Monday, September 23, 2013

Fudgy Cocoa Nib Brownies

I got this recipe from The Sprouted Kitchen, but the recipe is originally from David Lebovitz (in Ready for Dessert). These are very fudgy, not cakey, so adjust your expectations accordingly. (The Engineer and I prefer cakey brownies, but I’m aware that opinions vary wildly on this.) You could also add cocoa nibs, chopped nuts, dried fruit or coffee to the batter, but we opted to keep things simple. In any event, it’s a great way to end a meal. While they survived the freezer quite well, I must admit that I preferred them at room temperature rather than straight from the fridge, where I normally keep fudgy things. I made them with white whole wheat flour, but it should be noted that on The Sprouted Kitchen, Sara Forte made them with gluten-free oat flour, so they are easily adaptable.

5 Tbsp. vegan margarine (or unsalted butter)
8 oz. quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
¾ cup natural cane sugar (or regular granulated sugar if that’s what you use)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (see note above)
1 pinch salt
¼ cup cocoa nibs for topping

Preheat oven to 350 °F. Line the inside of an 8-inch square pan with parchment or foil, allowing excess to extend beyond the edges of the pan. Lightly grease with butter or cooking spray.

In a medium saucepan, melt the margarine, then add the chocolate and stir over low heat until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in sugar and vanilla. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the flour and salt and stir energetically for 1 full minute, until the batter loses its graininess, becomes smooth, and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. The minute-long stir is crucial for everything to stay together. (Stir in any additions to the batter, like nuts, at this point.)

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, sprinkle the cocoa nibs on top and bake until the center is almost set, 25-30 minutes (don’t overbake). Let the brownies cool completely before lifting out the parchment from the pan. (Freeze if desired. They keep well at room temperature for a few days, but to get clean edges when you cut them, chill them first and run the knife under hot water between each slice.)

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