Saturday, 11 February 2012

Best brownie (and a secret to success)

Here we go!  This is the best brownie recipe I've ever made.  Honestly.  You can ask all the people whose lips have been graced with this magic and they'll agree with me. 

Now there you go, you can see the ooey, gooey center here with the just-baked-enough outside. 

How's that?  Convinced yet? 
Oh, now THAT's a good representation of what you're getting into here -
trouble, that's what!

Uh-huh, I thought so.

(this is a very early picture, before I had the faintest idea what to do with my camera)

First, the recipe, then some tips and a secret.

Fry's Fudgey Brownies
taken right off the side of the cocoa box
1 1/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
1 cup fry's cocoa
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- sift dry ingredients
- in big pot, melt butter.  Stir in cocoa, stir in sugar, eggs and vanilla.  Mix well.  Add dry ingredients to wet.
- pour into greased 9" x 9" pan
- 350, 25 - 30 minutes
TIPS - I've worked with this recipe quite a bit and here are a few things I've worked out for you so it can be perfect your first time.  Don't misunderstand, this is an easy, fail-proof recipe, but it can be awesome.
1) SIFT the cocoa into the melted butter
2) use butter
3) use good quality vanilla, the best you can afford
4) use happy chickens' eggs if you can afford them or have a neighbour that raises them or a farm friend
5) any ingredient that you use that is organic seems to make a difference or fairly traded
6) this is a full-fat, not-every-week recipe; that said, you can sub margarine or half applesauce for the butter, you can use two egg whites for each egg and you can sub half the sugar for honey if you wish and you can use whole wheat flour.  All these changes work, I've done them, but they do affect the end result.  None are bad, just different.
7) add-ins, you can add anything you like to this recipe.  After all these years, I still prefer them "virgin" but my gosh, go crazy with the chocolate chips, marshmallows, walnuts, peanuts, globs of peanut butter, chopped dates - maybe just not all at once!  I've double the volume of the batter with add-ins and it still bakes up just fine.
8) UNDERBAKE.  Just when the edges are set and the middle in not set (if you were to check with a toothpick it'd be like batter).  You know it!  That's delectable.  You will learn your own tolerance level of underbaked-ness as you practice this recipe.  In my oven, that's 27 minutes most of the time, I check every time like it's the first time.  Can be made in a 9" x 13" but keep an eye on the time, don't overcook the edges and in this size pan you don't get as much gooey middle.
9) these freeze really well.  Make ahead for a special event.  These are really good right out of the freezer so that's not very useful in terms of self-control.

And here's what you've been waiting for, the SECRET!  After you've added the sugar, eggs and vanilla to the butter and cocoa, whisk it a lot.  That's the secret to getting a nice, crispy layer on the top.  I think it's dissolving the sugar and perhaps that is forming the crust, in any case, whisk the wet a lot, like for a whole minute or two (your arm will get warm with the exertion, keep going). 

Shhhhhh, you may only share this secret if you have made it and tried it.

Want to lower the fat?  YOU CAN!  Sub half the butter for applesauce.  OR sub all the butter for half applesauce and half yogurt.  Sub 2 mashed bananas for 2 of the eggs.

Serve as is, with a dusting of icing sugar, a dollop of cinnamon whipped cream, a scoop of French Vanilla ice cream or a buttery, chocolatey frosting like this one:
Fry's Fudgy Icing
3 Tbsp butter
1/2 c cocoa
2 cups icing sugar
1/3 c milk or cream
1 tsp vanilla
- mix butter and cocoa well, alternate adding the icing sugar and milk.  Add vanilla.

If you just want one brownie and you want it NOW, check out this big single serving Brownie In A Mug, you won't be sorry.

Here's a recipe using half this Fry's recipe with a graham crust base and roasted marshmallows on top- S'more Brownies.


  1. Yum! Good tips :) I'll remember the whisking... a brownie isn't a brownie without a nice crackly top.

    1. I concur! Yeah, I give the pot a good tilt and move the whisk around the edges and it kind of falls down the middle to be whisked again at the bottom. Thanks for reading Heather.