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crackle top brownies
With a crackle sugar crust on top and an intensely fudge chocolate interior these brownies are the only recipe you need in your repertoire. The crackly top adds for a great crunch while the interior has a rich and indulgent dark chocolate fudge. They are great with a little a cup of black coffee or tea.
Brownies and I have had a very long lasting relationship. I remember making my first brownie recipe from scratch with my aunt (Hannah) in Bombay. I was mesmerized at how eggs, cocoa, sugar, flour and butter made something so delicious. I was about 9 years old and I think moments like these set my food ambitions, very subconsciously but these instances remain etched in my heart.
Naturally with all the years gone by my skills and experience have brought me to understand the science behind brownies and what makes them taste the way the do, as well as, what gives them their textural characteristics. What I aim to justify here are that brownies are not those dry, sand like textured cakes, instead they can be what you desire! Today brownies can be fudgy, cake like, gooey, in cookie form, in pies, a part of cheesecakes, turned into ice cream sandwiches, sundaes, etc. Once you know what you like it is difficult to eat brownies any other way.
This recipe is in my opinion the best brownie recipe that exists. It doesn’t expect much from you; all you need is a whisk and bowl to bring it all together, a few pantry friendly ingredients and an oven for the best-desired result. If this doesn’t make it a food proof worthy recipe I don’t what will. It starts with a little whisking action and then all you do is fold the ingredients together until combined before baking. I have tried so many recipes from various sources and found so many that I absolutely love however this one right here has become my go to recipe for life. Unless my tastes change this will forever be my favorite brownie recipe to make.
A few substitutes:
Eggless – You can substitute eggs with 3 flax eggs (1 Flax egg = 1 tbsp Flaxseed powder with 2 tbsp water mixed and set aside for a few mins until gloopy)
Flour – All purpose, Self raising, Spelt, Cake flour, Oat flour and Whole wheat mixed with All purpose work well in this recipe.
Gluten Free – Gluten free flour mixes work well (like this one), Almond flour or a mixture of nut flour work well here.
Butter – You can use any vegan butter here, you cannot use coconut butter/ nut butters or oil, as it will change the texture of the brownies.
Dark Chocolate – I like using a 70% dark chocolate but you could use milk or even a mixture of chocolates however this will affect the sweetness so be mindful of it.
Sugar – If you do not have brown sugar use white granulated sugar all the way however it is worth adding it into the recipe for the caramel like fudge flavor. Other sugars that also work in this recipe are; Coconut sugar, castor sugar, raw sugar, cane sugar, demerara sugar, muscavado sugar, light or dark brown sugar.
For the best crackle top and fudge interior, the oven is the best option to bake these brownies however they work well in the following ways –
Microwave Baking – Preheat the microwave for 10 mins at 170 C. Bake the brownies for 22 – 25 mins until knife inserted comes out with wet moist chocolate crumbs/chocolate jam like consistency is achieved. You do not want raw batter. Ideally it is good it check the batter after 7 mins and keep baking at 170°C until baked through. If using flaxseed powder and baking in the microwave, do not waste time with the batter, it is essential to work quickly once the batter is whisked as it will split while baking otherwise.
You could bake these in a microwave heating option until baked through or even over the stove with indirect dry heat however; these options do not yield the best crackle top. The brownie will taste delicious but it might not have the crackle top.
Once baked you have to allow them to cool for up to 2 hours as this helps the fudge set further. Cut into squares and transfer to an airtight container/zip lock bag. You can leave them at room temperature as long as they are not in direct sunlight for up to 1 week. Also they can be frozen for up to 3 months, warmed in the microwave when needed. Enough brownie talk, Happy Baking!
Crackle Top Brownies
- Large mixing bowl
- Heatproof bowl
- 9x5 or 8x4 inch Baking tin
- 115 gm Butter
- 100 gm Dark chocolate
- 2 Eggs
- 65 gm White sugar
- 100 gm Brown sugar
- 65 gm Flour
- 10 gm Cocoa powder
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ¼ tsp Salt
- Preheat 180°C and line a 9x5 inch loaf tin with oil and baking paper.
- Melt the butter and chocolate until smooth, either in a microwave with 10-second intervals until melted through or over the stove stirring constantly. Set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl whisk the eggs and sugars together until thick and a golden tan color. It should take around 3-4 minutes of whisking vigorously.
- Pour the cooled, melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and whisk well until combined.
- Switch to a spatula and fold in the dry ingredients, i.e. the flour, cocoa powder, salt and vanilla. Do not over mix the batter at this stage.
- Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bang the tin against the surface to release the excess air bubbles.
- Bake for 32-35 mins until the top is cracked and shiny. A toothpick inserted should come out with wet moist and sticky chocolate cake crumbs or should have a jam like cake texture.
- What it shouldn’t have is raw batter as this means the brownie isn’t baked in the center yet.
- Leave to cool for an hour in the tin and remove, transfer to a cooling rack and leave for another hour before cutting into squares and enjoying.
> You can double the quantity of the batter and bake it in a larger baking tray for the desired time.
> If baking in a smaller tin the brownies will take longer, while if baking in a larger tin they will bake much faster. So the size of the tin plays an important role in the baking time.
> Do not over mix or over bake them. Recipe Inspiration: Nick Malgieri