Monday, September 15, 2008

International Chocolate Day

Did you know that 13 September is International Chocolate Day? I don't know who decreed it. Isn't every day Chocolate Day?

Recently, I offered to bake a co-worker something for her birthday and she requested brownies. I don't have a favourite brownie recipe so I consulted a few different recipes from some of the doyennes of New Zealand's cooking scene Ruth Pretty, Annabelle Langbein and Jo Seagar. Just to make sure that these kiwi women had the right idea about an American recipe I consulted Dorie Greenspan's Baking, from my home to yours.

The recipes were quite similar in that they all called for almost equal quantities of butter and sugar and all of my recipes needed 4 eggs. The major difference was in the quantity of flour. Brownies are not my favourite thing but when I have them I like them fudgy and intensely chocolately. None of those cakey textured, pale things that try to pass themselves off as brownies. No sirree Bob.

This picture belies the brownie's dark colour - I just took the photo to show the dry, shiny top. The hole in the middle is where I tested the brownies with a thin knife - just like they say you should. My knifeblade came out a bit gooey but I reckoned on them continuing to cook in the pan and crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

The verdict - YUM

Chocolate Brownies

225g/8 ounces butter
200g/7 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups plain flour

Preheat your oven to 180/350 degrees
Grease and line an 18 x 13 pan
Melt butter and chocolate over a low heat
Combine melted chocolate with sugar
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition
Stir in vanilla essence
Pour into baking tin
Bake for 35 minutes until set
Cut into squares

Here's a recipe from one of my co-workers. No photo I'm afraid but I can personally vouch for their deliciousness. Please note that the imperial measurement conversions are not precise but I'm sure that exact measurements aren't as critical for brownies as they might be for a cake.

Michelle's Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Brownies

150g/5 ounces good quality dark chocolate
150g/5 ounces butter
4 eggs
340g/12 ounces brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
140g/5 1/2 ounces self-raising flour
70g/2 1/2 ounces cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
100g/3 1/2 ounces chopped good quality dark chocolate
~1/2 cup frozen raspberries (can use walnuts or anything else)

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F
Line a cake tin with baking paper
Melt the first amount of the chocolate and butter and mix
Leave to cool
Whisk the eggs and mix with the brown sugar
Add the vanilla
Sift the flour, cocoa and salt into the mixture
Add the melted butter and chocolate and the chopped chocolate and raspberries
(I sometimes mix them in or sometimes sit it on top of the brownie mix when in the pan but last time I had them on the bottom so when I turned it out you could see all the raspberries)
Pour into the cake tin and cook for 25 - 30 minutes
I normally have to leave for longer
I prefer a sticky brownie and even when I cook for longer still is lovely and moist
Remove from oven, leave to cool, lift out of the baking paper and cut into pieces then dust with icing sugar


foodlovers said...

Hi Morven,
great to find you!
I love your blog and look forward to trying out the brownie.

Barbara said...

For some reason you slipped off my rss reader. I see you have a few posts I need to catch up on.