Brownies make everything better, right? At least for the few moments you take to savour the chocolatey goodness. We could all use some chocolate relief these days.
Not that I complain about desserts when I can eat them, but when I get a brownie that’s more cake than brownie, I can’t help but be a little disappointed. If I wanted a piece of fluffy cake I would have made cake. When I want a brownie, I want chewy, rich chocolate.
So when I found this recipe that consisted greatly of melted chocolate and a few other simple ingredients, I knew I had to try it out. The secret in this recipe is the cornstarch; that’s what holds it all together.
I’ve made these twice now. The first time, I used milk chocolate squares and eggs and topped them with a milk chocolate ganache. They turned out wonderfully but were quite sweet for my personal taste. It was also extremely tedious to unwrap 56 little Swiss chocolate squares meant for snacking because I didn’t have bakers’ chocolate on hand. My sweet-toothed fiancé made quick work of that batch.
I knew these brownies were so successful when I brought them to my in-laws for taste tasting and my father-in-law said, “Now THAT’s a brownie!” I considered that quite the compliment and decided this recipe would become one of my regulars.
The second time around, I was prepared with real bakers’ chocolate. I’d be damned if I was going to get another Costco bag of individually wrapped chocolates.
I also had red cocoa powder that I found at Bulk Barn. The writing on the bin promised excellent results in chocolate cake due to the higher fat content. I was sold.
Of course, I had to make these vegan. The original recipe calls for butter and eggs. Butter is easy to replace with coconut oil or margarine. I know, I know, margarine is less than optimal, but it works. I was nervous about replacing the eggs because they create stability and structure in baking. Anything that helps with stability and structure in gluten free baking really shouldn’t be eliminated. Still, I pulled out the Ener-G egg replacement I have and crossed my fingers.
I have to stress that in order to enjoy these without them crumbling in your hands, you must let them cool completely. When they’re cooled, the melted chocolate hardens up and keeps everything together. Then you take a bite and the chocolate softens in your mouth…. heaven.
For these brownies, you’ll need:
6 tbsp butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
8 oz chopped chocolate (I’ve used both milk chocolate and unsweetened chocolate. Use whatever sweetness level appeals to you.)
2 eggs, or egg replacer (I haven’t tried flax or chia for this recipe, but the ener-G replacement worked well.)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp cocoa powder
3 tbsp corn starch (equal amount of arrowroot powder works as well.)
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat your oven to 350F and line an 8×8 pan with tinfoil.
Melt the butter in a sauce pan then add the sugar. Once the sugar is incorporated, stir in the chopped chocolate and mix til it’s all smooth.
Pour this mixture into a stand mixer and beat for two minutes. Alternatively you can leave the mixture in the saucepan, remove it from the heat, and use a hand mixer or even a whisk. Beat in your eggs/replacement, then add the vanilla. Sift in your cocoa powder and cornstarch, then the salt.
Beat the mixture for a couple minutes til it’s smooth and shiny. I’ll admit that the second time I made these, the batter did not get smooth and shiny. I spread it into the pan and it still worked. This is likely because I transferred the mixture into the stand mixer, thereby removing the chocolate from the residual warmth of the saucepan. Either way, it works.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 22-30 minutes. The top will become shiny and the brownies will be set in the center.
Again, let these babies cool completely before slicing. I didn’t at first and thought I had totally failed because they came apart in my hand. An hour later I tried another bite and almost melted. They’re worth the wait.
Adapted from life made simple