06 March, 2013


If I haven't mentioned before, I love chocolate. I also love to bake. And these two loves paired together can birth one pair of unsightly hips. But every now and again I just need a brownie fix. I've vowed to create more waist-friendly desserts in the future.

But enough of that, because this one is not.

(This recipe is adapted from Smitten Kitchen, and it's lovely. But I added a wee bit of my Young Living peppermint oil to the batter and also created an icing. Now they explode in your mouth. This peppermint flavour was unlike any I've tasted before and I'll never buy regular peppermint extract again).

Best Cocoa Brownies (with mint)

10 tablespoons (140 grams) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (250 grams) sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (65 grams, though some brands may weigh more) unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
1/4 teaspoon salt (or a heaping 1/4 teaspoon flaky salt, as I used)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, cold
1/2 cup (65 grams) all-purpose flour
3-4 drops therapeutic-grade essential peppermint oil

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.

Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and set the bowl in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and hot enough that you want to remove your finger fairly quickly after dipping it in to test. Remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot. It looks fairly gritty at this point, but don’t fret — it smooths out once the eggs and flour are added.

Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Spread evenly in the lined pan.

Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 20 to 25 minutes. Pop them in the fridge to cool.

Mint Icing
1/4 cup icing sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
5 tablespoons softened butter
1 tablespoon milk
3-4 drops peppermint essential oil

These proportions can be varied for different consistency. It also wouldn't hurt to cut back the sugar and up the cocoa, says my hips.

Lather brownies with mint icing. Slice while still cold for perfect cut. Devour

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