Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Lost in Translation? U.K. Chocolate Brownies

Brownies - U.K. style

I thoroughly enjoyed making these brownies, but I am not sure how they are going to fare in the taste test.  Mine came out more like mousse and not dense as shown in the photo above, but that could be due to my translation of the recipe. 

They were the best looking of the brownies so far.  A nice shiny top with deep cracks and crevices.  The U.K. brownies also had white chocolate chips, in addition to milk chocolate chips. 

Chocolate Brownies
from The Times, March 12, 2011 (London)
Makes 12 - 14
185 g chocolate (60-70% cocoa solids), broken into small pieces
185 g unsalted butter
1 tsp. instant coffee (optional)
3 large eggs
275 g golden caster sugar  (see note below)
85 g plain flour
40 g cocoa powder
50 g white chocolate, roughly chopped
50 g milk chocolate, roughly chopped

25 x 20 cm shallow baking tin, lightly greased and base-lined with baking parchment

1. Preheat the oven to 180 C/gas mark 4. (I baked at 350 degrees F)

 Put the plain chocolate in a heatproof bowl with the butter and coffee, if using.  Place over a pan of barely simmering water on a very low heat and leave until melted.  Stir to blend together and take off the heat.
(I melted them in the microwave on High for 10 seconds, stir, then 10 seconds more, stir, until the chocolate melts completely.  It doesn't take long. The chocolate will burn if you don't stop every 10 seconds and stir. )

2. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and sugar together, using a free standing mixer or a hand held electric whisk, until thick, pale and quadrupled in volume. 

This will take about 5 minutes in a free-standing mixer, or 10 minutes with a hand-held whisk.

3.  Fold the chocolate mixture into the mousse-like egg mixture. 

Sift in the flour and cocoa powder, then, using a large metal spoon, fold in very carefully, so as not to lose the tiny air bubbles. 

Finally fold in the chopped white and milk chocolate.
4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for about 35 minutes, until the brownie no longer wobbles when softly shaken and the top is dark and shiny. 

Leave to cool in the tin.

5.  When cold, carefully turn out on to a clean folded tea-towel to preserve the shiny top, then invert onto a board and cut into squares or triangles.  These brownies can be stored for 4-5 days in an airtight tin, or for up to a week in a sealed container in the fridge.

Caster sugar is superfine sugar. You can buy it --it is used for making cocktails so look in the bar section if you can't find it in the regular baking section --- or make your own by pulsing regular sugar in a processor or clean coffee grinder until it becomes dust-like.


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