If you have been curious about how to make chocolate brownies, here is a very simple recipe to get you started:
- 1/2 cup (115g) salted butter
- 228g coarsely chopped quality semi-sweet chocolate
- 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (50g) packed light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons (80g) all-purpose flour (measure this accurately)
- 2 Tablespoons (11g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (180g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
I like to add some nuts to the mixture for a little bit of texture. Hazel nut adds to the wonderful smell of the finished product.
MILK CHOCOLATE FROSTING (OPTIONAL)
- 1 and 3/4 cups (210g) confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 cup (22g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 2 Tablespoons (30ml) heavy cream or half-and-half
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- salt, to taste
With baking it is very important to read through the recipe and understand every step before you start. Make sure you put out all your ingredients on the counter at the beginning to avoid any exclusion. If you do exactly what the recipe says, your goodies will taste exactly as they should.
- Melt the butter and chopped chocolate in a medium saucepan on medium heat, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes. Or melt in a medium microwave safe bowl in 20 second increments, stirring after each, in the microwave. Remove from the heat, pour into a large mixing bowl, and allow to slightly cool for 10 minutes.
- Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position and preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line the bottom and sides of a 9×9 inch square baking panwith aluminium foil or parchment, leaving an overhang on all sides. Set aside.
- Whisk the granulated and brown sugars into the cooled chocolate/butter mixture. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition. Whisk in the vanilla. Gently fold in the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Once combined, fold in the chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 35-36 minutes or until the brownies begin to pull away from the edges of the pan. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out with only a few moist crumbs when the brownies are done. All ovens are different, so keep an eye on them after 30 minutes and use the toothpick test to see when yours are finished.
- Allow the brownies to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack. Once cooled, lift the foil out of the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into squares. For neat squares, I use a very sharp knife and wipe it clean with a paper towel after each cut.
- For the optional frosting:sift together the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder to assure there are no lumps. Set aside. With a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy – about 2 minutes. Gradually add the sifted sugar/cocoa powder alternately with the heavy cream and vanilla. Beat on low speed after each addition. Once all added, beat on high speed until creamy and combined for at least 2 minutes. Add a pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet. Frost the brownies before or after cutting into squares, whichever you prefer.
The brownies will stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 week.
Make ahead tip: For longer storage, these brownies (both frosted and unfrosted) freeze well for up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
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By: Betsi Thamane