Friday, November 14, 2014

Guinness Chocolate Brownies: a race against daylight

This first two and a half weeks of keeping a blog have proved to be a lot of enjoyable, but  still arduous work. It has involved a big amount of  reading, planning and most of all  reorganizing my week schedule around photo shoots (I shoot every Monday, Thursday and Friday before heading to work) , editing and writing posts. This morning I downloaded an excellent book: Pinch of Yum- Tasty Food Photography, that I recommend to anyone who would be interested in taking food pictures. It helped me a lot and made many things clear for me, 
This afternoon after reading the book I decided to take to  practice some of  the theory, but what made this shooting day special today was rush:

Guys, my great plan for today was to bring to  you a tasty caramel flan recipe that is simply irresistible but...... I live in a part of the world (Finland)  where November-December daylight time is as short as 5 hours per day.... and if we add to it the fact that half of that time went by on doing last minute-grocery shopping and any errands than came to the way, my photo shoot time was reduced to only 2 hours and 30 minutes before daylight would disappear completely.  I had to come up with a quick recipe, easy to make, SUPER good and suitable for a tight baking schedule:  Answer?: Guinness Chocolate Brownies.  Guaranteed or your reading time back.:) 

Hope you like beer, because this is what makes these brownies as special as they are. You can also replace Guinness beer with some liquor (Sherry, Cointreau, Brandy) or simply milk, or half milk and half liquor, it´s all up to you! These little ones taste like they are out of this world!

Guinness Chocolate Brownies

  • 2 tbsp of milk (if it's full-fat milk, the better)
  • 1 cup Guinness (or milk /liquor of your choice)
  • 1 1/2 beaten eggs
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract 
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder 
  • 1/2 cup of Hershey´s or Quick´s cocoa powder (you can use all unsweetened cocoa powder if you like)
  • 1/4 tsp p+ 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar 
  • 1/3 cup  regular sugar (you can use only 1/4 cup if you don´t want it too sweet)
  • 2/3 cup mini chocolate chips, (this is  optional)
  • Confectioner´s sugar for decoration (optional)
Preheat oven to 330F or 165C. Grease and flour a square pan. If you want your brownies to be taller / thicker, you either need a smaller pan or more brownie batter (so you would have to double the amounts in the recipe)

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl and
set aside. Whisk wet ingredients until they integrate and add them to dry mix slowly beating at medium-speed with an electrical mixer.

Pour batter in the baking pan and place it in the medium rack of your oven.

Baking time: It varies from 13 to 17 minutes. If you want your brownies to be really runny, 13 min is your choice. If you want them a bit more cooked and with more of a  chocolate cake consistence,  bake for 17 min.  I like them really moist and soft inside, but not runny, so I usually leave them in the oven for 14-15 minutes. Not a minute more: It´s not a granny´s tale: brownie and cookie consistency changes by the minute. Really! (if you can, set an alarm and be pendant of it)
Whatever baking time you choose, be sure of taking the pan out of the oven right on the minute and set the pan to cool down. Take your time. The cake has to cool down completely before cutting the squares. You can leave it in the fridge overnight. 

Once your brownies are cut and ready to serve, it´s time to add some touch. Here is where your own taste and imagination plays a big rol. You can sprinkle them with confectioner's sugar, nuts, grated chocolate, or leave them plain. They all are good. 
Maybe in later episodes I´ll tell you more about Finland and why I have ended up living here for more that 10 years now.  Sure it is a long story and an interesting place..... wait... Finnish baking!! why not???
A note for my future posts!


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