My manager was putting on a BBQ for our team and the Support team. It was a belated “thanks” for all pitching in to resolve an ugly client issue (or suffering through the loss of team mates to share the workload).
I’d checked during the week how many were going and if there was dessert. There wasn’t. Which is OK, but dessert is always good!
I was brought up that you shouldn’t go somewhere empty handed. So during Friday evening I sent a text asking if it was OK to bring something sweet, enough for everyone. I also didn’t want my manager to feel as if my offer was a judgement of her hospitality. It was a tricky text to write but she was absolutely fine with the idea.
During the Thursday I’d been looking at Brownie recipes because we were going to a Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday night (it was a very social weekend). My choices for bringing something was either nibbles or dessert. The choice was a no-brainer. In some ways making the Brownies on Friday for the work do was a bit of a test run. If they didn’t work out then I’d have time to try another recipe. Or I’d just make the same if they were a hit (they were).
You’ll need to go to the post I grabbed this recipe from to see how differently the Brownies baked. My Brownies aren’t quite as fudgy.
It seems there’s 3 camps, the cake Brownie, the fudge Brownie, and something inbetween. I’d say mine was the inbetween. Of course that means that people tend to have a preference. I was certain mine was the dense fudge type Brownie.
The recipe called for dark chocolate, and Bakergirl used 60% chocolate.
I love Whittakers. They have so many different percentage of cocoa. I ended up going with a mix of 62% and 50%.
The Brownies were finished baking just after 10pm and needed to be cool before I could cut them, and then store them. It was a very late evening and I had asked Mr Fussy if he could put the lids on the containers before he came to bed. As it was I didn’t get to bed until 11:15pm. Very late for me.
For whatever reason I was woken at 5am and asked Mr Fussy if he’d remembered to put the lids on. Unfortunately he hadn’t, and felt really bad. I leapt out of bed to check. And while the outer edges were a bit crusty I needed to know if they tasted ok still. So I chopped one up and then made Mr Fussy eat half a Brownie at 5:15am. What a punishment. We both agreed they tasted great and the crusty edge wasn’t noticeable against the slight crunch of the top. To me it was the right sort of crunch, and no different to the crunch when the Brownies were first out of the oven. Yes we’d already sampled one. Deal with it
Crisis averted. We were good to go. And Mr Fussy really really liked the taste of the Brownie. He prefers that slightly more bitter after taste of a chocolate with a high cocoa content.
I’m still struggling with the name of these Brownies. I’m not sure why they are called “The Baked Brownie”. I thought all Brownies were baked. It’s difficult not understanding another cultures nuances. Apparently Oprah is a big fan of The Baked Brownie, and I know David Lebovitz has a recipe on his site for The Baked Brownie (in fact the very same ingredients/proportions with a variation of adding mints). Maybe if there’s someone from America reading they could help me understand the importance of calling this The Baked Brownie. Ta.
Onto the recipe then?
The Baked Brownie – Recipegirl (converted to metric and changed here and there)
- 1 1/4 cups plain flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 Tbs dark unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Dutch Processed but plain will do)
- 315 gm dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used a Family sized block of 62% Whittakers and the balance 50% Whittakers)
- 225 gm unsalted butter, cut into 2 cm pieces (I think I mis-converted and used 250 gm in the mixture. That might account for the difference in density)
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (I used granulated coffee, I don’t know if espresso powder is the same or not – I’m not a coffee drinker)
- 1 1/2 cups whie sugar
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 5 eggs, at room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Heat oven to 175° Celsius.
- Butter the sides and bottom of a 9×13-inch glass baking pan. (I used a glass dish which was 22x30cm)
- Line the pan with tin foil, or baking paper. (I don’t know why you’d butter the pan when you then put tin foil over the top if it, but I did as instructed but don’t think you’d come to grief if you didn’t butter the pan)
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and cocoa powder together.
- Place the chocolate, butter, and instant espresso powder in a large pot (or using a double broiler) over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth.
- Turn off the heat, but keep the pot on the oven.
- Add the sugar and brown sugar to the pot.
- Whisk until completely combined, then remove pot from stovetop and allow to come to room temperature.
- Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined.
- Add the remaining 2 eggs and whisk until combined.
- Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey. (It’s this sort of instruction that makes me nervous I’m going to overbeat. I question my “folding” abilities)
- Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture.
- Using a rubber spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is still visible.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it.
- Let the brownies cool completely, then lift them out of the pan using the tin foil or baking paper.
- Cut into squares and serve. (I actually cut mine while they were still warm. I’d read on other blogs that they cut easier, with less cracking, when they are warm.)
- Store at room temperature in an airtight container or wrap with plastic wrap for up to 3 days. *Don’t forget to put the lid on them!
- In the glass dish I used, I cut the Brownie into 5x5cm squares. I know that doesn’t seem to compute with the dimensions I gave for the glass dish, but it curves in a smidge on the sides so it’s the bottom of the dish isn’t quite 22cm (or 30cm).
People’s faces lit up when they saw I had bought “dessert”. Though I was quick to say it was baking (and another recipe I’ll share soon for the Caramel Bundt Cake and Banana Bread).
When my manager saw what it was she sent her husband off to the supermarket to buy vanilla ice cream and cream. The brownies were warmed through and tasted really REALLY nice. And there were rave reviews during “dessert”, and even today. My manager was teasing others saying she still had enough for dessert tonight and that her mouth was watering just talking about it.
So yeah, these are good. It’s not just me that thinks that.
And yes I still baked a different recipe for the Thanksgiving dinner. As I was sitting in the car about to drop my Ready for Dessert library book back, the page opened to a Brownie Recipe which called for Pecans. I just had to go with it. While I dropped the book back Mr Fussy high tailed it to the supermarket to buy the Pecans.
Don’t forget to enlighten me about why these are called “The Baked Brownie”.
Oh, and in case you’re interested, I like the inbetween Brownie, which surprised me a bit.