Sunday, February 20, 2011
The Most Addictive Brownies... EVER (and, they're dairy-free)
Warning. These are addictive. I mean really addictive. If you can stop at just one, let me know how. I always seem to go back for a second. It's a terrible, terrible thing.
Last week, my yearning for something chocolate, and my urge to bake, came to a head. I had to have something rich and chocolatey, but not too cloyingly sweet. I've been playing around with non-dairy chocolate desserts, and decided to play around with brownies again. My ingredients of choice? Coconut oil (many who know me know I'm slightly obsessed -- yes, it's saturated, but it's really good for you, your dry skin, and it helps boost your metabolism) and cocoa powder.
Now, I've never made my family's recipe for brownies with cocoa powder. The recipe calls for baking chocolate. Sometimes, we'll adjust the sugar and add in bittersweet Valhrona. But never powder. When baking with cocoa powder, as opposed to chocolate, you've got to use a bit more butter/fat, as the cocoa powder lacks the cocoa butter that chocolate has.
I've been intrigued by Alice Medrich's recipe for cocoa brownies, so I decided to use that baking technique as the basis for my new recipe. Though I nearly had a heart-attack when the brownies emerged from the oven practically still liquid (full disclosure: coconut oil is liquid at higher temperatures, so the brownies don't set like normal ones. Put them in the freezer and let them solidify. If you're still not happy when they emerge, email me), an hour later they came out perfect. A bit crunchy and caramelized in places, thanks to the use of brown sugar; a hint of coconut from the oil; and no yucky or too-sweet aftertaste. When I bake with butter, I feel a bit groggy and stuffy the next day -- that never happened with coconut oil. Amazing.
8 ounces coconut oil
3/4 cup cocoa powder, I used Ghiradelli
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup flour
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a double boiler over gently simmering water, combine the coconut oil and cocoa powder. Mix until smooth then let sit.
In a bowl, combine the sugars and salt. Add the vanilla. Add the eggs and combine well. Pour in the melted chocolate mixture and combine well. Pour into a foil-lined 8x8-inch pan and bake for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes (yes, it looks liquid), transfer the pan to the freezer and let it cool for about an hour, or until it's solid. Remove the brownies using the foil and cut into 16 pieces... and try not to eat more than 4 in one sitting.