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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Killer Brownies from Marc Forgione

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Yesterday I posted a Coffee Nutella Ice Cream to be paired with this Killer Brownie. It’s dense and chocolaty. The crust, you can see from the picture, is thin and fragile. You could not frost these brownies, so ice cream is a sound way to “complete” the dish, although honestly it does not need anything in addition.

If you don’t want ice cream, then some whipped cream will tone down the intensity of this dessert. Or, you can go the other way. A glass of deep and dark red wine is a complement readily enjoyed.

Unlike most people, I can truthfully claim I have eaten more brownies than Oreos. Suzen and I have a shelf devoted to brownie books. Not cookie books. Brownie books. It is an American dessert, perhaps as much “the” American dessert as apple pie. The wife of the owner of the premiere Chicago Palmer House Hotel requested that her chef create a dessert for ladies attending the World Fair in Chicago 1893. The idea was to have something small, a cross between cake and cookie.

Bertha Palmer was married to Potter Palmer. He had founded a department store and sold it off — before it evolved into Marshall Field’s. He founded the Palmer House, only to lose it in the Great Chicago Fire. But he rebuilt and the Palmers were formidable and gracious members of Chicago society.

Bertha is forgotten now. But her desire, the brownie, is an institution as grand as any hotel or department store.


Killer Brownies

Yield: 8 really large ones

Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup plus ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ⅔ cup cake or all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Place the butter and sugars in the bowl and melt and mix until creamed and smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.

Sift the cocoa powder, flour, and salt into a bowl. Add half the cocoa mixture to the butter mixture and mix until just combined, scraping down the bowl continuously. Repeat with the remaining half.

Grease and flour an 8-inch square cake pan. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and transfer to the oven. Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out dry but with a crumb or two. The top should look dry, crater like, and crackly, about 20 to 25 minutes. Set aside to cool completely. Trim off the edges first [you can save for a great ice cream topping] and cut into even squares.

Source: Cooking by the Book Staff with info from Wikipedia

Photo Information Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/4.5 for 1/50th second at ISO‑2500