I’m in Southern California because my other grandmother is in the hospital. Yesterday, I came back to my aunt’s house, and my cousin Sofy had a bowl in which she had been stirring together flour and an egg, because she wanted to “make something.” Coryna, her older sister, thought Sofy should dump the lumpy mess and follow a recipe. I thought, though it wouldn’t be perfect, we could salvage something. So, Sofy decided on something cake-ish, and we started adding a dash of this, a scoop of that, whatever we could find that seemed to fit (I did veto the idea of brownies with crumbled chocolate chip cookies inside) to make it so. Sofy entertained me by being disgusted by straight vanilla and unsweetened chocolate, and also by spatulas, because the texture reminds her of a detached lizard tail.
Eventually we found baker’s chocolate and melted two squares (Sofy insisted) and our cake-ish thing turned into cakey brownies. Cakey brownies with some lumps of flour in (really, you didn’t see what we started with), but recognizable and edible as brownies all the same. I tell this story to say that I think cakey brownies are easy to make. If you know a tiny bit about kitchen chemistry, you can make them. But fudgey brownies, those are difficult. You add leavening, and you get cake. You don’t add sugar and eggs and all that in the right proportions, and you get a brick. But this, this is the perfect brownie recipe (I don’t like cakey brownies. They seem to be a waste of all that chocolate, to me.)
This recipe is pretty easy to remember, and pretty simple to make. They are fudgey, and crisp on the outside, and so chocolatey you need a glass of milk (or your non-dairy substitute of choice.) If you like cakey brownies, these are not for you.
I learned about this recipe (and have now lost the link from whence it came) from another Malawi PCV. They were perfect after a long long long trip into town, to celebrate the existence of things like ovens and refrigerators.
Perfect Fudgey Brownies
Preheat oven to 150°C or 300°F
Mix dry ingredients well:
1 cup cocoa powder
1 cup flour
¼ t salt
2 cups sugar (sometimes I use brown sugar to make it more caramel-y tasting. This is Malawi brown sugar, sort of like demera, not American brown sugar)
Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add
1 T vanilla, and/or dash of cinnamon, OR 2 t almond essence, OR for Mexican-chocolate-style brownies, 1 t vanilla and a heavy dash of cinnamon
½ c melted butter or margarine cooled slightly and mixed in after the eggs are mixed in, so you don’t accidentally end up with chocolate scrambled eggs.
Mix all ingredients together. The batter will be extremely thick and difficult to stir. Add a small amount of
Milk, to thin
The batter will still be an extremely thick, mud-like consistency.
Bake for somewhere between 30-50 min, depending on how deliciously gooey you want ‘em.