Brownies are my best ever… epic fail dessert. I’ve baked different types of pastries but I can’t make a good brownie. Even a simple and classic brownie recipe (on the web) shows me no mercy.
I use melted chocolate when making brownies but they always turn out the way I don’t expect them to be. And no matter how faithful and obedient I am to the recipe, they were always dry or cakey. I already lost count of high quality chocolates I’ve bought (and donations by my dad and hubby, thanks guys mwah!). If I didn’t took a break from making them I’d (we’d) probably broke by now. Oh mighty brownie, why so meanie!?
While I was doing a quick inventory on my stash, an opened bag of cocoa powder fell off right in front of me. I’m not sure if I was hallucinating or imagining things but the cocoa powder suddenly spoke to me, “My master, I’ve come at the right time. Please use me”.
I probably need an 8-hour sleep for at least 3 consecutive months.
Or I just need a little kick of sugar in my brain. Hand me some cookies please!
No matter how weird and spooky it was, I want to thank that cocoa powder for giving me an idea and uhm, well, for the first time in my life I am truly thankful for having lack of sleep.
I was able to save up a lot by using cocoa powder in this experiment. I was able to do many tests without worrying how much good chocolates will be wasted this time. And I never thought brownies can be this good even with cocoa powder.
Flexible Brownie – one thing you will like about this recipe is you can adjust the amount of sugar depending on your sweetness meter. If you don’t like it very sweet, use 200g of sugar. It will have a bitter aftertaste but tolerable. If you want it sweet, use 250g of sugar. If you want it bittersweet, go for 225g of sugar. This is the right amount for me.
Do you notice the shades of the brownies in the photos? There are two right? Can you guess why? Yes! I used two types of cocoa powder: Dutch processed and natural.
Can you match the type of cocoa to its color? Right! Brownies made with Dutch process cocoa are the darker ones, more like dark brown to black. The lighter ones are made with natural cocoa powder.
Which cocoa powder to use? Since this recipe doesn’t use any leaveners, there won’t be a problem whatever type you use. It will depend on your taste preferences. Dutch process brownies have deeper flavor and more chocolatey which is what I like while natural cocoa brownies have mild chocolate flavor and sharp bitter aftertaste which my husband loves. My brother prefers both.
So if you’re craving for brownies and you’re too broke (like me) to buy a good baking chocolate, try this cocoa brownie recipe!
My cocoa powder, you served me well.
- 10 tablespoons (142g) unsalted butter
- 1 cup (86g) cocoa powder (Dutch process or natural)
- 1 1/4 cup (250g) granulated sugar (I used 225g - see notes below or post above)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 (68g w/ shell) large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (62g) all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 325F. Line 8x8" pan with foil leaving an overhang on the sides for easy lift.
- Melt butter, cocoa powder, sugar and salt in the microwave. Mix with spatula. Let it cool.
- Once cooled, add eggs and vanilla. Stir well. The mixture will become thick.
- Add flour and mix using wired whisk. Do not overmix.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Tap the pan into the counter and pop large bubbles. Bake for 25 mins. Mine was done at 20 mins since my oven is very hot. Watch and check them at 18 to 20 minute mark. Do not overbake.
- Let it cool in the pan on a wired rack before cutting into squares. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature. Consume within a week.
- Use your preferred cocoa powder. This recipe doesn't use any leaveners so there's no much impact, just the taste and flavor.
- You can adjust the amount of sugar in this recipe. If you don't like it very sweet, use 200g of sugar. It will have a bitter aftertaste but tolerable. If you want it sweet, use 250g of sugar. If you want it bittersweet, go for 225g of sugar - I like this one better.
- Do not overbake to prevent brownies from becoming dry and cakey. Watch them very carefully. I usually wash the dishes to save time so sometimes I tend to overbake my batter. I advise to check them from time to time. Please be patient, trust me!