Chocolate Brownies

Drizzled with White Chocolate

Brownies My Favourite Pastime_3188

A Brownie is a flat baked square or bar invented in the US and originally designed as a dessert. It’s a cross between a cake and a cookie. Brownies come in many forms, but the three main forms are: cakey, fudgy and chewy. Cake-like brownies have less butter, more flour, a bit of baking powder and the butter is often creamed with sugar (creaming incorporates air). This results in softer and lighter brownies that are flaky and tend to crumble. Fudge-like brownies: have less flour and are made from melted butter, resulting in a thick and dense texture. Chewy-brownies: have more egg and semi-sweet chocolate, which gives a chewy and rich texture.

The basic ingredients in brownies are: butter, sugar, eggs, chocolate and flour. To these basic ingredients can be added: nuts like pecans, walnuts, almonds, macadamia; dried fruits like dates, prunes, sultanas, raisins, cherries, desiccated coconut, blueberries, cranberries; chocolate: dark chocolate, milk chocolate, mint chocolate, German sweet chocolate, white chocolate; dairy products: milk, sour cream, cream cheese, buttermilk, sweetened condensed milk, candy: caramel, M&M’s, candy canes; liqueur/Alcohol : Bailey’s Irish cream or Kahlua, Amarula, brandy, beer; and other ingredients like cocoa, coffee, butterscotch chips, marshmallows, peanut butter, golden syrup, Oreo. The omission of chocolate in the basic ingredients and substitution with brown sugar results in what we call Blondie, because it looks blonde and not brown.

Brownies My Favourite Pastime_3189Brownies can be made plain or topped with sugar, sprinkles or various frostings. The frosting is basically made from: confectioners (icing sugar) mixed with butter and other ingredients like chocolate, cocoa, peanut butter, egg, sour cream, cream cheese. There are also healthy versions of brownies to which ingredients like oatmeal, raisins, figs, black beans, flax seeds or unsweetened cocoa powder are added.

Brownies My Favourite Pastime_3208According to Wikipedia, there are three main myths about the creation of the brownie. The first, that a chef accidentally added melted chocolate to biscuit dough. The second, a cook forgot to add flour to the batter. And thirdly, the most popular belief, that a housewife did not have baking powder and improvised with this new treat. It was said that she was baking for guests and decided to serve these flattened cakes to them. This became our beloved treat of today. Whatever may be the case; all three myths have gained popularity throughout the years due to its mysterious beginnings. Whatever the myth or reason for their creation, I want to share with a recipe I got from Womans Own Cakes and Bakes. I hope you will like it. My children loved it!!!

Brownies My Favourite Pastie_3070Please, always remember to assemble all ingredients before you begin.

Brownies My Favourite Pastime_3071Place butter or margarine and plain chocolate in a heatproof bowl

Brownies My Favourite Pastime_3077Place over a pan of gently simmering water. Heat gently, stirring occasionally, until melted.

Brownies My Favourite Pastime_3078Once completely melted, remove bowl from heat.

Brownies My Favourite Pastime_3080Stir in granulated sugar. Allow to cool, 10 minutes.

Brownies My Favourite Pastime_3085Using an electric mixer, beat in eggs one at a time, beating well until incorporated, before adding the next one.

Brownies My Favourite Pastime_3088The final mixture after beating in all the eggs, should look like this.

Brownies My Favourite Pastime_3089Add sifted flour and vanilla essence (and salt if using) all at once and fold in using a spoon.

Brownies My Favourite Pastime_3092This is what the mixture should look like after you’ve folded in the flour.

Brownies My Favourite Pastime_3093Add chocolate, pecans and dates

Brownies My Favourite Pastime_3096and stir, until combined.

Brownies My Favourite Pastime_3100Pour mixture into prepared tin (pan) and bake 40-45 minutes at 350°F (175°C) until a skewer or toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  I baked 45 minutes at 350°F (175°C)

Brownies My Favourite Pastime_3102Place cake tin (pan) on cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before making the topping.

Brownies My Favourite Pastime_3107Ingredients for topping

Brownies My Favourite Pastime_3131To make topping: melt the plain chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, stirring occasionally.

Brownies My Favourite Pastime_3136Remove bowl from heat,

Brownies My Favourite Pastime_3144 add sieved icing (confectioners) sugar

Brownies My Favourite Pastime_3149And whisk until smooth, then add sufficient cream to give a spreading consistency,

Brownies My Favourite Pastime_3156 Then spread over the top of cake. I cut the brownie into 16 large pieces and added some chocolate sprinkles on half the cake.

