I haven’t been baking that much these days because my new oven is misbehaving. I’ve attempted to recalibrate the temperature but I can’t seem to get it right yet. My bakes are either getting burned on top and stay raw in the middle, or they stay limp and anemic looking. But today I decided to make a batch of brownies because I was in the mood for something chocolatey. I was prepared to take my chances for the sake of a craving.
This brownie recipe comes from the back of the package of cocoa–no secret ingredients, just good quality cocoa. But not just any cocoa; Dutch processed cocoa. Whenever I hear this term, I picture little blonde people in wooden clogs running cocoa beans through a stone grinder underneath a traditional windmill. It’s really a chemical process that was, in fact, developed by a Dutch man by the name of Coenraad Johannes van Houten back in the 19th century. Dutch processed cocoa is made with an alkalizing agent and it is supposed to be less acidic than naturally processed cocoa. So if you’re recipe calls for baking soda (also known as a leavening agent) to help your bake rise, it will need to react with something acidic like yogurt or buttermilk, because the cocoa powder has a neutral pH and won’t do anything to help those cookies, squares or cakes rise.
The colour of Dutch processes baking power is also darker than natural cocoa powder and is supposed to have a milder flavour.
However these brownies are far from mild. They are fudge-y and rich and full of chocolatey flavour. They are full of butter, sugar, eggs and lots of cocoa. They are dead simple to make (no special folding whipping, resting or anything). The trick is making sure you take them out of the oven before they get over baked. Baking with chocolate means you can’t tell when your bake is done because it doesn’t really change colour the way a blonde batter would.
I took these out after 25 minutes in the oven. Given that my oven is acting up, I probably could have taken them out after 20-ish minutes, but the recipe called for 30 minutes and I reduced it by 5.
I make these even more decadent by slathering on a generous helping of milk chocolate icing. For fun I put some chocolate sprinkles on (they look like baby Smarties). These go great with a cup of tea or a tall glass of cold milk. Or you could just gobble it up sans beverage.
Rodelle Gooey Fudge Brownies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 13 inch pan with a parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking spray.
- 1 Cup + 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 1/4 Cups sugar
- 5 eggs
- 1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 Cup + 1 Tbsp flour
- 3/4 Cup + 1 Tbsp Dutch processed cocoa powder
- 1/4 Tbsp salt (I omitted this)
- 1/2 Cup semisweet chocolate chips (I upped this to 1 Cup)
- 3/4 Cup chopped nuts (I omitted this)
Melt the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl and let cool slightly. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Add the vanilla and mix. Sift the dry ingredients together then combine with wet ingredients until just incorporated. Add chipits and nuts, mix and then pour into the pan. Bake until just firm (maximum 35 minutes). Let them cool completely before removing from the pan and cutting into squares. Enjoy!