I had to post this immediately. Like, I really had to: there’s a small queue of folks waiting on the recipe for these guys.
I mean, in case you were wondering how good they are.
My definition of ‘immediately’ might be a bit off (a week is kind of immediate… if you’re, say, a snail), but I was taking extra care in making sure my adaptation was user-friendly, seeing as I halved the original and that ended up with some particularly fiddly quantities in the ingredients department. They are now only kind of particularly fiddly.
Don’t say I never did anything for you people.
I give you fussy amounts of tsps and tbsps – AND I give you the power of making the most badass brownies I personally have ever tasted. The secret isn’t entirely in the sour cream (yep, we’re going there), but it isn’t not in the sour cream either.
Have a look at what you’ll be working with, should you accept this challenge (do it):
Quite the assemblage, non?
Before I’d even got this far, looking at the ingredients list for these gave me pause – the butter weighed the most, followed by the sugar. I was making brownies, right? Then physically dishing it all up made me realise how hugely outnumbered the one dry ingredient was (that’s be the flour – if you’ve ever touched cocoa you’ll know it’s not dry at all, ditto sugar).
This was going to be interesting. (Remember the last time I dealt with a scary liquid batter? Oy.)
The next steps were to take a couple of arguably solid things and turn them into a (beautiful glossy) liquid, then turn the slightly less solid things into a liquid and combine them to make… lots of liquid. I’m not going to pretend the double-liquid looked all that pretty. Foaming the hell out of eggs and sour cream for 5+ minutes then adding molten chocolatebutter is never going to be a concoction that wins beauty pageants.
Then I whisked together the two powdery ingredients and poured in the (very, very) wet mixture.
The idea was to keep as much of the whisked-in air in the batter as possible, so the two mixtures came together with very gentle and purposefully not-thorough folding.
The finished batter was a bit sticky and incredibly fudgy. Just the right consistency to pour and scrape easily into the seriously prep’d tin (see below) with just enough left streaked in the bowl and on the spatula for a bit of gleefully undignified licking.
This recipe had a couple of magical extras – additional bits of detail and care (and chemistry, if we’re going to be grown-ups about this) that I think could well have given these the extra push to being genuinely the best brownies I’ve ever made:
- Prepping the tin with butter and a dusting of cocoa powder – not just about keeping the bake from sticking to the pan, but also about giving the outside a bit of flavour and moisture, and to seal it slightly.
- Sprinkling the top with crunchy caster sugar – look at all the lovely little craters on the baked top, a top which contrasted beautifully with the heavenly fudginess beneath.
Of course the real genius is in the double-whammy of dark chocolate and cocoa, and the addition of sour cream for an extra tang to the bitterness of the former ingredients, but I say the attention to detail is what gave these guys their edge.
Exhibit A: batter poured into coca-dusted tin and scattered liberally with sugar, exhibit B: what I took out of the oven after 25 minutes. (Not pictured: extreme joy and more relief than I’d care to disclose.)
I do admit to being more than a little worried when I opened the oven for a moment halfway through, to see what was cooking (I’ll just get my coat…), and was greeted by a tin of fudgy batter turned pure scalding liquid. I had to calm myself down with a silent mantra of ‘chemistry is weird, chemistry is weird’ and a few more therapeutic swipes at the batter-streaked mixing bowl.
My mantra was spot-on. Look what the freaky tin of liquid turned into:
Don’t be fooled by the beautifully flaked and speckled top of these baked beauties – their playful exterior is just a cover for some serious darkness within.
Moist, dense, bitter-sweet darkness. If only all inner demons were so delicious.
The madness behind the comparatively vast quantities of wet ingredients makes sense now – as does the prolonged beating of the eggs (air), and the leaving of flour steaks in the batter (also air).
Aeration notwithstanding, being so close-textured these took quite a while to cool down, and I ended up speeding things up by whacking them in the fridge so I could get them sliced and de-tinned.
The de-tinning was where the madness in the buttering and cocoa-dusting of a sheet of baking paper presented itself as utterly brilliant: no flipping and spoiling the delicate crinkly top, no gouging around the lovely clean edges with a spatula. I cut the brownies into squares in the tin then airlifted the whole (satisfyingly heavy) lot to freedom.
Freedom to be devoured. (Hooray!)
Oh – sorry!
Sorry… The whole point of this post was to get my adapted –> RECIPE <– typed and posted for the folks who eagerly requested it a week ago, and who have been patiently waiting for me to get on with it ever since.
It can now be found (ever so subtly) indicated above. Apologies for the delay. We all know it was worth the wait (and if you don’t know, make these brownies and you’ll find out exactly how much nonsense you’d put up with if they were the payoff – ALL the nonsense, basically).
No need to thank me – no, really – you’re very, very welcome.
(I accept leftovers.)