Brownies return

Few days ago a friend of mine left for US for few months. We usually have breakfast/coffee/ chats together and he was always complaining about the brownies he was buying at the store.

And since he discovered my blog, every morning I heard the same question – when are you going to bake brownies and bring some for breakfast?????

Well, finally before he left, I managed to cook some of my favourite brownies. Now the new question is – when are you going to make a deal with the store, so we can buy the brownies everyday?

For this I used Thomas Keller’s recipe featured in Ad-hoc at Home which always works like a charm, the only downside to it is that you become addicted to them. Just side story about this book – I LOVE IT. Besides the fact that is a special book for me, as I got it as a gift from my friends at my PhD defense, the recipes presented in this book are simply amazing. The food is so good, somehow it has a home feel to it, there are so many wonderful flavours married in these dishes that you can’t stop cooking 🙂


makes 12 pieces

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened alkalized cocoa powder
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
6 oz 61 to 64% chocolate, chopped into chip-sized pieces ( about 1 1/2 cups)
Powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350F. We use a 9-inch square silicone mold, because it keeps the edges from overcooking; if you use a metal or glass baking pan, butter and flour it. Set aside.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt; set aside

Melt half the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Put the remaining butter in a medium bowl. Pour the melted butter and stir to melt the butter. The butter should look creamy, with small bits of unmelted butter, and be at room temperature.

In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, mix together the eggs and sugar on medium speed for about 3 minutes, or until thick and very pale. Mix in the vanilla. On low speed, add about one-third of the dry ingredients, then add one-third of the butter, and continue alternating the remaining flour and butter. Add the chocolate and mix to combine. (The batter can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.)

Spread the batter evenly in the pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until a cake tester or wooden skewer poked into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs sticking to it. If the pick comes out wet, test a second time, because you may have hit a piece of chocolate chip; then bake for a few more minutes longer if necessary. Cool in the pan until the brownie is just a bit warmer than room temperature.

Run a knife around the edges if not using a silicone mold, and invert the brownie onto a cutting board. Cut into 12 rectangles. Dust the tops with powdered sugar just before serving.


If you could overdose on chocolate, this would be the perfect way

In my last post I mentioned the brownies  I made on Sunday. Well, by now the brownies are just history, half of them were gone before I could take some pictures. Apparently, they are perfect for breakfast, lunch and dinner or just as replacement for all of the meals of the day. Well, under normal circumstances they are best served with some nice hot coffee,  hot chocolate or milk. Hmmm, they are perfect enjoyed just by themselves, without any helpers.

I have to mention that before I came across this recipe, I tried a lot of different versions, some of them were too chewy, some of them too gooey, too fudgey, some of them too bitter, some of them too sweet. It took a lot of sweat, flour, sugar, chocolate, cocoa and butter until this babies came alive and conquered my kitchen.  

So here is the recipe for the little delicious stars:

175 grams butter,

250 grams sugar,

3 large eggs,

65 grams cacao,

75 grams flour,

 1/4 tablespoon baking powder,

pinch of salt,

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract,

100-150 grams hazelnuts

Preheat the oven to 160 C. Meanwhile, melt the butter and let it cool down slightly, then mix it with sugar and vanilla. When the sugar starts to dissolve, add one egg at a time and mix the batter until becomes fluffy and doubles in volume. Sieve the flour, cacao, baking powder and salt and fold them into the batter and mix until the mixture becomes homogenous. Stir in the chopped hazelnuts. Bakes for about 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.