Updated: May 26, 2020
[Edit: SOOOO many ppl DM-ed me on IG after my brownie stories, complaining to me (but they did say it's nice) and I got even more excited to post this. HAHAHAHA. STOP FUELLING AND ENABLING MY PETTINESS. Heh heh. ]
So...while I'm far away from home, I've seen my instagram booming with a certainyardbaker brownies that my igfriends are buying. And then, someone sent me the cost of 12 palm-sized brownies...$72+ freaking dollars?! And they don't sell it individually so one order would set you back at least $70 - $100, including one to two sides. I was ASTONISHED. I mean how good can a brownie be that it costs that amount. That is one damn high SES brownie. If it's sold individually, I might pay to try a piece to see what's the hype about but definitely not the 12-brownie set because I'm a peasant and I lowkey think it is an abomination. With that amount, I rather spend on patisserie-quality bakes made with more effort. Yes, some may argue that the ingredients could be high quality blah blah. But...how many of you can differentiate a high quality chocolate (Valrhona) and your normal chocolate you can purchase at your supermarket or bake shops (maybe Lindt?), which is melted into a chocolatey brownie. If you insist you can taste the difference and that is worth it...then MOVE AWAY FROM THIS POST.
Also, if you're going to argue on the cost of labour etc, let me tell you I am the f*cking labour for my batch of brownies and as much as I have my baker's pride, I don't think my effort in making a batch of brownies is $70. (Although if the situation lets me, I'll tell you my efforts are worth $1 million).
Okay, and sorry if I don't pay rental for a shopfront. I lose, okay? But I pay for my utility bills and home rental. SO SUE ME. (kidding, once again, no money. Don't sue) I am an average human and would like a more pocket friendly dessert. THIS IS MY OPINION and the name of the brownies should have given you some idea.
I'm not trying to shit on anybody's business but brownies are a basic bake so I think that's quite a shocking amount to pay. EVEN MY SISTER BAKES BROWNIES JUST FOR FUN (no offence to my lovable sis) and people usually start off baking brownies because they are simple, quick enough and quite failsafe. It may get you a few tries to get that fudgy centre, but it really ain't that hard if you watch your oven closely. Even if you overbake it, you still get a chocolatey cake. So while I applaud their ability to trend during this lockdown period where errbady is paying $100 plus to purchase 12 brownies plus some sides, I really can't help but smh. Good job to them tho. CLOUT. And maybe it's really THAT good (o.k....). But the peasant me will find a peasant substitute. #revengebake I am DETERMINED to make a good enough brownie which can feed a family without burning my pocket.
I'll say upfront, that I have not tried their brownies and I still won't pay for it unless someone decides to gift me one as a slap to my face to say $72 is worth it.
So I'll just make my own in the meantime.
For those who have tried theirs and would like to make this, feel free to let me know how it compares. I AM OPEN TO COMMENTS. To let you know how petty I am, I actually purchased a new individual brownie tin just for this to make it look exactly the same. HAHAHAHAH. Yes, just to prove a point. Even with my new brownie tin, it still doesn't cost $72. Just saying.
Anyway, enough of my rant and move on to the #peasantbake. You can make this in a brownie/muffin tin or maybe a 7" square tin. This makes a batch of 8 brownies. If you wanna increase the amount and bake it in a larger tin, please watch the brownie closely as it bakes because the time to bake will differ accordingly.
Normal cocoa powder (the light brown ones) WILL NOT produce the blackness as seen in these brownies. You can still use it, but the colour will be lighter and may lack the taste characteristics.
As much as I wish that my dark heart could help compensate the lack of the blackness in your brownies, it doesn't. SO I highly recommend you purchase extra dark cocoa powder.
You can try to get extra dark cocoa powder from Phoon Huat (if you're in Singapore), or Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa, or get it from your bulk stores (if you're overseas).
