I was looking for a casual dessert to make for the cottage, and in the 2006 summer issue of Food & Drink I came across this recipe that stated "a weekend at the cottage wouldn't be the same without a pan of brownies. These decadent treats can be served simply with a dusting of icing sugar or topped with a scoop of ice cream and drizzled with berry or chocolate sauce for a more elaborate dessert. "
Well that couldn't have made my search any easier, so although I am not a brownie fan I new my guests were. However, after whipping up a batch of these I quickly changed my tune about brownies.
Homemade brownies with high quality chocolate (using chocolate with with cocoa liquor, cocoa mass or unsweetened chocolate listed first in the ingredients list makes a huge difference in taste.
1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
¼ cup (50 mL) unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
1 cup (250 mL) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
6 oz (175 g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1½ cups (375 mL) granulated sugar
1 tbsp (15 mL) vanilla essence
1 cup (250 mL) chopped toasted pecans (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
2. Line a 13 x 9-inch (3-L) metal baking pan with foil, allowing excess to overhang edges. Lightly grease foil.
3. Combine flour, cocoa and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
4. Melt butter and chocolate in a deep saucepan over low heat, stirring until smooth. Let cool slightly. Whisk in sugar and vanilla. Whisk in eggs 1 at a time until well blended. Stir in flour mixture with a wooden spoon or spatula just until blended. Stir in pecans, if using. Pour into prepared pan, spreading batter into corners.
5. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until a just a few moist crumbs cling to tester inserted in the centre. Do not over-bake. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Remove foil from pan and transfer to cutting board. Serve immediately or wrap completely in foil and store at room temperature for up to 2 days. (To freeze, wrap in plastic wrap, then in foil or airtight container and freeze for up to 2 months.)
Cut into squares.
Makes 16 to 24 brownies