'There is no love sincerer than the love of food'
Its confession time again. First thing - a blogger's block. Second - (ouch! it hurts to write this, but its only you, so will cry away on your shoulders) I sometimes just don't get things right when I bake, I really don't know why! And this happens with a series of bakes, I remember this had happened last year too. It will be OK tasting and not really bad, but nothing I can really rave about or share with you. That something will be missing in the recipe, I would not have got it the way it should turn out or its not to my satisfaction. I will be like a grumpy bear and hubby and kids sense that all's not hunky dory in my baking life. I am scared of the way baking is possessing me. I swear during these times that I will never go near the oven again... till the next day. Does this happen to you too or is it just with me?(panic, panic!!!) Do I have to name this as Suma Syndrome? I hope not!!!
I am seriously considering a section here titled 'Oops'! May be you can help me with my fiasco? How not to have too many kick-myself moments. Or just so that you can avoid the goof ups I did. Isn't a blog the best way to learn and interact with people who can really understand how serious a matter food and baking is? Oh, yes, am really glad I started to blog!
Nothing really binds people like food. Who better a foodie's friend than another foodie? One girl who really is crazy about baking Nachiketa, manages to bake in the midst of her super hectic busy life. Baking late in the night when she comes back from office, doesn't bat an eyelid if it has to be for say a couple of hundred people! Gulp!!! How on earth would she be managing that feat?? Well, I never really have met this baking obsessed friend till date. But then the smell of vanilla travels far. And then there is FB, email and the blog of course which make the world even smaller.
Brownies remind me of her somehow. Don't ask me why. I guess I subconsciously think she has a stash of brownies in her bag and in her goodie box at home too, always!! And don't be shocked, but I haven't really made a lot of brownies. I have made a few and am really loving them. Am discovering that I like brownies with melted chocolate better than those made with cocoa. And brownies made with both cocoa and melted chocolate make them taste intensely chocolate. Just the way I love my brownies. Fudgy and very very chocolaty. These brownies on Nachiketa's blog looked just that. And when I got a chance to bake 'anything chocolate' at short notice, it just had to be these Mocha Brownies!
The recipe is from here on Nachiketa's blog, original recipe from Martha Stewart's site here.
- Unsalted butter - 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cut into pieces, plus more for pan
- All-purpose flour, spooned and leveled - 1 cup
- Unsweetened cocoa powder - 1/4 cup
- Baking powder - 1/2 teaspoon
- Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
- Instant espresso powder - 2 teaspoons
- Semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped - 8 ounces (I used dark)
- Sugar - 1 Cup plus 2 tablespoons (recipe has 1 1/4 cups)
- Eggs - 3, large
- Vanilla essence or extract - 1 teaspoon (I added this, can't risk the eggy smell!!))
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C / 350 degrees F. Brush a 9-inch square baking pan with butter. Line bottom and two sides with a strip of parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the two sides. Grease the paper and set pan aside. Measure out all your ingredients and get set to go!
- In a small bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; set aside. I normally sift all dry ingredients to make sure its well mixed.
- Melt the butter and the chocolate in the microwave. Careful here. Add the instant coffee. Add sugar; mix to combine. Lightly whisk the eggs and add them to the chocolate mixture. Use a spatula, mix to combine. Splash in the vanilla. Add flour mixture; mix just until moistened (do not over mix). The batter is not very thick. Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 40- 45 minutes. I baked mine for about 48 minutes. (please note the recipe mentions 50-60 minutes as the baking time). You could check around 35 minutes. Cool in pan for 30 minutes. Using paper overhang, lift brownies out of pan; transfer to a rack to cool completely (still on paper). On a cutting board, using a dampened serrated knife, cut into squares. Store in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 2 days.
I am always scared of over baking the brownies. I like them a little moist and undercooked rather than over-baked, dry and crisp. Brownies are supposed to be the easiest things to bake, but this part is something which can ruin my brownie, texture-wise. Do u have a tip here for me? Now cutting the brownies into neat squares is something which I haven't been able to do very well. This I guess was one of the better cut ones of mine. With a damp serrated knife as the recipe suggested. How do you cut your brownies to get those smooth shiny edges? Puhleez share your secret!
The brownies turned out very good, moist and dense, the flavor of coffee going really well with the chocolate. Definitely going to be baking these again. Thanks Nachiketa for sharing this!
Till mojo returns (hopefully as soon as tomorrow!), I hope to turn out some decent stuff at least. If you do not see posts here for sometime, you could safely assume - disaster again:-( Or I could be busy painting the town red with hubby's niece who is visiting us from the US and baking away for her.
Promise to stop by again?