Friday, August 30, 2013

Fudgy Chocolate Almond Brownie

Basically, for those who are a newbie in baking like me, you may ask what is exactly the difference between a brownie and a cake?  Well to start it off, a brownie is a cross between a cake and a cookie.  To put it simply, it is flatter, denser and fudgier as compared to a cake which is taller and fluffier.

Brownies comes in a variety of forms, depending on its density.  Primarily, they are either the cakey type or the fudgy type.  Again, it all depends on personal preference.   For me?  I would choose the latter, and the gooier, the better.

Interestingly, there are some myths leading to the creation of this version of cake dessert. The first, that a chef accidentally added melted chocolate to biscuit dough.  The second, a cook forgot to add flour to the batter.  And the third, also the most popular belief, that a housewife who was baking a chocolate cake forgot to add baking powder.  When her cake did not rise, instead of tossing it out, she went on to serve the flat pieces to her guests.  This became a beloved treat of today.  Whatever may be the case, all three myths have lead to the 'birth' of this sweetie which eventually gained its very own popularity among cake lovers.

So, based on these myths, they sort of self-explain the distinct texture of a brownie: 

1. The higher ratio of butter to flour - makes the dessert
     fudgier and denser. 
2. The absence of baking powder - makes the cake flat.
3. The higher ratio of sugar used - makes the brownie gooier. 
4. The extra melted chocolate - makes it devilishly and sinfully chocolatey

This is my first time baking a brownie.  Personally, I find baking this treat relatively simple as compared to a cake.  Thank God, for once I don't have to bother whether the mixture is over beaten or under beaten.  I also need not care whether the ingredients are at room temperature or not, or whether the eggs are soft peak, stiff peak, hard peak or no peak!  The best part is, there is no mixer required, be it the stand one or the hand one.  It's pretty straightforward, just add and mix.

I adapted this recipe from Wendy of Table for 2....or more.  I deliberately added 20g of coffee powder to give the dessert the extra kick.  Indeed, the coffee gave a tinge of sweet-bitter taste.  Generally, I am quite pleased (though not totally satisfied) with the outcome considering this is my first time trying my hands out at this bake.  The only setback is the whole thing was not dark, gooey, fudgy and moist enough. 

After making the cake, I went on to scour through the net about the perfect brownie and incidentally this blog here from Eva Bakes piqued my interest.  It seems that she has made quite a few variations of brownies and all of them looked so amazingly tempting - dark, moist, gooey and fudgy! 

Anyway, here's the recipe I used.....

The Recipe:
250gm dark chocolate
100gm butter
100gm sugar (I find it a little tad too sweet, so pls reduce accordingly)
1 tsp vanilla extract
20g coffee/espresso powder
3 eggs
60gm all purpose flour
100gm chocolate chips
100gm white chocolate chips (I do not have any, so I use the chocolate one, so altogether 200g of chocolate chips)
Small handful of almond (optional)

1. Preheat oven at 140/160C. Line an 8 inch shallow
    square pan.
2. Place dark chocolate and butter into a mixing bowl.
    Place mixing bowl over another bowl of hot water and let the butter and chocolate melt,
    stirring gently.
3. Remove mixing bowl from hot water and mix in sugar, vanilla extract and coffee powder.
4. Put in eggs and mix.
5. Sift in flour and mix.
6. Put in 2/3 of both choc chips and nuts and mix.
7. Pour batter into pan and sprinkle balance of almond nuts and choc chips.
8. Bake for 35- 40 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.

Happy Trying!!

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