If there´s one recipe that has brought me great joy and never steered me wrong, this would be it.
It is one of the first things I baked completely on my own, without having eaten brownies before (for some reason, brownies hadn´t become popular in Argentina yet, now they are in every café´s menu). I was watching one of my favorite cooking shows back then, it must have been at least ten years ago… and I immediately realized that this was something in between cakes and cookies… and I´ve always been partial to cookies in this classic antagonism of cookie vs. cake. So, going back to the story, the brownies looked so damn chocolatey and moist that I couldn´t resist the urge to make them: just as a judge, of course, I was planning to have a single brownie and stop at that… yeah, right.
Needless to say, I became addicted to them, which is a very very bad thing since I always have the ingredients to make a fresh batch. That is one of the great things about this particular recipe: you don´t need to add chocolate, just cocoa, so chances are, you will always have the ingredients at hand.
There´s even a myth that says that one night a few years ago, we were talking after dinner and I suddently got the urge (and I mean true urge) to eat brownies. Not only brownies, the urge was more specific, it was brownies topped with dulce de leche and vanilla ice cream, talk about high-maintenance! Anyway, and again, according to this myth, I quickly prepared a batch, dispached my brother to buy ice cream and we were eating warm brownies with dulce de leche and ice cream 40 minutes later. Sin never tasted so good!!!
This would be a recreation of that moment:
Whenever I have that sort of urge (whether it is hormonally-induced or fat-soul-induced), I bake a batch of these, make some capuccino and burst with happiness for the rest of the day.
So it´s no surprise that I made them with dulce de leche sauce and ice cream for new years eve and they were a big hit.
Of course, I documented the whole thing so that you could witness the whole process.
and a dulce de leche river
Fool-proof brownies (adapted from an original recipe by Maru Botana, to my Argentine readers, stop laughing!!! she wasn´t that bad back then!)
Melted butter (100 grams or 3.5 oz)
Granulated sugar (1 1/2 cups)
All-purpose flour (1 cup)
Baking powder (1 teaspoon)
Cocoa (1 1/2 cups, I use semi-sweet cocoa, Nesquick, to be more precise)
Vanilla extract (1 teaspoon)
Cinnamon (1 teaspoon) *
Bittersweet chocolate (to taste, I use around 100grams, 3.5 oz) **
1. Melt the butter in the microwave at 60% for 1 minute or so. Mix with the sugar using a metal whisk and then add the eggs one by one.
2. Mix the flour with the baking powder and the cocoa and mix with the batter. If you are adding cinnamon and chocolate (optional), this would be the time to add them
3. Preheat the oven to 180C or 350F.
4. Pour in buttered and floured rectangular pan (I generally use a PAM-like spray called Fritolim).
5. Bake for 20-30 minutes (it depends on your oven, I usually bake them for just 20 minutes because I like them quite moist). Check after 15 minutes just in case. Don´t open the oven before that because the mix would fall if air gets in while it´s rising.
*One thing I discovered over the years is that these brownies taste way better if you add around a teaspoon of cinnamon to the batter, I don´t know what it is about cinnamon that brings out the complexity of chocolate.
** When I do have chocolate at hand, I chop a little bit (around 4 ounces) and add it to the mix to make it thicker.