Salted fudge brownies
Ok, you’ve been eating really healthily all day, so now it’s time for a little evening reward. Enter brownies. I’ve already posted one brownie recipe on here, and it’s simple and delicious, but if you want something a bit darker and more sophisticated, I’d go with these. When I’m going through a bit of a rough time or feeling cranky, I have to say these really do make me feel better. The key is to make them with someone else in mind so you won’t accidentally eat the whole pan while feeling sorry for yourself and watching emotional TV (not like I’ve ever done that or anything…not the whole pan at least). I used to make these all the time in the states, but have had a lot of trouble finding unsweetened chocolate in Australia. I improvised here a bit and the result was great, but below is the original recipe that I adapted a bit. In case I haven’t said it before, making brownies is incredibly easy but has a big payoff – mainly, an amazing chocolate treat that will make you and everyone else around you feel good. I really can’t emphasize enough how important good brownie making skills are.
Salted Fudge Brownies (adapted from Food and Wine Magazine) – makes between 16 and 25, depending on how large you cut them
• 170 grams / 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 2 ounces (about 60 grams) unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped – if you can’t find unsweetened chocolate, use a nice bar of dark chocolate (70% or more)
• 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
• 2 cups sugar (because I didn’t use entirely unsweetened chocolate, I reduced the sugar to 1 and 1/3 cups – I like a more chocolate-y brownie as opposed to a really sweet one)
• 3 large eggs
• 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon Maldon sea salt flakes
Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F. Line a 9-inch square, metal cake pan with foil, draping the foil over the edges and spray it with non-stick spray.
In a pot, melt the butter with the unsweetened chocolate over very low heat, stirring occasionally. (Or, melt the butter and chocolate in a large bowl on low heat in microwave oven). Remove from the heat. Whisking them in one at a time until thoroughly incorporated, add the cocoa, sugar, eggs, vanilla and flour. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Sprinkle the salt evenly over the batter. Using a knife, swirl the salt into the batter.
Bake in the center of the oven for about 35 minutes, until the edge is set, but the center is still a bit soft and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a little of the batter. This is the trickiest part of the recipe and honestly one that I mess up slightly most of the time. If you wait until the toothpick is completely clean, the brownies just won’t taste as good the next day (although of course they will taste delicious warm). So, make sure a few moist crumbs are still clinging to the toothpick. Technically, you should let the brownies cool to room temperature and then even refrigerate until they are firm, but I like to let them sit on the counter for 5 minutes, in the fridge for 5-10 minutes, and then sample one immediately. (I mean seriously, Food & Wine recipes, do you honestly think we should resist warm brownies?) Once they are more cool, life the brownies from the pan, peel off the foil, and cut however small or big you would like. Or serve them warm when they are difficult to cut and falling apart but oh so delicious. There should be no rules when it comes to brownies.
The sea salt is what takes these brownies to the dark sophisticated level you may be looking for, so don’t leave it out. This is a deliciously adult brownie which is precisely why I enjoy it so much!