Hooray us! We celebrated our 9th year arriving in Australia last month. It’s a significant occasion as I remember experiencing our first winter on arrival, armed with 3 2yos, an 8yo and 9 luggage’s packed full of what we wanted to hold on from the past and lots of hopes for the future. We arrived full of fear, hope and excitement. We haven’t looked back since. And to celebrate this milestone, of course there has to be cake. Or maybe brownies this time.
This is a recipe adapted from Alice Medrich. One of the icons in American desserts and chocolates, she is a cookbook author and well known for her chain of chocolate stores called Cocolat chain of chocolate and dessert stores in the US (closed 1991). I like her recipes because most of them are simple and straightforward, easy to follow. There’s no fancy ingredients, just simple honest baking than any home baker can try. She shares her recipes on her website, and sometimes a few of them turn up via Food52. Here’s one of them.
I especially like this cocoa brownies as it’s something I’ve never tried before. Cocoa in brownies. I’ve use chocolates in the past, a combination of both, but never just cocoa. What’s interesting is that this can pass as decadent and as good as your chocolate-brownie varieties. Sprinkled with some sea salt, it’s beyond indulgent. It’s coined “Alice Medrich’s best cocoa brownies”. I can’t argue with that.
170 grams butter
1 ¼ cup caster sugar
¾ cup and 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cold large eggs
½ cup plain flour
2/3 cup nuts or dried fruits (optional)
Sea salt flakes for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 180*C
Line a 20cm square brownie tin with baking paper.
Prepare a pot with simmering water. In a heat proof bowl, combine the butter, sugar cocoa and salt, and place on top of the pot (works as a double-broiler).
Stir the mixture with a spatula until the butter and sugar melts and the batter is smooth.
Set aside to warm. Don’t cool entirely.
Using a wooden spoon, stir in the vanilla.
Add the eggs one a time, stirring vigorously after each addition and the mixture becomes shiny.
Stir in the flour and mix thoroughly. (AM suggests 40 strokes with a wooden spoon or spatula).
Add nuts/fruits if using and stir through the mixture.
Pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly with the back of a spoon.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the skewer test comes out slightly moist.
Place on a cooling rack.
Tips and tricks:
* I've made this with some frozen raspberries, roughly chopped and it made for extra moist brownies.
What’s so good about this recipe? It’s a one-bowl wonder. You don’t even need to plug in your stand mixer for this one. You can even make this with your kids. Or kids can make this themselves (with adult supervision).
Now go on help yourself. Have a brownie. Or two.