Fudgelicious Brownies

These beauties are so delectably moist, you could even eat them without frosting. Check that your chips and cocoa powder are gluten-free.
pastry brush or plastic wrap; 8-inch (20 cm) square glass, ceramic, or metal baking pan; sifter; measuring spoons; measuring cups; bowls; microwavable food cover; baking spatula; whisk; dinner knife; if frosting: baking spatula or palette knife
soft butter for baking pan
1 tsp (5 mL) unsweetened cocoa powder for baking pan
1 1/3 cups (330 mL) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup (80 mL) unsalted butter
1/3 cup (80 mL) unsweetened cocoa powder (spoon in, level)
3 Tbsp (45 mL) cornstarch
1/3 cup (80 mL) packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp (30 mL) white sugar
pinch of salt
½ cup (125 mL) unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
2 eggs
Classic Brownie or Mint Brownie Frosting, if you like
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C).
  2. Use a pastry brush or a scrunched-up piece of plastic wrap to butter the bottom and sides of the baking pan. Sift 1 tsp (5 mL) cocoa powder into the pan. Tip the pan around to roll the cocoa over the bottom (you don’t need to coat the sides with cocoa). This stops the brownies from sticking in the pan. Set aside.
  3. Put the chocolate chips and 1/3 cup (80 mL) butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Cover the bowl with a microwavable food cover, if you have one. Heat in the microwave at 50% power for 1 minute at a time, two or three times, until the chocolate chips and butter are melted. After each minute, poke the chocolate chips with a baking spatula to check if they’ve melted. Get help removing the hot bowl from the microwave. Use the baking spatula to stir the chocolate and butter until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
  4. Meanwhile, in another large bowl, sift the 1/3 cup (80 mL) cocoa powder and cornstarch. Use a whisk to stir in the brown sugar (break up any lumps), white sugar, and salt. Set aside.
  5. Go back to the bowl of melted butter and chocolate. Check that it’s lukewarm, not hot. Use the whisk to stir in the applesauce and vanilla until smooth. Then stir in the eggs until smooth.
  6. Pour the dry mixture into the wet mixture. Stir with the whisk into a smooth batter. Use the baking spatula to scrape it evenly into the baking dish. Clean off the spatula with a dinner knife.
  7. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 40 minutes, until the top is set but the brownies are still soft. Cool completely in the pan before using a baking spatula or palette knife to spread with Classic Brownie or Mint Brownie Frosting, if you like.
Makes 16 Fudgelicious Brownies.

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