Brownies My Favourite Pastime_3230I melted white chocolate and using a fork,  drizzled the chocolate over the brownies, forming different patterns. Then left them to set completely before serving

Brownies My Favourite Pastime_3195Serve the brownies with beverage of your choice.

Brownies My Favourite Pastime_3217My children and their friends at school really loved them.

Brownies My Favourite Pastime_3161I hope you love them too….

Chocolate Brownies

Preparation time: 30 minutes + 40  minutes waiting time; Baking time: 40-45 minutes; Makes: 20 slices

Original Recipe from Womans Own Cakes and Bakes 

Ingredients

  • 225g (1¾ cup, 8oz, 2 sticks ) butter or margarine
  • 100g (3½oz) plain chocolate, chopped
  • 400g (14oz, 1⅔ cup ) sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 185g (1½ cups, 6½oz) all-purpose (plain) flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence (extract)
  • ½ teaspoon salt (if using unsalted butter)
  • 85g (3oz) milk chocolate, chopped
  • 85g (3oz) pecans, chopped
  • 75g dates, chopped and soaked in 2 tablespoons boiling water

Ingredients for the topping

  • 50 (2oz) plain chocolate
  • 25g (1oz) butter or margarine
  • 90g (3½oz) icing (confectioners) sugar, sieved
  • 30-45ml (2-3 tablespoons) light cream or milk  
  • 50g (2oz) white chocolate, melted just before using, for drizzling on the brownies

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) 10 minutes before baking. Grease and line a 13x 9 inch (33 x 23cm) baking pan (tin) with parchment or lightly oiled greaseproof paper.
  2. Place butter or margarine and plain chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Heat gently, stirring occasionally, until melted. Remove bowl, from heat, stir in granulated sugar. Allow to cool, 10 minutes.
  3. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well until incorporated, before adding the next one.
  4. Add sifted flour and vanilla essence (and salt if using) all at once and fold in using a metal spoon.
  5. Add chocolate, pecans and dates and stir, until just combined. Pour mixture into prepared tin (pan) and bake 40-45 minutes until a skewer or toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  6. Place cake tin (pan) on cooling rack. Allow to cool, completely before making the topping.
  7. To make topping: melt the plain chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, stirring occasionally. Remove bowl from heat, add sieved icing sugar and whisk until smooth. Add sufficient cream to give a spreading consistency, then spread over the top of cake. Leave to set, 30 minutes. Cut into 20 portions, and then transfer individually onto a rack.
  8. Melt white chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water until smooth. Remove from heat then drizzle over the brownies using a spoon or a fork. Leave to set completely, before serving.
  9. **I weigh the flour and butter. I do not use cup measures. The weight of a cup of flour tends to vary based on individual interpretation, publication and size of cup used (from 125g to 130g to 155g per cup)
  10. Cup measures based on 1 cup = 125g flour so that would be the US cup of 237ml, not the Australian Cup.

Points to note:

  • Please note that oven temperatures are given as a guideline only. You may need to add or reduce the suggested temperature depending on your oven. I baked the brownies at 350°F (175°C) for 45 minutes.
  • I always weigh ingredients, especially the flour and butter. You can use cup measures, but please note if you scoop flour directly from the bag you will end up with 150-185 g of flour instead of the recommended 125g. I suggest you spoon the flour into the cup, heaping it up over the top, then slide a knife across the top to level off the extra. Be careful not to shake or tap the cup to settle down the flour or you will have more than you need. You can also sift the flour first then scoop. Best advice: use a weighing scale, you’ll get the best results.

myfavouritepastime.com 

Author: Liz

I love everything food: eating, cooking, baking and travelling. I also love photography and nature.

37 thoughts

    1. Thank you so much for the compliments. My daughter drizzled the white chocolate on top. I’m too impatient (LOL). I love brownies too!
      Liz

    1. Frankly speaking I find brownies too sweet but my kids and their friends in school, just love them, so I usually make it as a special treat for them. If you love sweet things, then this one is for you too!!!

      1. Yes I have a sweet tooth but always keep an eye on the bite size !! Even I find them sweet but sometimes relish after dinner keeping the calorie thing behind…will get back to you on brownies as soon as I try them….

  1. These are so pretty! I haven’t read anything about the beginnings of brownies but all three stories sound interesting anyway.

  2. These do look quite tasty. We love brownies and I still use my Grandma’s recipe the most. But of course for a change we love peanut butter swirl brownies too. Or creme de menthe brownies….I am getting hungry!

    1. Hi Mama D1xx4xy, How are the boys and the break? hope you are coping and doing lots of activities. We love brownies too, especially the kids. Thanks for stopping by. Have a wonderful week!

        1. What a busy life, but it’s what being a parent is all about. My kids are now much older (12, 14) so much easier to handle. Hope you enjoy the holidays!!!

