Chocolate brownies--the all American favourite dessert is the perfect treat to have either at the end of a great meal, as a snack or topped with scoops of vanilla ice-cream with hot chocolate sauce! They are the a bit overrated, I know. But they are my favourite childhood treat. What are chocolate brownies? Chocolate brownies are what is known as bar cookies...cookies that are made in a square pan and cut into 2 1/2 inch squares. They are made of chocolate, flour, eggs, Baking Powder, sugar, and chopped walnuts or pecans. The variation of a chocolate brownie is a 'blondie'---a butterscotch brownie.
Brownies were first made in 1893 by a chef at the Palmer House Hotel as requested by Bertha Palmer, a business sociallite who callenged the chef to make a cake to serve to the ladies who attended the Colombian Exposition.
Chocolate Fudge Brownies
5 ounces dark chocolate, broken into pieces
8 TBS butter (at Room temperature)
2 whole eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 cup *self-rising flour (Sifted)
1 ounce chopped walnuts
1 cup caster sugar
*1 TBS Bacardi Rum (optional)
1. In a heat proof bowl put the chocolate pieces and 2 TBS of butter. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering hot water. Stir the chocolate with a rubber spatular until completely melted. *Add rum to the melted chocolate to give it a bit of 'oomph' and sophistication. This is optional, of course. Set aside to cool. Cream butter, and sugar with the vanilla essence in a seperate bowl. Add eggs and combine well.
2. Stir in the self-rising flour into the butter/egg mixture. Pour in the chocolate mixture and combine thoroughly.
3. Fold in the chopped walnuts. Pour batter into a well greased or lined 8 inch square pan. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 30 minutes.
4. Remove from oven and let cool for at least 15 minutes.
6. Dust with powdered sugar or frost.
7. Cut into 2 inch squares and serve.
Notes: To make self rising sugar, combine in a bowl: 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. (Why not make a jar of 8 cups of self-made rising flour for your baking needs and store in cupboard?)
For frosting; mix 4 ounces butter, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, 3 cups confectioner's sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla essence, 1 TBS milk. Beat with electric mixer until fluffy. Variation...melt butter in a saucepan, then add the cocoa powder and stir until satiny and smooth. Sift the sugar and add to saucepan. Add vanilla essence and enough milk to make a soft spreadable consistency.
Makes 12 -- 2 inch square brownies