Sunday, December 8, 2013

Cocoa brownies: v.4738192847651

I'm always on the hunt for a brownie recipe I actually like. I'm not a huge fan of chocolate, so I've really struggled to find a recipe that strikes a nice balance for my taste. I've tried about half a million recipes, and none of them seem to do anything for me.

Here is a summary of my preferences in the brownie-making journey so far:

• oil > butter
• cake texture > fudge texture
• cocoa powder > melted bittersweet chocolate
• 1 c. sugar is plenty
• 1/2 c. cocoa powder is plenty
• walnuts + cake texture = very unappealing

Like I said, I've done my fair share of experimentation, so imagine my surprise when I came across the most delicious recipe yesterday!

Let's have a look:

1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
*secret ingredient TBA in a bit*

Preheat oven to 350. Combine oil, sugar, and vanilla. Mix in beaten eggs. In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Fold in gradually. Pour into a greased 8x8 pan and bake about 20-25 minutes.

Okay, I know what you're thinking: "Yeah, yeah...brownies, schmownies. What's so special about this recipe?" Well, for one, these brownies have a great texture with just a little crunch on the edges and a cakey, but moist texture inside.

Here's the kicker, though. You ready? Top these babies with 1/2 a can of sweetened condensed milk as they're cooling! Talk about YUM.

If you didn't know, sweetened condensed milk is like a raw version of caramel. You've got dairy; you've got sugar. There's actually a crock pot recipe for overnight caramel sauce that basically just tells you to cook an unopened can of the stuff completely submerged in water, then open up a surprisingly gooey can of perfectly golden caramel. Neat, right?

Well, sweetened condensed milk on a pan of warm brownies sets up like an icing-caramel-glaze hybrid. It's absolutely delicious!

My only complaint with this recipe is that it makes a rather small pan of brownies. I don't mind because brownies aren't something I can eat a lot of at one time. However, my next project is to figure out how to double this recipe without making anything disproportionate, flavor-wise. I guess that's a story for another day.