ;)

    Joanne, well said! rules are surely meant to be broken :D

    Panchpakwan, thanks!

    Shriya, absolutely, I'll send some your way ;)

    Pavithra, thanks! I would so love to share these with you, Pavithra!

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  27. Oh brownies make me go weak in the knees! Yours are baked to perfection.

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  28. PJ,
    Thanks for sharing the valuable tips with us. Brownies look fantastic.

    Deepa
    Hamaree Rasoi

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  29. Gosh that is a decadent brownie, no doubt it taste better than starbucks :)

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  30. brownies are so addictive, an ur photo is tempting.

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  31. I *know* that these were really good! Now thanks for the recipe too.

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