Maybe I should stop making desserts, heh. Hadi and Justin are trying to get in shape, and I don't think its helping them any. :P But without them, well... life is a bit more boring. Plus, I would have nothing to write about on Wednesdays, haha! I usually eat a lot more on Wednesday (Hadi and Justin have tae kwon do, so we eat separately) but its usually "boring" stuff like Tex's Chicken or Nasi Goreng Cheese. The other two have a bit more variety, maybe I should feature their recipes, hehe. They usually use beef or lamb, and I'm sure a lot of people would appreciate a break from chicken. :P But anyway, for this week, we have brownies... so here we go!
What you need:
130g salted butter, cut into pieces
250g white chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups plain flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar (I used vanilla sugar - and reduced it to 1/2 cup)
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup almonds, chopped
What you do:
- Preheat the oven to 160 C. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan with butter and fit an 18- by-16-inch sheet of baking paper into the bottom of the pan (it will overhang the sides, which you will use as handles later to remove the brownies). Coat paper lightly with butter as well.
- Melt the butter and white chocolate together (over low heat, or in a microwave. *Careful* not to burn it) Allow to cool to room temperature. Add the vanilla.
- In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt.
- In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until they are thick and pale. Add the white chocolate mixture and mix until it is combines. Add the flour mixture and mix until it is combined.
- Stir in the cranberries and almonds.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and spread it evenly.
- Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck into the centre comes out clean. So not underbake these brownies, or they will taste raw.
- Refrigerate the brownies overnight. Remove them from the pan and cut them into squares.
I was thinking the overnight refrigeration was just a waste of time, heh, so I took a sample just fresh from the oven. I thought, hmmm... I don't see what's so special about these. The brownie part was a bit *too* fluffy, if you know what I mean. Kind of dry and very crumbly. For me, browies are usually slightly fudgy and very dense, so that was kind of a disappointment. Justin, however, quite liked it.
But anyway, I just stuck the rest into the fridge (covered with foil) and had another sample this morning. I must say, it improved tremendously overnight. It was no longer so crumbly and was much more dense, more like a proper brownie, hehe. So, if you ever make this and feel tempted to eat it straight away, don't. The results are much nicer if you refrigerate them first. :P
The cookbook I got this from didn't have much pictures, so I wasn't sure how it would turn out. I was thinking a pure white brownie, with glinting rubies (cranberries) stuck in it, but was disappointed. I suppose its called *brownie* for a reason though, since the crust turned a rather nice golden brown. :P Very crunchy too, and I think its the best bit of a brownie. Any brownie. :D
If you can't find cranberries, substitute with another dried fruit, I suppose. They taste rather similar to raisins, only slightly more sour with a cranberry taste. You *could* leave it out, but I don't suggest it. Otherwise, the brownie would be much too plain. You could omit the almonds though, heh. :P I don't like nuts, so I mixed the almonds in only half of the batter, since the boys insisted we have them. It turned out quite well - one half has loads of nuts, while the other half is nut-free. :D The brownie batter was very thick, so I was able to pour the two batches into separate halves. :D
Other than that, it was a nice enough brownie, though I prefer something a bit chocolatey. There was only a hint of the white chocolate and vanilla, which is too bad. If I ever make this again, I would up the vanilla level, but am not quite sure on how to increase the white chocolate without making it too sweet. Maybe a white chocolate frosting. :D But that's not till next time, hehe.
Quote of the day: Nuts just take up space where the chocolate ought to be!