Brownies. Not a chocolate cake, but brownies. Moist, fudgy, with a beautiful crispy crumbly top.
One of my favourite homemade baked good to give, because it 1. needs no refrigeration, 2. wrapped in foil, it’s easy to transport and give each friend one packet of chocolate goodness! and, 3. almost everyone loves chocolate! 😉
My first brownie was from a premix box, and I have to admit some premixed brownies are pretty good (like Betty Crocker)! In fact, one of the best brownies memories I have was one made by a good friend, from a box, swirled with cream cheese. I will always remember her pulling that pan of freshly baked brownies from the oven, slicing it while it was still warm and giving me a piece. I went back for seconds 😛
After learning to bake and discovering that brownies are really quite simple to make, I found this recipe from King Arthur Flour and loveeee it to bits. Been wanting to share this for a long time, but you know, brownies get eaten fast (I usually bake them when I need a dessert fast and off they go into mouths, or wrapped into aluminum foil packages given to friends)… and they can be quite hard to photograph because there’re just well, brown, and not the prettiest thing in the dessert kingdom. Hahaha.
That and I haven’t baked this recipe for a while, I had a feeling it needed to be tweaked a little because I remembered it being a little too sweet for some tastebuds. Once again I reduced the sugar and substituted some of it for light brown sugar.
And that crispy brownie top? I discovered it by accident and all my past bakes had that lovely top. After not baking brownies for awhile, I couldn’t recreate the crust like I used to. So I asked my good friend Google, and the Kitchn gave me the answer: How to Get a Crunchy Top on Brownies.
And the secret? Whipped egg whites and sugar – that crunchy top is actually… meringue!
In the past, I thought whipping whole eggs and sugar was a good idea cause I wanted a brownie with a lighter texture (not sure what I was thinking :p), but didn’t realize that beating the eggs and sugar until its thick, produced that crispy top.
Adapted from King Arthur's Flour Deep-dark fudgy brownies
- 1 cup (110g) plain / all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup (48g) cocoa powder, dutch processed (I've tried Valrhona, Van Houtens, and Callebaut, etc. My favourite is still Valrhona :))
- 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp (50g) icing sugar
- 1 tsp coffee powder
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup (100g) white sugar
- 1/2 cup (100g) light brown sugar
- 2 tbsp full cream milk or coffee liquor
- 1/2 cup (125g) butter, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 375°F. Line a 8x8 inch pan with baking paper or aluminium foil (here's how to line your pan for brownies by GoodLife Eats, for easy removal).
2. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, icing sugar and coffee powder.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together the melted butter, milk and vanilla extract.
4. Beat together the eggs and sugars until thick and fluffy. Slowly beat in the butter mixture until well combined.
5. Add the in flour mixture and fold it in until combined; you'll get a thick chocolate batter.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared thin and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the sides of the brownie start the pull away from the pan and the top crust is set. You can poke the middle of the brownie with a knife, if it is set and the knife comes out with moist crumbs, it's done! I personally think it's okay to slightly underbake the brownie, as it will continue cooking as it cools in the pan.
7. Remove the pan from oven and leave to cool on wire rack. I usually remove the brownie from the pan (if you lined your pan like GoodLife Eats as linked above, just lift the whole parchment with the brownie off the pan!) in about 1-2 minutes to prevent the heat from cooking it further 🙂
A little tip to cutting your brownies and not having the top crumble like crazy, is to slice the crust while it’s still hot (before it cools and sets)! You don’t have to cut all the way through, just gently cut the top crust into the number of portions you want. Once its cooled, follow the cuts and divide your brownies for sharing 😀