And so I continue my journey to find my ideal chocolate brownie. I've only made brownies to three recipes so far (first, second and third recipes). I like the first recipe the best, but it seems to be very temperamental. I haven't gotten the same result twice. The second one was a bit too cakey for my liking, while the third one suffered from the use of the oven in Brunei Hall and was a bit undercooked. Plus, it was also too sweet for me. Very very rich that one.
Anyway, in the week I had in Brunei, one of my sisters insisted on making a chocolate brownie. After looking through the various ones I had collected, I decided to make this one, which had a chocolate ganache topping. Mmmmm! Here we go!
What you need:
1 cup butter, melted (227g)
2 cups granulated sugar (400g)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup cocoa powder, sifted (86g)
1 cup all purpose flour, sifted (125g)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the ganache:
3/4 cup whipping cream, unwhipped (180g)
227g bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces (we used semi-sweet chocolate chips)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
What you do:
- Whisk together butter, sugar, and eggs just until blended. Add cocoa and vanilla and blend until combined.
- Mix together remaining ingredients. Add to liquid mixture and mix until just combined.
- Spread batter into lightly greased 9x13" pan. Bake at 180 C for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out with fudgey crumbs adhering to it. The centre will still look moist. Do not overbake, or you might lose the fudginess. Cool to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, boil whipping cream. Add chopped chocolate and stir with a rubber spatula until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Refrigerate until spreading consistency, about 1 hour. Continue to refrigerate if mixture is too thin. If too firm, allow to sit on the counter for a few minutes.
- Smooth ganache onto brownies. Allow to set for 15 minutes and cut into squares.
Because we didn't have a large enough pan and I didn't want the brownies to be too thick, we used two pans. I think one was about 8x8 inches and the other one was slightly smaller. We managed to fit both into the oven at the same time, so that wasn't a problem.
At first, I wasn't sure whether to make the ganache or not, since most of my other brownies were usually served plain anyway. But when these brownies (together with the v6.5 chocolate chip cookies) were decided to be the dish we would be bringing to a relative's house for sungkai, I thought.... meh, might as well make them prettier.
We had a bit of a glitch when we couldn't find whipping cream in a small enough portion though. There was a small bottle of Paul's whipping cream available at Supasave, but for some reason, that one contained gelatine... :S Since we weren't sure whether it would be okay to use or not, we decided to use Nestle canned cream in the end.
At this point, I had to go off to do an errand, so it was my sister who made the ganache, but she said it wasn't too hard to make. And yes, looking at the instructions, it really is quite easy. The only problem is that the chocolate must be in small enough pieces to melt easily. Because we didn't have much time before we had to go, we just used chocolate chips but this can turn out expensive. You can either chop the chocolate or grate it, whichever one you think is easier. Anyway, after spreading the ganache on the top and leaving it to set, we decided to make it look brighter (hehe) by adding rainbow sprinkles, before cutting them into 1-inch pieces and placing them in mini cupcake cases. Don't they look gorgeous??
We had to wait till it was time to break our fast before I could try out the brownies (where they had competition in the form of an iced chocolate cake - which didn't have rainbow sprinkles, haha!) but the wait was tooooooooooootally worth it! These are the BEST brownies I've ever made. Seriously seriously. The brownies were fudgey without being undercooked-gooey, yet still retained a crunchy crust. The ganache made it even more scrumptious. Since its so easy to make, I definitely suggest you make a topping if you make these brownies. Makes it even more worth it.
The brownie was tested over a series of age groups, ranging from old (yet young inside! ;) ) to the very young. It garnered the most attention from the teenaged boy sector, where it was always always met with cries of "Awesome!!". Seriously. The word people used the most to describe this brownie is Awesome. And it really truly is awesome. The bigger tray was finished by the end of the sungkai event, while the smaller one was finished by my brothers and our neighbours in a midnight snack event, haha. Again, it was described as "Awesome". This brownie recipe is highly recommended.
Not sure if I will be continuing my brownie journey at this point, it seems to be much easier to get a result you want compared to cookies, haha. But I suppose it can't hurt. Until my next post (which also involves chocolate!), Ihsan is out. :)
Quote of the day: Stress wouldn’t be so hard to take if it were chocolate covered.