Thursday, February 05, 2009
What do you do when when lectures are officially cancelled because of snow? Jump for joy and bake brownies of course! I've made brownies twice before and both times they didn't turn out how I wanted. Texture-wise, taste-wise, everything. The perfect brownie recipe I think is one of the most elusive and this along with previous failures certainly made me wonder whether I should try again. However when the idea of that yummy chocolately dense fudgy gooeyness enters my mind I always want to be able to make it into something tangible, through my own efforts.
So here is my latest attempt which I made today and they're actually really good, my best attempt yet. Prevous mistakes have taught me well. I've learned that recipes with too much 70% chocolate and cocoa powder make brownies that are far too bitter. I've learned that I should not leave it baking for just a little longer. I've learned that plain brownies are better than those loaded with chocolate chunks or nuts. And from bakery or coffee-shop bought brownies, I've learned that I have a preference for brownies which have gound almonds in them.
So a bit of a google search brought up Reine de Saba (Queen of Sheba) brownies which are a French brownie. These are based on the Reine de Saba chocolate and almond cake which requires the separating of eggs and the whisking of egg whites, and the addition of rum amongst some other ingredients. However the Reine de Saba brownie recipe which seems to be quoted all over the internet omits these.
The recipe makes soft, dense brownies and although they lack the flaky top layer, the top still has a slight bite and crack to it. I personally would prefer them slightly richer because I do like my brownies quite intense, then they would be perfect!
Reine de Saba brownies
Makes 9 squares
125g dark chocolate (I used 70%)
60g ground almonds
50g plain flour
Preheat oven to 180˚C and line an 8x8 inch square cake pan. Melt the chocolate in a large bowl over simmering water. Mix in the butter until melted. Remove bowl from heat and mix in the sugar, then whisk in the eggs, and finally incorporate the ground almonds and flour. Pour mixture into the cake pan and bake for 15-20 minutes.
I baked mine for 20 minutes however I think less would have been better, or 20 minutes at a lower temperature, as the edges were a wee bit overdone. The middle was however lovely and dense and gooey.