Ever realise that everyone has that one quintessential recipe they are famous for? Like, when families gather together, or friends meet up for a chat and the conversation shifts to a particular individual, SomeOne will suddenly claim that you just HAVE to try *name of individual*’s *insert appropriate speciality dish*. And then, the word gets out, and that becomes the benchmark for all future evaluations of the dish.
I speak from personal experience cos I have an aunt whose coconut candy is so famous that whenever we eat candy made by anyone other than her, we always silently tsk and mumur amongst ourselves that it is ‘just not the same’. So one day I decided to take up the challenge and attempt to recreate her famous sweet… thinking back, I don’t know why I bothered. I followed her recipe to the provebial ‘t’ and still, everytime my dad popped a piece into his mouth, he’ll get ThAt look on his face, the one that shouts “Not the same! Not the same!”. Some things are just better left to those who know what they’re doing I guess *grin*.
So I gave up trying to usurp the hallmark recipes of others (in my defence, it was not so much an attempt to usurp as much as a try at recreating a piece of history) and decided to come up with a speciality of my very own:
fudgey wudgey pecan-walnut-chocolate chip brownies!
Okay, I know brownies are like, everywhere now. But I do think this recipe hits the spot flawlessly…and who doesn’t want a bit of a chocolate fix every now and then? I even discovered a secret brownie-making weapon: white chocolate chips and toasted nuts (sound a bit like a military strategist, I know. Apologies.) The uneven surface and white specks you see above are the result of a chockful of toasted nuts and chocolate chips stirred through the batter. And the trick is to roast the nuts in the oven to golden brown perfection, and then add them into the batter whilst they are still hot, together with the chocolate chips. The heat will partially melt the chocolate, so you end up with delicious swirls of white chocolate throughout your batter. heaven i say.
(makes one 9″ by 9″ slice)
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cup sugar*
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup cocoa
3/4 cup plain flour
white chocolate chips+
roasted, chopped walnuts and pecans+
– Grease and line bottom of a 9″ square tray. Preheat oven to 165 degree C.
– Stir sugar into melted butter. Beat in eggs and vanilla, followed by flour and cocoa. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts simultanously. Beat vigorously with wooden spoon for 30 seconds. Pour into tin, smooth surface and bake for 25 minutes. Never ever EVER overbake brownies. What you want are moist, fudgey slices of chocolatey bliss, not crumbly, dry chocolate cake.
*I believe that one should always taste what one cooks so before I bung my tin into the oven, I’ll have a taste of the batter. Often, I find it slightly bitter (due to the unsweetened cocoa) so I sprinkle in a little extra sugar, about 2tsps. Personally, the general guide is that the batter should taste a tad sweeter than you would like your finished cake to be, so that by the time it bakes, the sugar content adjusts itself nicely. Just a TAD though. It’s a matter of personal preference, so feel free to work with the basic guide of 3/4 cup and adjust accordingly.
+Please add nuts and chocolate chips in proportion to how bad a day you’ve had.
So, that’s my special brownie recipe. And though I’ve given it out to family and friends, I still get orders to bake it. Some people just don’t have the time to do it themselves. But others tell me that no matter how much they try, they still can’t get it exactly right. I see ThAt look in their eyes. And it says: “Not the same! Not the same!”
Me thinks I have found my famous dish.
embedded with roasted nuts; speckled with pure chocolate swirls:
Deep dark chocolately heaven.