Here come the brownies, the timeless classic, the little black dress of your dessert repertoire. I whip up my borwnies at the drop of a hat: I am often asked to do just that, so I double the recipe and pour the batter into a (real please, not disposable) large cookie sheet with sides, and show up at the party with my goodies. You won’t feel any difference whatsoever in the flavor or texture if you make the brownies gluten-free, or with potato starch on Passover. I have included all the fixings: Play with a different one each time and get different results, and look like a real pro! My all-time favorite brownies are caramel sea salt. Two simple secrets for the success of brownies: very good chocolate for this and absolutely every chocolate dessert, and not a second more baking time: Even if the brownies look barely set to you, the residual heat will do the rest. I love to make them in a round tart pan and cut it in wedges, but of course any baking pan will do.
- 8 ounces best quality chocolate, chopped, or 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 sticks (1 cup) natural margarine (available at health food stores)
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup flour (if making for Passover, 1/2 cup potato starch) Gluten-free, use brown rice flour
- 3/4 cup toasted pecans (300 degree oven-10mn), broken into pieces
Preheat oven to 375*f. Melt chocolate and margarine in a small saucepan over very low heat, or in a microwave for about 1 minute. In a food processor or with an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the chocolate mixture, flour and vanilla, and mix until just combined. Fold in the nuts by hand. Pour into a greased 11-inch round spring-form tart pan, or 10 inch square pan, and bake for 35 minutes, until the top is barely firm; it will set completely with the residual heat sticking to the pie. Let cool before cutting.
- Sea salt and caramel: bring the salt to 1 tablespoon, and add 1 tablespoon caramel extract (easily available in health food stores)
- Espresso and brandy: include 1 tablespoon instant espresso or coffee powder, decaf ok, and 3 tablespoons rum, brandy and bourbon.
- Mint: Add a few drops peppermint extract (available at health food stores)
- Peanut butter: Instead of 1 cup margarine, use 1/2 cup plus 1/2 cup peanut butter
- Use other kinds of nuts. Or no nuts at all
Did you enjoy this recipe? This recipe, as well as many other great desserts, can be found in my book Levana's Table!