Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Because we love dads, even when they don’t love chocolate.

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This past weekend was father’s day.  It was also the weekend of a huge outdoor party, complete with big bohemian tents and a pig on a spit, that the bf’s dad and stepmom hosted at their house in Oxfordshire to celebrate their joint birthdays.  They took care of all the party planning and much of the food (besides the pig) themselves, so of course I offered to help.  Which meant baking 3 trays of brownies (not too hard, but very messy) and bringing them up on the train on Friday evening (really surprisingly hard).  It also meant finding a great, easy brownie recipe (pretty difficult too).

After two successive test runs of two different, highly rated brownie recipes, I settled on an adaptation of a very popular fudgy brownie, which I figured would transport well and taste great second-day.  Oh, and they had to be chewy, because I am so not a cakey brownie gal.

When I was making these rich, fudgy brownies, I couldn’t help thinking of my pops, who claims not to like chocolate yet devours anything chocolatey that’s set in front of him.  I’m sure he would scarf these brownies accordingly, complaining the whole time about how he doesn’t like chocolate.  Oh, dad.

The bf’s dad, on the other hand, legitimately hates chocolate.  “WHAT?”  I hear you screech, “how can that BE?”  I don’t know.  The man is an enigma.  He refuses chocolate, yet he’ll pick up a thumb-sized furry spider and coo at it.  I don’t pretend to understand him.  Or why his wife decided to have chocolate pastries as the dessert at their birthday party.

What I do understand is brownies, and these are the business.  They disappeared in a hot second at the party, and I was well chuffed (to use a British phrase I dig).  If you like cakey, soft brownies, this is not the recipe for you, but if you drool over rich, chewy, fudgy squares of chocolaty goodness, then this is definitely one for the file/box/binder!

Fudgy Espresso Brownies 
     Adapted from allrecipes

Preheat oven to 350F/175C.  Line a 9x13 baking dish with foil.

In a saucepan, melt:
     1 cup (225 g) unsalted butter

When butter has melted, remove saucepan from heat.  In a separate bowl, combine:
     3 eggs, beaten
     2 tsp vanilla
     3 cups sugar
Add to the saucepan, taking care to mix well so as not to cook the eggs (this is why I combine all the ingredients before adding, because there's little that's grosser than a bit of scrambled egg in your brownie).

Add (combining first if you like):
     1 cup cocoa
     1.5 cups flour
     2 tsp instant espresso powder

Mix batter gently, with a wooden spoon, until just blended.  Let it be lumpy if you like fudginess, because overmixing causes cakiness.  Pour into prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean, taking care not to overbake.  Let cool before cutting into squares and devouring.

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