بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِيم
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
Brownies have got to be the ultimate sweet that I whip up for my family when we go out for picnics or up to
. They’re rich and easily portable. While brownies are an American treat, I haven’t met one person that didn’t like (my) brownies. I made these for my children for Eid al Adha as a take-a-long treat on our mock Hajj we do every year. I thought I share them you all. Algiers
There is much debate what constitutes a good or even the prefect brownie. Some like their brownies rich and fudgy, others robustly chocolately and other rather crackingly cakey.
I love brownies and believe me I’ve tried them all – from boxed, store bought with that all too sweet fudgy frosting, to (almost) every from scratch recipes I’ve found in magazines, books and the Internet. And I’ve come to the realization that my favourite brownies are definitely chewy, dense, intensely and robustly chocolately. I prefer them not down loaded with nuts, and other stuff and always without frosting – plain or simply dusted with icing sugar. I like my brownies uncomplicated; and I don’t like anything to distract me from the consdensed almost sinful chocolateyness.
Another great thing about brownies is that they’re super easy to make. Unlike many Algerian gâteaux making brownies isn’t time-consuming, no special skills or equipment required either. It’s all matter of melt and mix. I’ll repeat that melt and mix (and of course bake). Making from scratch is just easier, cheaper, and all around better for you then any store-bought packaged mix. So get those boxed-mixes OUT of your kitchen like right NOW!
has a useful little column “How to Cook the Prefect” that I’ve reading for years. The author analyses recipes, going through pros and cons of key ingredients before picking a favourite. It along with Fine Cooking's “Recipe Creator” is definitely worth a look.
Some tips on How to Make the Prefect Brownie
Choosing the recipe
Choosing the right recipe is by far the most important thing when making the prefect brownie. For cake-like brownies, you need a recipe with more eggs. For chewy, use less eggs and multitude of chocolate. For fudgy, use more butter and chocolate but less flour. There is also other options to consider, like making the brownies healthier by using a fruit puree to replace some or all of the fat, date sugar or date paste to replace the processed white sugar. I’ll be having a recipe using no refined sugar, only date paste very soon. This recipe is versatile and you can use date sugar or brown sugar if you don't have date sugar on hand. And if you're wondering what is date sugar you'll have to stay tuned since it's a post I'm working on next. Hmm maybe I should have posted that before these ... oh well I'm not prefect. Other than that if you have a special dietary need like egg-free, wheat-free, gluten-free, vegan, paleo, etc then you could expore using flaxmeal “eggs”, non-wheat whole grains like barley or soghrum or even avoid grains all together by using almond or coconut flour.
Toppings that you’d like to decorate your brownies with should also be considered. Being creative with your topping, can result in a better brownies. You can use icing sugar, chocolate frosting, icing glaze, chocolate shavings, nuts, dried or candied fruit or even whipped cream. Yeah, why not?!
Melting fat and chocolate
Most brownie recipes begin by melting chocolate with some type of fat like butter, colza oil, olive oil or even coconut butter. The safest and simplest way to do this is by using a double boiler or any saucepan or large (non-plastic) mixing bowl over a pot of simmering water. The fat and chocolate can be placed directly in the pan and be melted by gently, constantly stir. You can optionally, melt them in a microwave but honestly, I haven’t used mine in years due to all I’ve read about the dangers. It’s mostly used now to “hide” treats from my kids.To substitute unsweetened cocoa for unsweetened baking chocolate, use 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa plus 1 tablespoon butter for each ounce of unsweetened baking chocolate.
To substitute unsweetened cocoa for semi-sweet baking chocolate, use 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa plus 4 teaspoons sugar plus 2 teaspoons butter for each ounce of semi-sweet baking chocolate.
The next basic step in making the prefect brownie after melting is the mixing. For the best results, the batter should be gently mixed by hand. Much like a muffin batter, not overmixing is essential. Overmixing the ingredients causes the brownies to turn out tough like a brick and plainly “blah”.
Preparing the baking pan
It’s SO important to use the correct size pan when making brownies. Brownies are pretty versatile when it comes to pan size. Many bake their brownies in 23cm - 9x
13 inch pan but I've found baking them in a 20 cm -9x9 inch pan will give you thicker and better brownie. I can’t tell how many times I tried to be “smart” using the 9x13in casserole pan to bake my brownies thinking I would get more brownies. Hahhaha it only resulted in thin and really dry brownie.
Typically, the pan is greased using butter or some kind of oil spray. I’ve tried other methods using parchment paper and even aluminium foil. Both resulted in easy clean up and a handy “handle” made from the excess paper or foil to easily lift out the brownies but there wasn’t that nice crispy bottom that I like in my brownies. Finally, I came late to the game in using silicone baking molds, but now they are by far my favorite bakeware. For brownies, I do butter the mold for that nice buttery and crispy bottom. And now I save enough the cost of the parchment paper or aluminium foil.
Once you’ve prepared the batter and the baking, spread the batter evenly for the ideal uniform thickness and texture. And make sure, your oven and baking rack is level. Mine was well, somewhat lop-sided since my oven was installed wrong so everything I bake comes out un-uniform and slanted . :( That’s
for you! Algeria
Another very important factor in making the prefect brownie is the doneness. Brownies, unlike cakes should still be slightly sticky in the center while the sides should be done around the sides. If your brownies, are cooked through (when you test it with a toothpick) in the center, the brownies are overbaked. The toothpick should always come out with some sticky brownie goodness on it to get the "prefect brownie".
Once your brownies are baked, allowing the brownies to properly cool before cutting is essential to prevent cracking, crumbling and making nicer, neater slices. To help you along, remove the brownie “block” from the baking dish then dip your sharp knife in hot water, wipe dry and move across the brownies in a sawing motion.
Keeping them Fresh
Keep your brownies fresh by wrapping them individually in plastic wrap or in a air-tight container on the countertop. To freeze, them wrap each brownie individually in plastic wrap then stack in an airtight freezer–safe bag. They’re keep fresh for up to three days on the countertop, up to one week in the fridge and if wrapper properly up to 6 monhts in the freezer.
obustly chocolately and relatively healthier than most brownie recipes, hence why I call them the Best
- Looking for delicious bar and cookie recipe? Try these dark chocolate brownies. Or these mocha almond biscotti.
- Or check out this chocolate-coffee besboussa recipe.
- Or browse through the recipe index to get inspired.
I'm submitting these to Spice Foodie's Your Best Recipe event.