Have you guys heard of these browned butter brownies before? I hadn't. I only recently found out there was such a brownie when I was searching the web for alternative brownie recipes and landed on Bon Appetite's website. This recipe is from last year's February issue (yeah, I know I'm really late). I don't quite like the bitterness from unsweetened dark chocolate and was looking high and low for alternative brownie recipes. After perusing many brownie recipes I found this recipe for browned butter brownies. These are made of cocoa powder and the browned butter gives these a nutty, chewy and toffee-like flavour as opposed to the regular smooth, fudge-like brownies. The raving reviews it received from, seemingly everyone who had tried them, piqued my interest. Naturally, I wanted to try this sensational recipe and find out for myself whether these brownies are all that good as they were made out to be.
Now, I don't want to give you the impression that I'm some kind of brownie connoisseur. In fact when I went to school, brownies were something unheard of. Brownies were an American phenomenon in those days and nobody knew how to make them. I still remember the first time I saw the word smoothie appear in the Metro, which was around the time I was in high-school. I was so fascinated by the name and wondered what it was. :)
1 1/4 stick butter
1 1/4 cup caster sugar
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp espresso powder
2 tsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/3 cup + 1 tbs all-purpose flour
1 cup walnuts (or chocolate chips)
Measure up the sugar, cocoa powder, water and vanilla extract and keep all of them within reach. Line a baking pan with parchment paper on the bottom and sides. Light butter it. Cut the butter required to make the brownies, into 1 inch pieces. In a medium cooking pot, melt the butter at medium heat. Continue to cook and stir the butter for about 5-6 more minutes until the butter stops foaming and white particles sink to the bottom and then bubbles will appear on top and the butter appears a nutty brown. Remove from the stove and immediately add the sugar, cocoa powder, water and the vanilla extract. Stir until well blended. Allow the mixture to cool for 5 minutes while stirring.
Then add the eggs, one at a time while the mixture is still somewhat warm, and whisk to blend after each addition. When the mixture looks thick and shiny, sieve and stir in the flour. Lastly, add the walnuts (or chocolate chips should you prefer that). I chopped the walnuts into halves and dry-roasted them a day ahead. Spoon in the brownie batter in the buttered baking pan. Bake the brownies in a preheated oven, in the bottom third at 175 C (350 F) for 30-35 minutes. Insert a skewer in the center to check whether it is ready. The skewer should come out almost clean. Take it out and allow to cool in the baking pan before cutting. But as impatient as I am, I cut them while still warm and soft, and as a result they crumbled while cutting. These are best served with a tall glass of cold milk!