Who doesn’t like a good brownie? Even the non-sweet-loving friends of mine, well, most of them, don’t say no to a brownie. Before the realm of Indian patisserie fell hard for tiramisus, macarons and the like (cupcakes of course), they scored “brownie” points for serving the best brownies; your dessert menu wasn’t complete without a Hot Fudge Brownie with Vanilla Ice Cream. And the patronage for good brownies hasn’t withered away with the advent of the fancier sorts, bakeries still run out of brownies all the time and it is the common order in most restaurants. Brownies are also the first ever baking venture most of us indulge in, at our homes, because they are simple and believe me, it is very hard to go wrong with baking brownies. So what is it about this dark beauty that makes us all so rapturous? Well, I think it is the quasi-cake-quasi-cookie texture and though obvious, I am still going to spell it out – chocolate, otherwise, blondies would be as famous, wouldn’t they?
Now enough with the brownie propaganda, I think Americans have done enough and more. I’d like to get to the point of how simple it is to make brownies again. The success rates are always high and also, it is a party favourite. After the real intoxication, we all go hungry for sweet intoxication and brownies are sweet without being saccharine – like this batch I made for my friends Aneesh and Neha’s housewarming party. At the risk of sounding dangerously boastful, it was an amazing ending to an amazing party, well, people were having 2-3 brownies in one go!
The thing with people like me, who discover their passion relatively later in life, reassurance is everything. When folks at the party went berserk over my brownies, the fact that I am meant to do this has never had so much clarity. The future looks brighter and this flutter of a dream is now so vivid. So dear readers, whatever it is that you are passionate about, indulge in it more often, and feed off every single compliment you get; it’s important.
Ps: This is a note to my closest friends and well wishers, for your constant encouragement and promoting my blog every chance you get, you know who you are! 🙂
For the brownies
- 300 g ,semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 226 g unsalted butter, softened
- 200 g plain flour
- 4 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 cups caster sugar
- 5 eggs
- Pinch of salt
For the ganache
- 55 g semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 6o ml cream
- 400 g tin condensed milk
- Sea salt a pinch
- Handful of walnuts chopped coarsely
Makes 32 brownies
- Make the ganache and dulce de leche ahead of time. For the ganache, plop the chocolate and cream in a bowl. Melt over a pot of simmering water. Blend with a spatula occasionally. For the dulce de leche, preheat the oven to 220 C. Pour the condensed milk into a shallow baking dish. Cover the dish with aluminium foil. Fill a deep roasting pan with simmering water. Place the bowl of condensed milk into the pan and place in the oven. Bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until thick and brown.
- For the brownies, preheat the oven to 180 C. Line a 9″ square tin with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Combine flour and salt. Set aside. Melt chopped chocolate and butter in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. This technique is called as double boiling or bain-marie.
- Once the chocolate has melted with the butter, add the cocoa. Stir well. Add the sugar, stir well. Add the eggs, one at a time, stir well. Finally, fold in the flour half at a time. Fold until the flour gets incorporated.
- Pour the brownie batter into the prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven.
- Once brownies are done, cool them. Warm the ganache and the dulce de leche in the oven before using. Splash the ganache over the brownies in a zig-zag pattern. Repeat the same with dulce de leche. Now, cut the brownie using a knife into even pieces. Sprinkle chopped walnuts on each brownie.