Suzi's Blog

Classic Cake Brownies

 

 

Yesterday came the frosting. Today it’s that brownie lying underneath.

Classic brownies are often made with unsweetened chocolate, which typically is melted with the butter. The resulting brownies tend to have moistness and stickiness. This recipe title says both “classic” and “cake.” Here cocoa powder substitutes for the chocolate. The butter is beaten, not melted. With those two factors, and a large number of eggs, the resulting brownie texture shifts from sticky to cakey.

The batter here will be stiff and seems to barely fill the pan. But the egg and baking powder do give you a modestly high brownie. If you want a thicker version, then move to a smaller pan [10” X 10”] would be best, but you will have to monitor the baking time carefully.

Using the Fudgy Frosting from yesterday’s post gives you a clever texture contrast. The brownie is soft and cakey, offering no resistance to your bite. The frosting is, as the name says, fudgy and you’ll find it clinging to the edge of your teeth. It will linger there, gradually dissolving, and generating a sugar high that only a true brownie lover can appreciate.

But you knew that from the picture, didn’t you?


Classic Cake Brownies

Yield: 24 brownies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 13X9 inch baking pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add to the butter mixture, beating until just combined.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth edges and top to a uniform thickness over the entire pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the brownies cool in the pan to room temperature before frosting.

Source: Cookies Brownies Bars & More from HoffmanMedia

Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/4.5 for 1/25th second at ISO‑3200

 

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Fudgy Frosting

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This post is the first of two. I had to flip a coin to see which would come first.

No, that’s not true. Look at that picture. The brownie is very good, made with cocoa and very cakey. But it is this frosting that literally tops this treat. This frosting, also made with cocoa, is universal. It adorns brownies here, but is excellent for other cookies or cakes.

The technique for this recipe lets you control the viscosity of the frosting. You start in a saucepan using 4 cups of powdered sugar. Still warm, that mixture can be easily poured over a cake, but it will definitely run. Adding more powdered sugar will gradually stiffen the frosting and I suggest doing that step by first pouring mixture out of the sauce pan and into a stand mixer. Beating with the mixer will make the incorporation of additional powdered sugar easier and will increase the rate of cooling. As the mixture cools, it stiffens, so you will more readily approach a stiffness needed to frost a cake top without having the frosting “drool” over the sides.

Remember though: having the frosting loose and flowing is a natural way to achieve a perfectly smooth surface, one that is “bakery perfect.”

The stiffening power of the powdered sugar depends on whether it is sifted and the day’s humidity. Getting to the consistency you want all depends on your frosting tasks. Add additional sugar slowly and remember: you can always add a little milk to loosen up frosting that has become too stiff for your task at hand.


Fudgy Frosting

Yield: 2+ cups

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup butter, cut into ¼-inch chunks
  • ⅓ cup whole milk or heavy cream
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 5 cups confectioners’ sugar, divided 4 cups and 1 cup

Preparation:

In a medium saucepan, place the butter, milk and cocoa. Over medium heat, melt the butter and combine the mixture while constantly whisking. Do not bring to a boil. When the butter has melted and mixture is uniform, add the vanilla.

Lower the heat to simmer and gradually add the 4 cups of confectioners’ sugar. Whisk continuously to achieve uniformity as quickly as possible.

Remove from the heat and pour mixture into a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Turn the mixer to medium and beat the mixture to being cooling and stiffening. Occasionally reduce the beater speed and add portions of the remaining cup of sugar. When the frosting has reached the consistency and temperature you need, stop the mixer and use immediately.

As the frosting cools further to room temperature it will set and resemble fudge. It will taste like it, too.

Source: Brian O’Rourke

Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/4.5 for 1/25th second at ISO‑3200