At 9:00 pm, after scrolling through Instagram, I figured – rather I impulsively convinced myself, that I needed to make brownies. After seeing photo upon photo upon photo of tasty, fudgy, crackly top brownies, I needed to immediately make myself a batch. I have made brownies before. In fact, you can check out the recipe here. But that recipe calls for a few more ingredients, and a little more time and patience. Everything I lacked at 9:oo at night.
Instead, I realized I needed a brownie recipe that used the minimum amount of ingredients (I am a student after all), that could easily be whipped up in one bowl (I hate cleaning especially when I share a kitchen with 4 other people), and could be made, from start to finish, in 30-minutes. After a bit of research online, I came up with the perfect one-bowl brownies recipe. This recipe can be made at any hour and is ready in no time at all. Whip up this batch and then continue binging on your favourite TV series (I am currently hooked on Power!).
I call these emergency brownies because they involve a mix of chocolate, cocoa powder and butter, but they aren’t going to require copious amounts of these ingredients. This one-bowl brownies recipe is perfect for those moments when you want brownies but you don’t have many ingredients on hand. My other brownie recipe is strictly chocolate based – meaning there is no cocoa powder. However, that recipe involves weighing the amount of chocolate using a kitchen scale, whereas this recipe involves no fancy gadgets. I also have cocoa powder in this recipe – which contributes to some of that fat and structure we will need to make sure these brownies are tasty and fugdey without requiring 1000 eggs and an insane amount of butter.
I also included extra chopped chocolate in this recipe. This isn’t a necessity but I do find that it helps contribute to a fudgier brownie texture. You’ll also notice that there is espresso extract and almond extract. These might not necessarily be items found in many students pantries. You can totally omit them – as they do not impact texture or structure, and it is more of a flavour thing. If you want to know what you absolutely must not skimp out on it will be the chopped chocolate (dark or semi-sweet – a little more than 1/4 if you’re eye-balling it is okay), butter, and cocoa powder. You’ll also notice there is no baking soda or baking powder in this recipe. That is because we want dense brownies not cake-like fluffy brownies. So do not add any leaveners for the love of God!
And on a final note – you will see that I have put the baking time at 15 – 30 minutes. That is quite a broad range. The reason I do this is because the oven I have in my residence is a fan oven that heats and bakes items very quickly. I put the timer on for 25 minutes but checked in on it around the 20 minute mark and noticed that is was actually cooked. Depending on your oven I suggest checking in at around 18 minutes and then cooking for 2-3 minute increments until you achieve the desired texture of your brownies.
fudgey. dense. ready to devour in 30-minutes
For those times (like at 9:00 pm) when you want brownies and a glass of milk in order to binge watch your favourite Netflix series!
Preheat your oven to 180C/350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8 square pan or line with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a large microwave-safe bowl or in a saucepan, melt the butter and 1/4 cup chopped chocolate until melted and smooth. Let cool for about 3 minutes before adding sugars.
Whisk in the sugars and then the eggs until fully combined. Stir in the espresso extract, almond extract, vanilla, salt, and cocoa powder. Then add the flour - do not over mix. Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts.
Sprinkle coarse sea salt over the top, and serve brownies warm, with a generous dollop of vanilla ice cream or some whip cream or a big glass of milk.
* I use this brand of chocolate - about 1/3 of the bar is equal to 1 oz or 1/4 cup.
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