I went through a period of “baker’s block” over the last few weeks. So much of my time, energy, and creativity goes into the work I do at school that at times, it’s difficult for me to transition to being creative in the kitchen. Next week is already the end of Spring term (how have 2.5 months gone by so fast???), which means I’m juggling six final projects and being a real human (which is basically a full time job), which then means all my mind wants to do is veg out and watch Naruto on Netflix during any free time I have to spare.
Admittedly, I tend to feel a constant pressure to create desserts that will knock your socks off. So many of you loved my Disney Donuts and Maple Bacon Mochi Pancake Bites, which (don’t get me wrong) were recipes that took quite a bit of thinking + trial and error to get through. But those ideas were actually spontaneous and just seemed to pop into my mind. I feel as though I’m forever thinking about food. What unusual ingredients (which will take me 2 extra laps around the supermarket to find) can I throw together here? What behemoth can I turn this already 3 hour recipe into? Basically, how do I make my life harder???
I was reading a post from Thalia @ Butter and Brioche, and it got me thinking about simple food. She talks about how she almost didn’t share her bourbon chocolate chip cookies recipe, thinking it wasn’t “exceptional” enough. Which is something I think a lot of us can relate to. Last week, I made my grandma’s Energy Bars and the recipe was so refreshingly and surprisingly simple. When thinking about what I wanted to share with you guys today, I realized that there is absolutely nothing wrong with keeping things simple as long as it’s always delicious. And these rich, decadent, ONE BOWL, fudgey brownies are all that and more.
I’m a bit ashamed to admit this… but I always enjoyed boxed brownie mixes more than homemade brownies. It’s the texture!! Nothing could satisfy my craving for the rich, chewy, and fudgey goodness like Ghirardelli’s Triple Chocolate brownie mix. I’m not proud of this period of my life. When transitioning to cooking from scratch and using real ingredients, I decided it was best for boxed brownie mixes and I to go our separate ways. BUT ALL MY PROBLEMS HAVE BEEN SOLVED! Rich, dark, and
handsome decadent homemade brownies are real and they’re so so good! This AMAZING brownie recipe comes via America’s Test Kitchen, which is such a great resource for any baker. ATK’s brownie testing discovered that the secret to a chewy, fudgey brownie is the ratio of oil to butter. While the traditional homemade brownie has a ratio of 64% saturated to 36% unsaturated fat. Boxed brownie mixes actually use a ratio of 28% saturated fat to 72% unsaturated fat. This comes from powdered shortening that is highly processed. But never, fear ATK is here! Their recipe contains the same ratio of saturated fat to unsaturated fat as a boxed mix, but replaces that powdered shortening with butter and oil, creating an even richer taste but keeping all that fudgey brownie goodness we love. Guys, I’m being so serious when I say that this is one of those recipes you need to have in your repertoire!!
A few weeks ago, I had lunch with fellow Hawaii-girl/food blogger/Saveur’s Best New Voice(!!!), Alana @ Fix Feast Flair. Go and check her out! We talked about life + food + home and it was so nice to get to meet in real life. Yay for new friends! I can’t wait to meet more of you guys in the future 🙂
p.s. In other news, I was featured in a BuzzFeed line up of 37 Delicious Desserts You Can Make With Tea with those Matcha Cruffins that happened in March… check out the link for 36 other really, really good looking desserts!!
Super Duper Fudgey Brownies
1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp instant espresso
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp boiling water
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1. Position one of your oven racks on the lowest rung. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Using two sheets of foil, line a 9×13 inch square baking dish so that one sheet sits on top of the other, with the excess foil hanging off the sides. This will make it easier to remove the brownies after they are done baking. Grease the foil and set aside.
3. In a large, heatproof bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, instant espresso, and boiling water. Add in the chopped unsweetened chocolate and whisk until there are no more lumps and the mixture is fully combined. Next, whisk in the melted butter and vegetable oil. The mixture may separate at this point. Add in the eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla extract, whisking until the mixture is smooth and fully combined. Lastly, whisk in the sugar.
4. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the all purpose flour and salt. Once evenly combined, fold in the bittersweet chocolate pieces.
5. Pour the brownie batter into the baking dish lined with foil. Knock the dish against the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. I also used a toothpick to get any stubborn ones out.
6. Bake for 35-45 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let the brownies cool inside the pan for 1 1/2 hours. Remove them using the foil overhang and let cool on a wire rack for an additional hour. Afterwards, cut the brownies into squares and enjoy these amazing squares of chocolatey goodness.
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