“These special occasion foods offer some of the great pleasures of life, so we shouldn’t deprive ourselves of them, but the sense of occasion needs to be restored. One way is to start making these foods yourself; if you bake dessert yourself, you won’t go to that much trouble every day.”
Earlier this week we returned from the Fusion Festival, a music festival that we’ve had the good fortune to attend for the last three years. As usual, we had an amazing time – good music, good food (it was all vegetarian) and most importantly, good friends – both old and new. And though there were a few friends that weren’t able to make it this year, they were thought of often. On the evening before leaving for our trip I baked off a batch of these brownies as well as some whole-wheat chocolate chip cookies to share with our peeps. Anyhow, a few of them asked for the recipes, and I am more than happy to oblige.
I recently posted a healthier brownie recipe where the only fat came from the use of coconut milk. So, believe me, I’m not fooled into thinking that these brownies are in any way healthy, even with the use of whole-wheat versus white flour. But, as Michael Pollan, one of the country’s leading writers on food policy, recommends in his book, Food Rules – An Eater’s Manual, I do my best to “treat treats as treats” consuming them on special occasions, such as meeting with awesome friends at the Fusion Festival!
For my most recent batch I used a mixture of milk (80%) and dark (20%) chocolate. However, feel free to use all milk or dark chocolate if you like. I think these are best served cold – from the fridge, perhaps along side a plump scoop of vanilla ice cream and warm caramel sauce. But I can also confirm through personal experience that they are also pretty good fresh out of the oven.
So whether you decide to enjoy these warm or have the patience to wait until they are refrigerated, you can feel good about having made these yourself, instead of buying a mass-produced, inferior-quality, preservative-filled, store-bought version!
- 8 ounces milk chocolate or dark chocolate (or any combination of both)
- 1 stick butter (4 ounces)
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup whole-wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2-3 teaspoons cocoa powder or whole-wheat flour for dusting pans (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350° F / ° C. Prepare an 8” square or round baking pan by lining it with parchment paper or butter and dust the pan with cocoa powder. Dusting it with cocoa powder rather than flour will ensure a cleaner looking brownie without the possibility of white edges that you might get from a flour dusting.
In a medium heatproof bowl fitted over a pot of simmering water (double-boiler style), combine the butter and the chocolate until they are fully melted. Gently whisk the butter and chocolate until combined. Remove from the heat, and allow the chocolate mixture to cool. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together whole-wheat flour, baking powder, and sea salt.
Once the chocolate mixture has cooled (about 5-7 minutes), pour it into the egg mixture and whisk together until well incorporated. Then, add the flour mixture. Using a rubber spatula, fold the flour into the chocolate until just combined. Next, pour the mixture into your prepared pan, and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until a tooth-pick, when inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with only a few dampened crumbs on it.
Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool. Allow the pan to cool to room temperature before refrigerating them. Refrigerate them until they are cold. Alternatively, you can enjoy them warm.