Yield: one 9×13 inch pan, about 24 brownies
“Back to Baking”, pp. 53
There is one recipe in the book that I looked at and perused many times over the past two years. However, I could never bring myself to do it. Even though the title of the recipe sounds delicious, as soon as I came across one ingredient in the recipe, I couldn’t do it. That ingredient is… mayonnaise. I strongly dislike mayo, except in tuna sandwiches and crab salad, where it belongs, and could not fathom doing a dessert with mayonnaise! It was against my core beliefs. Mayo, in a brownie? Why? Thankfully, one weekend I decided to be brave and thought that was enough of being so judgemental about mayo and I tried this recipe. Now I regret postponing it for two years! These brownies are fantastic. I don’t often eat brownies, but I am quite certain that I have never had such scrumptious, fudgy, chocolatey, dense-but-not-too-dense, rich brownies.
This recipe makes a lot of brownies, and that is a good thing because you will need it! I made this for a game night with friends and they were very much enjoyed and devoured. These would also be excellent with some nuts in them, such as walnuts or even pecans. What I particularly like about this recipe is that it is pretty much a one-pot recipe and does not generate many dirty dishes. Perfect! If you do or do not like mayo, does not matter. You must make these brownies – tonight. You will thank me, and Anna Olson, tomorrow.
- 4 oz (125 g) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 2/3 cup boiling water
- 2 cups sugar
- 2/3 cup mayonnaise
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line a 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment paper so that the paper hangs over the sides slightly.
- Place the chopped chocolate into a large bowl and pour the boiling water overtop. Let sit for one minute, then whisk to melt the chocolate.
- Whisk in the sugar, then add the mayonnaise and eggs, one at a time. Stir in the vanilla extract.
- With a wooden spoon or spatula, stir in the flour, cocoa and salt until evenly blended.
- Stir in the chocolate chips and mix well.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for about 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the brownies comes out clean. Cool to room temperature.
Yield: about 16-20 brownies
“Back to Baking”, pp. 291
Some people are not as fortunate as most people and are gluten-intolerant or even allergic. This makes me sad. Just to think of all the desserts that I could not eat and that I would have to miss out on makes me realize how very difficult it must be. Not only that, but gluten is in a plethora of foods: breads, muffins, pizza and pie dough, beer, and the list goes on. What made we grasp how much gluten is present is that whenever I bring baked goods to work, which is pretty often, a friend of mine who is gluten-intolerant can never eat anything I make. So while everyone is enjoying dessert and licking their fingers, she can only look at it from afar and ponder on her unfortunate circumstance. I always feel bad when I realize that she can’t have what I made (because I tend to forget) and I always told her that I would make her something one day. It took a couple of months but this dessert was for her.
At first she was a bit disappointed because she thought they were normal brownies and that she couldn’t have any, but to see her excitement when she came to realize that they were gluten-free gave me a very happy feeling. She simply loved them and ate a couple (I’ll never say how many!), and everyone else loved them too! They were a bit skeptic when they saw they these chewy brownies were without gluten, but they all admitted their surprise at the delicious taste. These brownies are chewy, moist, chocolatey and nutty at the same time. You may not even notice that they are gluten-free! Plus, I also like that they are dairy-free as well! So if ever you have a friend or a colleague that is gluten-intolerant, try this simple recipe and you will make a new friend, that much is certain.
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 3/4 cups cocoa powder, sifted
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup walnut pieces
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line an 8-inch square pan with parchment so that the paper comes up the sides of the pan.
- With a hand or stand mixer, stir together the sugar, cocoa and vegetable oil until combined.
- Add the eggs and vanilla extract and mix until the mixture is homogenous.
- Stir in the rice flour, cornstarch and salt until well incorporated.
- Add in the walnut pieces and mix until just combined.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.
- Bake the brownies for about 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean and the top loses its shine. Cool the brownies to room temperature before slicing.
Yield: about 16 squares
“Back to Baking”, pp. 54
Brownies are probably one of the most universally loved desserts. Understandably. They mostly consist of chocolate, butter and, often, nuts. The simplicity of this type of dessert is what makes it so well loved. The twist in Anna’s recipe includes whole wheat (to make us feel a little less guilty of eating these delicious brownies), coffee and a cream cheese frosting. I really enjoyed making and eating these brownies. They were moist, delicious but, alas, very rich due to the cream cheese frosting. A couple of bites quickly fill you up (which means they last longer, no problem there)!
Ingredients for brownies:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 4 oz (120 g) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
- 3 oz (90 g) unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup walnut pieces, lightly toasted
Ingredients for frosting:
- 3 oz (90 g) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
- 1/2 package (4 oz or 125 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup icing sugar, sifted
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square pan and line with parchment paper, making sure that the paper goes up the sides of the pan.
- In a saucepot over low heat, melt together the butter, chocolates and instant coffee, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
- Stir in the sugar, vanilla extract and the eggs one at a time, making sure to stir after each addition.
- Add the flour, baking soda and salt into the chocolate mixture. MIx well until homogeneously combined.
- Stir in the walnut pieces.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for about 35 minutes, just until the top of the brownies have a dull finish to them. Cool the brownies completely in the pan before frosting.
- For the frosting, melt the chocolate, butter and instant coffee in a metal glass bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir until melted.
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand or stand mixer to soften and then add the chocolate mixture. Beat until blended.
- Add the icing sugar and mix to combine.
- Remove the brownies from the pan and ice the top. Let the frosting set for at least one hour before slicing.
Notes from Anna:
- To toast the walnuts, spread the nuts on an ungreased baking tray and bake them at 350°F for about 10 minutes, until they are golden brown.