Buttered Up: Tryst with brownies
BY SARAH KHANNA
Cairo: Consider the intricacies of a brownie — in simple form, studded with chocolate chips, coffee-spiked or infused with mint. We’ve seen variations with cream cheese and white chocolate adaptations; and while I prefer a brownie that will assuage my chocolate yearning, I insist that the texture of my brownie is chewy with a soft, fudgy center.
These versatile squares can be broken up into three main categories: the chewy brownie, the cakey brownie and the fudgy brownie. The reason I generally eliminate cakey brownies from my list is this: if I want cake, I’ll make cake. Brownies, on the other hand, should be an entirely different dessert; a small serving that you savor. With the lighter crumb of cake, I’d prefer a whopping slice on my plate, a square won’t cut it.
To get a chewy brownie, use basic all-purpose flour whose proteins give resistance to your bite. Cake flour will only result in a soft crumb that won’t hold classic brownie shape. If you prefer yours on the rich side, add a single egg yolk to push your brownie to the fudgy side without extra grease. To get a brownie on the cakey side, add baking powder for some lift.
This recipe is full of bite and gets even better if left to rest until the next day. Shiny crackling crusts, fudgy insides and a strong chewy base, I’ve made it three times in the past month.
Pistachio-Milk Chocolate Brownies
(Adapted from Epicurious)
100 grams of unsalted butter
230 grams of milk chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
3/4 cup of brown sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
A handful of pistachios, chopped
A dash of coarse sea salt
Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Butter and flour a 20 cm pan (8×8″). Melt butter and chocolate in a saucepan over low heat, continuously stirring until smooth. Cool until lukewarm. In a separate bowl, mix together the brown sugar, eggs and vanilla then slowly pour in half of the chocolate until the mixture is glossy. Add the flour and ½ teaspoon of salt then half of the pistachios. Mix well, beating hard, to incorporate. Stir in the remaining half of chocolate and spread the batter in a pan and sprinkle with the rest of the pistachios and sea salt. Bake for approximately 25 minutes. –The Egypt Monocle