Anyway, these brownies can still be made entirely with normal cocoa powder (but you just wont have the black hues), or you can also use all extra dark cocoa powder. I used half normal, half extra dark. Also, all my chocolate chips are at least 70% dark because I like it like that. You can use whatever atas chocolate you know of.
I've posted some of the steps for the brownie in my igprofile highlights @thebakerslust
SO ARE YOU READY?!?!?!?!
[Edited the recipe to include more details for the starter bakers! Also, you don't need and should not be using a mixer for this, just your spatula/whisk!]
Makes 8 brownie squares
Prep time: 10 mins
Bake time: 20 mins
190g salted butter, melted
60g extra dark cocoa powder (1/2 cup)
60g normal cocoa powder (1/2 cup)
1 tsp instant coffee powder (optional. you won't be able to taste the coffee, this is to help bring out the chocolate taste)
80g plain flour (1/2 cup)
180g white sugar (2/3 cup)
4 medium-size eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
Large dark chocolate chips (1/2 cup)
Small dark chocolate chips (A handful to top)
Coarse sea salt to sprinkle
PREHEAT OVEN TO 165'c.
1. Microwave butter in a microwavable bowl for about a minute till melted, let it cool slightly.
2. In a mixing bowl, add all cocoa powder and coffee powder. Pour the melted butter into the bowl and using a spatula, stir till smooth and glossy. (Before you move to the next step, make sure the mixture isn't scalding hot else it'll cook the eggs you're going to incorporate next, the bowl should feel warm to the touch)
3. Add in eggs, one at a time, stirring well but not vigorously so as not to incorporate too much air into the batter. If there's too much air, your brownie will turn out cakey; which is not what we want here.
4. Then add in sugar, flour and vanilla. Once again, stirring only to incorporate everything and not over-mixing if not gluten will develop. Your batter should be a smooth thick slightly sticky goodness.
5. In your brownie tin, apportion the batter into each cup, filling only up till half. Then press in at least 3 large dark choc chips into the middle of each cup. Then, cover with remaining batter until the tin is 3/4 cup full.
If you're using a normal square tin, you can choose to fold the large chocolate chips into the batter or eyeball how the brownies will be cut and just place the chocolate chips in the middle of each imaginary "border" and cut according to the imaginary lines after it's baked.
6. Sprinkle the small dark chocolate chips on the top of the brownie.
7. Bake your brownies in the oven rack slightly higher than the middle rack. It should take about 20-22 minutes (depending on your oven). KEEP WATCHING YOUR BROWNIE. (You think you can take the chance to go to the toilet? NO! WATCH IT!) It's ready when the top of the brownie is glossy, and only the small of the centre is still slightly soft when pressed. (This ensures its fudgyness) The sides of the brownie will also shrink slightly away from the tin. You can remove remove from the oven to test it.
Once again, for brownies you never want to overbake because we want a slightly fudgy centre. And to me, that's the difference between a brownie and a chocolate cake. You can always check on your brownies mid-bake by doing a poke-test. Using a skewer, poke the middle of the brownie and if it comes out with some fudge (it's good)! The top of the brownie should be glossy and looks cooked, it's okay if the centre of the brownie is slightly soft. If you're not confident, just remove earlier than later. If you think it's way too soft, you can always throw it into the oven again and bake it 2-3 minutes longer.
8. Remove from oven and cool for at least half hour before you eat it. Note that it may continue to bake as it cools.
9. If baking in brownie tin, flip it over a tray after it's cooled to remove from tin. Sprinkle the top with some coarse salt.
THE END!! You can now have it in the comfort of your own home, and save more than half of $72 (including a purchase of a new tin which you can use for life). AND you don't have to bear with any terrible service but my rant for the first half of this post.
BONUS LEVEL: Tear a large square piece of parchment paper, write whatever you want using a pencil, and fold it like how you'd fold a chicken rice packet.
THE END! BAKE IT AND TAG ME OR LET ME KNOW IT GOES.
SAVING MONEY FOR PEOPLE, ONE AT A TIME.