I used to be a terrible brownie baker. I think I've mentioned this before! I avoided making brownies as a rule because I couldn't guarantee if I made one, that it would turn out as a delicious as it should. People always say brownie is so easy, but somehow I just couldn't seem to get it right.
Either I over baked it, and I have a slightly burnt, dry, crumby chocolate cake, or I under cook it, and have a gooey, sticky chocolately mess!
Last year I decided I really needed to conquer the brownie! I found a recipe in my trusty Edmond's Illustrated Cookbook, and it seemed easy enough for me to do without ruining it! I've played around with it a little bit too and find you can add in a few different ingredients too, which is how I came up with this one! I found that sticking to the original recipe, it tended to be more on the dry side, so I added in sour cream. As I'm an amateur baker, I have no idea of the science or reaction this would create, I was just thinking in terms of making a more moist cake. I also think the slight tartness of the sour cream offsets the super sweetness of the double chocolate with the extra chocolate chips. And it works! So delicious.
I think the key with a good brownie is to use good quality chocolate, and watch it carefully at the end of the cooking time. What you what to have is a lovely crusty top with a soft, chewy centre. I was watching Rachael Ray (!) a few weeks ago and she had a pastry chef on the show, and they were talking about oven temperature. According to their expert advice, once your oven is several years old, the temperature you set it at and the actual temperature the oven is, can be quite different. I've noticed in my own oven, it seems to run a lot hotter now than it used to. I also read this article which talks about how it's impossible to calibrate your oven temperature. So with that said, my only advice is to watch your brownie carefully, and test it frequently at the end of the cooking time, until your skewer (toothpick or cake tester) is almost clean, and it should be ready.
Double Chocolate Sour Cream Brownie
(adapted from Chocolate Brownie recipe featured in the Edmonds Illustrated Cookbook)
250g Chocolate (good quality dark like Whittakers Dark works best)
1 ½ cups plain flour
125g Sour cream (1 small pottle)
1 cup Sugar
2 teaspoons Vanilla
3 eggs, beaten
½- ¾ cup Chocolate chips or buttons (either milk or white)
In a medium-sized saucepan, melt butter and chocolate over a very low heat.
Remove saucepan from the heat and add flour, sugar, vanilla, eggs and sour cream. Stir until well combined and the mixture is smooth. Stir in the extra chocolate chips or buttons.
Pour mixture into a 20cm lined square baking tin. Bake at 180 degrees celsius for 40mins, checking carefully in the last 5 mins of cooking time
Leave in tin 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack
When cold, sprinkle with icing sugar and cut into squares
I didn't take many pictures because I wanted to eat it!
This brownie is divine on it's own still warm from the oven. It's also beautiful with ice cream as a special dessert, or thick Greek Yoghurt. It keeps for a couple of days in an airtight container (if it lasts that long!), but tastes best after a quick *zap* in the microwave to warm it up again.