Boy Bakes Treats - Brownies

Award-Winning* Brownies

Boy Bakes Treats - Brownies

So yes, these actually are literally award-winning brownies. The asterisk is there to say well, it was an office bake-off, so the field was limited, and it was a popular vote, so brownies are always going to be in the running. First prize? A wooden spoon wrapped in a ribbon.

With the earliest-known published recipes dating back to the early 1900s, brownies are perhaps one of the most-loved American treats, with avowed aficianados proclaiming the superiority of either a lighter, cakier brownie, a chewy version or something that gets all dense and fudge-like. For its winning combination of a rich centre topped with a shiny and crackly crust, we're going all-in for chewy.

One of the keys to a chewy brownie is a two sugar combo - dark brown for texture, and caster sugar for the crackly crust. Adding coffee into the mix gives the chocolate flavours added depth, and the chocolate chips are for a concentrated choc hit. Also, take the time to let your eggs and butter come to room temperature before you start assembling. You'll get a better batter and fudgier brownies.

When testing to see if the brownies are done, stick a toothpick in the centre around the 25 minute mark. What you're looking for is for them to be slightly underdone - a slight brown stain on the toothpick with a few moist crumbs sticking to it, but no uncooked batter. If you see wet batter, then they're going to be too gooey. Stick it back in the oven for another 3 minutes. For a cakier end result, keep baking until your toothpick comes out clean.

As tempting as it may be to start scarfing your brownies as soon as they're out of the oven, be patient! Resist the lure of the aroma! Sticking them in the fridge for a bit will help achieve optimal chewiness. And to really test your willpower, brownies also get better with age, so try to make them a day ahead, or stow some away for overnight storage.

MAKES

24

PREP

20 minutes

COOKS

30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 200 grams butter
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coffee
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius/360 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a 20 x 30cm baking tin. Line base and sides with baking paper, extending the paper 2cm above the edge for easy removal later.
  2. In a saucepan set over a low heat, melt the butter and cocoa. Add the sugars and vanilla and stir to combine. Continue to heat until the mixture is hot, but not bubbling - it will become shiny as you stir it.
  3. While the butter is melting, crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl, and beat them with the salt and coffee for about 1 minute, or until smooth.
  4. Add the hot butter/sugar mixture to the egg mixture, and stir until the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended.
  5. Toss the walnuts and chocolate chips in a medium bowl with 1/4 cup flour, then add them and the remaining flour to the chocolate batter, stirring until just a bit of the flour mixture is still visible. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared baking tin and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 20 minutes, then rap the baking sheet against the oven shelf to force the air to escape from between the pan and brownie dough. Bake for a further 8-10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. The edges should look firm and well-baked, and the centre should be moist and gooey.
  7. Remove from oven and cool brownies to room temperature in the pan to allow their crumb to set. Place the brownies in the fridge and chill for at least an hour before slicing. Brownies will be at their chewiest when completely cool. Use the baking paper to lift the cooled brownies out of the pan and cut into 24 bars. If desired, dust the brownies with powdered sugar or cocoa before serving.

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Recipe notes