  3. heyyy, I just tried this yesterday without the white chocolates and strawberry and they tasted yummy, a little too sugary for me but my sisters loved it 🙂 thanks a lot for the recipe.

    1. Thanks so much for trying the brownies. I find them too sugary too, but my kids love them. We made some two days ago and they are already finished. Brownies are generally very sugary North American creations. I am so glad you tried them and your sisters liked them. You’ve made my day. Did you take a photo of it? The other types of cakes and the muffins and less sugary. Have a wonderful day and thanks for trying them. The goal of my favourite pastime is to inspire you to cook and bake. Am glad you got inspired!!!

    1. Please note you’ve re-blogged this post against my wishes. I have tried to contact you to remove this post from your site, but you did not respond.

  4. These brownies look so yummy and homey. I think they would be very suitable for intimate family time or old friend gathering. There is something classy or vintage about it. 😀

    1. Haha they are very sweet too, sugar sweet, but my children love them so much. They take them with some milk. Thanks so much for popping here. Sorry about your internet troubles, and welcome back to blogging. Have a pleasant week!!!

  5. Hi, Liz. I love chocolate brownies but, until now, never gave much thought to their history. Interesting stuff, though my money is on the housewife as being the inventor. A housewife with guests arriving is a formidable character and creating a treat like brownies wouldn’t be a problem for her at all! 🙂
    Love, too, how you drizzled the brownies with white chocolate to top them off. Good stuf!

    1. Hi John,
      Nice to know that you love chocolate brownies. Never ever thought of their history either and I did read a lot about it before publishing the post. My 14 year old did the drizzling of white chocolate, she loved doing it (requires some patience which I sometimes fall short of), and ATE most of the brownies, in the end. A good way to earn extra slices of brownies over others. Thanks so much for being here, your presence is ALWAYS appreciated. Have a fantastic week!!!!

  6. Georgous, tasty & truly appetizing , Liz! Thanks for explaining the different brownies etc! I learned a lot! These brownies looks superb!!! Another must make of yours! xxx MMMMMMMMMMMMMM!

    1. Thanks. Just saw the Rhubarb, Strawberry and dried Apricot crisp. Looks so delicious too. Enjoy them if you ever try them. Have a wonderful week, and thanks for being here!!!

  7. Wow, talk about eating with your eyes! These look great! Definitely giving them a try! Thanks for this recipe.

    1. If only we could eat with our eyes, I would devour so many things. Thanks for being here several times. Your presence is much appreciated. Have a wonderful week!!

  8. It was only y’day that I was asking a friend of mine that I still get confused btwn cakes and brownies and then your post comes along. Thank you for sharing the intel.. and the recipe. I have a lot of dates that need to be put to good use. Now I know where that will be.

    1. Oh yes browsing around to find a definition of brownies helped me understand it better and now I shall be posting more recipes on brownies in future. There are so many different and exciting variations of brownies. I love dates too and I always have a big jar full of dates. Thanks for stopping by. Have a wonderful sunday evening and enjoy the new week!

    1. And taste good too. Thanks for being here. Have a pleasant evening. I’m sure it’s we’ll past morning where you are! Hope to see you more often!

  9. They do look very yummy. Loved the three stories, I agree it sounds more like the wife not having all that she needed improvised. Thanks for sharing.

    1. The stories were really funny. A lot of recipes are usually developed by chance, like the story of how scrambled eggs came to be. Thanks for stopping here and thanks for leaving this note. I hope everything is fine with you. I wish you a pleasant week. You are still in my thoughts!

  10. I was surprised….dates! I really like dates (and figs) so I may try this! I am not a real chocolate fan….I know, a freak of nature…..but I make blonde brownies and maybe dates will help make mine not so dry!! I do not know why, but they just are dry. Can you actually taste the dates with the chocolate? Would they help to keep the moistness in the brownie? Yours look very decadent in the photos with the white drizzled over the chocolate. Tomorrow I am going shopping for a scale! YES!!

    1. Hi Sandy,
      Are you not yet asleep? oh yes you are three hours behind us. I love dates too. These ones were okay, they were not dry at all- although my children and their friends mostly ate them. I find brownies too sweet for my palate. You can actually taste the dates, yes. Dates have a unique taste and they are sugary too. You should soak the dates in a little hot water, and they do make the cake or brownies more moist. My 14 year old daughter drizzled the white chocolate, she really enjoyed doing it and she ate most of the brownies. Please buy a scale. Your measurements will be more precise and you’ll never go wrong again. 99.99% of the recipes I try never fail because I weigh using a scale. Thanks so much for your prompt comment. I can now visit other blogs too. Have a lovely Sunday.

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