Thursday, March 10, 2011

Brownies a la Carla

I am not a big fan of sweet things. Every time I say no to candies or over sweet-looking desserts, the most common reaction from the people offering is: "Are you on diet?"

Well, no, I am not on diet, never have been, and will hopefully never be. I SHOULD be. But life is too good to pass worrying about all the food that you are about to eat, how many calories it contains, what about the cholesterols, etc. But I do care about balance. Balance between what gets in and what gets out (read: food versus exercise). Balance between body and soul. Balance between work and rest.

My boyfriend has been recently diagnosed as having gastritis; most probably caused by the excessive alcohol he drank during the past 6 months. I recalled that this seemed to have started since we had our first serious argument, after which was followed by other endless fights that almost ended in a breakup. Those times are over now, fortunately. All we have to do now is to fix the damages what the broken soul causes to our body. Vincent has to go on a big diet (no alcohol, no soda, less coffee, less smoking, no lemon/lime, no onions, and most importantly no stress). The last one is a note for me, too. Stress always leads to health problems!

Back in the balance discussion, therefore even though I don't eat that much of sweet food, I do indulge myself in the goodness of the bitter sweet chocolate once in a while. Not the overly sweet one. It's the mouthwatering real dark chocolate. I especially prefer to make it myself, so I know what is put and how much is put to conform it with my personal taste.

The brownies recipe I am going to share in a little bit is taken from Crazy for Chocolate cookbook. I loooove every single recipe in this book. However, as always I reduce the amount of sugar called by the recipes. Or substitute it with brown sugar. And even after I do so, these brownies are still my family and friends' all-time favourite. My darling friend, Veve, got a pan of brownies for her birthday a few years ago and she hardly shared it with anyone else. She could eat it all by herself maybe because it was not as sweet as other brownies (too much sweetness makes you drool, but then stop after a few bites). Just enough sweetness hooks you.
Brownies a la Carla

These are soooo chocolaty with a bit of crunch the macadamia nuts give, sort of firm on top but gooey in the inside, making it melt-in-your-mouth brownies, except when it comes to the part when you have to chew the nuts. And I should really just stop babbling and write the recipe now.

Ingredients:

  • 200 gr chopped dark baking chocolate 
  • 100 gr butter 
  • 2 spoonful of water 
  • 100 gr brown sugar (if you like sweet dessert, feel free to add more or change it with normal sugar)
  • 40 gr all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 100 gr macadamia nuts (you can replace them with any other nuts you like more), toasted and chopped
  • vanilla essence
Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven at 180°C and line a baking tin with butter and parchment paper.
  2. While still in the package, beat the chocolate onto your kitchen counter several times until they are broken into pieces. You can also do it in a less extreme way as the cookbook suggests; i.e. cut the dark cooking chocolate with a knife. But personally I like my way better, it relieves some stress.
  3. Put the chocolate pieces together with the butter and 2 spoons of water in a glass bowl or a small pan.
  4. Put a pan with some boiling water (not much) on a hob with medium heat, put the bowl with the choc pieces and butter on top of this pan. Please note that it is important that the water must not touch the bottom of the bowl.
  5. Stir slowly until the chocolate and the butter melt. This should only take a few minutes.
  6. When it is all melted, pour the brown sugar into the bowl. Stir then remove the bowl from the heat.
  7. Sift the flour into the bowl and add the eggs, the nuts and the vanilla essence. Stir.
  8. Pour this batter into the prepared tin.
  9. Bake for 35 minutes or until the top is firm enough to touch.
Great with a glass of cold milk. Delish!
TIP:
Never ever melt chocolate with direct contact with the source of the heat. This will burn the choc or break it.

2 comments:

Cooking Gallery said...

This looks so so chocolaty...! Just my kind of dessert :D)!

Ellie (Almost Bourdain) said...

The brownies look dense and chocolaty.....YUM!

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