Brownies – Classic Brownies

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14th April, 2015

I have never made brownies before, not even from the box. I used to not like brownies earlier, but lately have developed a liking towards it especially with a big dollop of ice cream over warm brownie. That is when I wanted to make some at home and also went to the stores to buy a box. Now that I call myself a baker :), I just could not accept the fact that I would be baking the brownie from a box. So this box that I had bought about a year and a half ago still lies in my pantry (and also traveled with me coast to coast during our move).
I found this recipe of the classic brownie in the cook book that I had brought home from the library. I really liked baking from this book as they had clearly explained the reason behind each and every ingredient used. Also the recipes were practical and the outcome was splendid. This brownie recipe used the cake flour instead of the all purpose flour and the reason they had explained was to make the brownie smooth and fine – textures instead of being gritty. This happened because of the low protein content of the cake flour when compared to the all purpose flour.
Since this was the first time I was making brownies, I halved the recipe and made it. I used a 8 x 8 pan to make the brownies since I had halved the recipe. This brownie was just the texture I was looking for. It was crunchy and crisp on top with a very soft and fudgy interior. Make sure that the brownies are baked just right for enough time. Under baked brownies result in gummy texture and over baked makes them dry. 

Preparation time – 15 minutes
Cooking time – 30 – 35 minutes
Difficulty level – medium
Recipe adapted from – Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book
Ingredients – Makes 9 x 13 tray
  • Cake flour – 1 ¼ cups
  • Baking powder – ¾ tsp
  • Salt – ½ tsp
  • Unsweetened chocolate – 6 oz
  • Unsalted butter – 12 tbsp
  • Sugar – 2 ¼ cups
  • Eggs (large) – 4
  • Vanilla extract – 1 tbsp

Procedure –
  • Prepare the baking tray. Lay foils in such a way that they hang from all 4 sides. This ensures that when taking the brownie out it will be easy and mess free. Press the foils well in the base of the pan and in the corners smoothing it as you do it. Grease the foil well and leave it aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 325 F.
  • In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt and keep it aside.
  • Set a sauce pan with about 3 inches of water and heat. Bring the water to a very light simmer. Place another heat proof bowl on top of the simmering sauce pan. Make sure that the base of the second bowl does not touch the water. This is the hot water bath which we will use to melt the chocolate.
  • Add the chocolate and the butter to the bowl and set it over the simmering water. Stir gently to melt the chocolate until smooth.

  • Take off the bowl from the heat and slowly add the sugar and whisk. 

  • Now add the eggs one at a time and then whisk well after each addition.
  • Add the vanilla and whisk. 

  • Add the flour in 3 additions and fold gently with a rubber spatula. The mixture should be smooth and mixed well.

  • Transfer the batter into the prepared tray. Make sure that the batter spreads to the corners of the baking tray.
  • Bake in the preheated 325 F oven for about 30 – 35 minutes. Rotate the pan once in between baking. Check with the tooth pick. The tooth pick should come out with few moist crumbs attached to it. 

  • Let the brownies cool in the pan (set over a rack) until they come to room temperature. Then take the brownies out holding the foil. Cut them into desired size pieces and serve.
  • The brownies can be stored in room temperature for up to 3 days.

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