I would have defied anyone who would have suggested that brownies are just as rich and fudgy without using melted dark chocolate as an ingredient. I couldn’t imagine that cocoa powder would deliver anything like the gooey, rich finish one looks for in these chocolate delightfuls. I had recently made one of my ‘usual’ brownie recipes which uses melted chocolate and whilst relatively happy with the result I thought there was still room for improvement and set me thinking about adapting the recipe further experimenting with the method and, heaven forbid, even the chocolate! In researching what recipes to adapt and try, I saw one that used only cocoa and thought it would be a great comparison to try. I have played around with the combination of ingredients below and I will have to leave it up to you dear reader to decide, but I was very pleasantly surprised with the results of this. They did come out lighter and less dense than if I had used melted chocolate; but a nice change.
300g caster sugar
1 tbsp strong coffee (e.g. ½ – 1tbsp instant coffee dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water)
100g cocoa powder
50g plain flour
¼ tsp salt
- Lightly grease a 20cm x 20cm x 5cm loose bottomed tin and line baking parchment. The light greasing helps to stick the parchment in place. Let parchment come up the sides of the tin generously as the mixture does rise quite a bit during baking.
- Heat the oven to 180C.
- Place the butter in a medium-size saucepan over a medium heat until melted. Set aside to cool.
- In a mixing bowl, and using an electric mixer, beat together the sugars and eggs for 10 minutes until very thick and glossy – when you lift up the beaters, a ribbon of batter should stay on the surface of the mixture for several seconds.
- Beat in the coffee and melted butter.
- Sift together the cocoa, flour and salt into a separate bowl. Gently fold this into the batter with a spatula, being careful not to overmix.
- Scrape into the prepared tin with a spatula.
- Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out of the middle of the brownies with a few moist crumbs attached.
- Remove the loose bottom of the tin and place on a rack to cool completely. I like to remove the brownies like this as they continue to cook even though removed from the oven. I like to prevent the continued cooking as much as possible to prevent them being overdone.
- When they are completely cool, using the sides of parchment, lift the brownies onto a board and cut into squares or using shapes using a cookie cutter. Dust with icing sugar.
I think they are best served warm with a dollop of my home made bailey’s ice cream.