Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Black & white brownies - practically perfect in every way

Over the Jubilee long weekend, I'd had no plans to bake. Then about half way through the weekend, I decided that actually, I wanted to make brownies. The blogosphere was conspiring to push me towards them. Joanne made these delicious-looking cookie dough brownies, Dharm did a brownie throwdown for his kids, Choclette made chocolate brownie icecream... everywhere I turned there were brownies!

I've had success in the past with Jill Dupleix's recipe (via Mark Hix) for cranberry blondies, but on this occasion I wanted the chocolate to speak for itself, not get drowned out with tart bites of dried fruit. And of course, I was planning to take these in to work, and Becky is allergic to nuts, so that knocked out any macadamia/walnut/pecan/peanut butter additions. So it was very rich dark chocolate brownies with added chunks of dark and white chocolate.

Black and White Brownies (makes 24 pieces)

200g butter
300g good quality dark chocolate (I used a fairtrade, single origin with 72% cocoa solids, not ridiculously expensive but good)
3 eggs
150g caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla (or Camp coffee, or brandy - you are just rounding out the flavour a bit)
200g plain flour
100g good quality white chocolate (you want one made with cocoa butter, not vegetable fat)

Preheat the oven to 180C, and line an 18 x 28cm tin with baking paper.

Put the butter and 200g of the dark chocolate, broken into pieces, into a microwave-safe bowl and melt, in 20 second bursts in the microwave, until the butter is totally melted and the chocolate is almost melted, then set aside (the few remaining bits of chocolate will melt in the heat of the rest of it and you will be less likely to overheat the chocolate and ruin it).

In another bowl (big enough to take all the ingredients), beat together the eggs, sugar and vanilla until quite light and fluffy. This is the only leavening in the brownies, so don't skimp on this step.

In 2 batches, alternately fold in the flour and the slightly cooled melted chocolate, then chop the remaining 100g of dark chocolate and the white chocolate into chunks and fold those in too. Be quite thorough - this isn't like muffins where unmixed flour will cook out.

Spread into the lined tin, and bake for 20 minutes. The top will be quite firm and the middle a bit soft. Allow to cool before turning out of the tin, dusting liberally with icing sugar and cutting into small pieces.

Probably the best brownies I've ever made
These were extremely successful. Some of the chocolate chunks melted away, some retained some bite, they were squidgey and moist but not too fudgey and they managed not to be too sweet. They may not be the definitive brownie, but I think they are the closest I have come so far! I will have to make another batch to test the method for consistency, I think.


london bakes said...

These brownies sound and look excellent! I love the combination of white and dark chocolate too.

Suelle said...

These look really good!

Hotly Spiced said...

Those are very beautiful looking brownies. Wonderful! They look so dark, rich and moist. xx

Joanne said...

These brownies are seriously dreamy!

Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

Brownies with white chocolate make my heart sing. Something about that rich fudgy chocolate w specks of sweet vanilla white chocolate that is just irresistible! I'm always on the hunt for a good brownie, I'll give this one a try :)

kat said...

yeah those sound pretty perfect to me. We are no nut brownie people in our house so I like the no additions.

Unknown said...

We may as well just call you Mary Poppins! These do look/sound practically perfect in every way, for sure! They're so thick and rich and densely chocolate looking, WOW!
Oh, and thanks for ordering just a bit of good weather before I leave the UK! :)

Alicia Foodycat said...

London bakes - thank you!

Suelle - I was very happy with them, as were the guineapigs.

Charlie - thank you!

Joanne - thanks for the inspiration!

Andrea - it is a great combination, isn't it?

Kat - I love nuts myself, but it seems unfair when one of the team has allergies.

Chris - I can't tell you how happy I am to be getting some good weather myself! Have a good trip home.

Caroline said...

They look amazing, and I'm loving the no-nuts vibe! I think you should definitely test the method again for consistency ;-)

Deb in Hawaii said...

Fabulous--I love the dark chocolate / white chocolate combination! ;-)

Alicia Foodycat said...

Caroline - I will, but there is another keen cook in the office so we sort of alternate!

Deb - thanks!


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