Lately, I’ve been going to the library quite often in search of inspiration on what to make next and I’ve found plenty of interesting books on the various areas of cooking and baking. One of them is ‘The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook’ by Tarek Malouf, the owner, and the other bakers of The Hummingbird Bakery in London. In the book he reveals the recipes to the most popular treats in the shop and one of them are brownies. He says a few words about each recipe and on this one he mentions that outside the U.S.A most brownies usually aren’t even brownies and this I found rather interesting. I, as a native Finn, have never had a proper U.S. brownie or a brownie of any other nationality for that matter, not that I would not have wanted, but there is a slight geographical difficulty. But like brownies are associated as being quintessentially American, here in Finland we have dishes that we associate as being Finnish if made in a certain way, such dishes being for example Karelian pasties or mämmi (search that and you’ll think we’re all nuts). So when in the book mr. Malouf says that this is the recipe to use for that dense, chewy, original U.S. brownie, I saw it as an opportunity. So without further ado, here is a Finnish production of U.S. brownies.
Traditional Brownies (by The Hummingbird Bakery)
200 g dark chocolate coarsely chopped
175 g butter (I prefer baking margarine)
325 g sugar
130 g flour
powdered sugar for decorating
1. Preheat your oven to 170°C.
2. Place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and either melt over a bain-marie or in the microwave. Be careful not to burn the chocolate.
3. Add the sugar in with the melted chocolate and butter and mix well.
4. Add in the flour and mix well.
5. Finally add the eggs and mix until the batter is smooth and thick.
6. Pour the batter in a baking tin lined with baking paper. The book says to use a 33cm x 23cm x 5cm tin. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the surface starts to crack but the middle is still soft. Don’t over bake so the edges don’t dry up.
7. Allow to cool completely and dust with powdered sugar.
This is what mine looked like after cooling for a bit. There's some cracking around the edges and the middle was perfectly soft and just cooked through. The paper made it really easy to just pick the whole thing up and transfer to cool.
And here you can see the finished product. I decided after nibbling on a corner that perhaps some vanilla ice cream would make it even better, so I used that fancy chef's technique where you heat a spoon in hot water and roll a small oval shape.
How was it? It was okay. Didn't turn out as dense as I thought it would, but all in all I did enjoy the taste.