We don’t do a lot of baked goods in our house. It is not by choice (or at least not by my choice). The thing is Keith is not a ‘sweets’ kind of guy….meaning that if I make them and there is no one around to share them–then the eating burden falls entirely on me…which means that burden of another sort will fall upon my skinny jeans if I indulge with the frequency with which I would like. Because I bake so little I have two (yes, just two) recipes that I make work for all occasions requiring a little sweetness. This Brownie Recipe–commandeered from my Chocolate Bar Cookbook that my mother bought me years ago, is one of my sweet saviors and is perfect to make when one needs to send a close friend some birthday love in Mississippi. A proud Papa, property manager, film director (check out his film company, Glorious Productions), and the link that brought me and Keith together, Arjun deserves way more than Brownie Cupcakes on his birthday, but being the poor planner that I am, this was the best I could pull together without sending them to him a week late.
Originally written to make a tray of brownies, I have modified the cooking recommendations for this recipe to make individual brownie cupcakes (in a muffin tin) so you can get a little fancy and serve them individual desserts and decorate with whipped cream, icing, or macerated fruit.
¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
¼ tsp salt
1 tbs cocoa powder
4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter
¾ tsp instant espresso powder
5 oz semi-sweet chocolate
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup (4 ½ oz) semisweet chocolate chips (optional)
Yield: Makes 12 Brownie Cupcakes
In a medium-large heavy saucepan, combine the butter and the espresso powder and stir over low heat until the butter is melted. Add the chocolate, stirring constantly until the mixture the mixture appears completely smooth, approximately 2 minutes.
Take the chocolate mixture off the heat and add the sugars, mixing until combined. Add the eggs (make sure the mixture is cool enough that it won’t cook your eggs when you add them) and vanilla and continue stirring until they are evenly incorporated and the mixture is thick and glossy. Add the sifted flour mixture and stir just until blended. Stir in the additional chocolate chips.
Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, put equal amounts of batter into each tin and tap lightly on the to even out each brownie. Bake the brownies for 20-25 minutes (but keep an eye on them–my oven temperature is VERY unreliable, so the cook time for yours may need to go up by 3-5 minutes), or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Do not overbake. Cool completely on a wire rack and remove from muffin tin by flipping it over and tapping each gently until they fall out. If you are serving them as a dessert after a dinner party, you can stack them in a pyramid on a large platter, or do an individual presentation and decorate each with whipped cream.