Sep 05

Classic Brownies




I like brownies … who doesn’t? Mom used to make them with walnuts tho, and I don’t like nuts in my cake, so I used to pick the walnuts out. In my adult life I have never successfully made brownies myself mainly because up until about three years ago I never knew how to bake. True story! Ask my old flatmate, Julius. Everytime I got out the kitchen scales he’d give me a look of resignation, wish me luck and disappear. He laughed a lot at my expense back then, heh.



But these days I am feeling a lot more confident and somewhat optimistic about my baking skills. Heck, I own a blog site, don’t I? And I dare to publish my food for all the world to see, so I must have had some baking sense knocked into me over the years. I’m not there yet tho; I still have a long way to go before I can safely say to myself I can bake fearlessly. I still face a lot of anxiety and trepidation when I am faced with a new recipe or when I find myself handling tricky ingredients like egg whites and chocolate. *cringe*



However, today I have been asked by the boyfriend to make brownies and have them delivered to the office, because it’s Tuesday and every Tuesday is the office meeting. I wasn’t planning on making anything today coz I wanted to focus on research (and playing Diablo III). In the end I gave in and now the cake is in the oven, baking and filling my house with the dizzying aroma of cocoa. It’s starting to give me evil thoughts … that I should just not deliver it to the office later and have it all to myself with a tall glass of milk. Me and Pupperz, that is. I can have the cake, the dog can have a bowl of milk. I am using an Alton Brown recipe by the way, and instead of using baking chocolate we are using dry cocoa powder.






Ingredients : makes 16 portions (I think).


  • 230 g (8 oz) plain unsalted butter, melted
  • 220 g (1 cup) brown sugar
  • 220 g (1 cup) regular white sugar
  • 148 g (1 1/4 cups) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 64 g (1/2 cup) plain AP flour
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 large eggs



1. Preheat oven to 190ºC. Prepare your baking tin by buttering the inside and lining it with parchment paper, making sure some hangs off the edges.


2. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs for about a minute or two.


3. Sift all dry ingredients together and add them to the eggs, all the while mixing on low coz you don’t want an airy, fluffy cake mixture. You want dense brownies.


4. Once that has been well incorporated drizzle in the melted butter and the vanilla extract. You will end up with a fairly dense, sticky mixture.


5. Pour into your prepared tins and bake for 45 – 50 mins. Remove from the tin immediately and cut the cake into bars while it is still hot and pliable before a crust forms. Alton Brown recommends using a pizza cutter to do this. Cool on wire rack and then serve just warm with vanilla ice cream or simply dusted with icing sugar.






Peanut Butter Brownies.


For the office meetings I always make two batches of everything coz there are about 20 staff members … and if it’s chocolate I may as well triple the recipe. However, I ran out of vanilla extract and so did the shop … so I picked up a jar of smooth peanut butter and made a peanut butter brownie to compensate. These turned out surprisingly well which is unusual for me especially when I modify a recipe. The brownie itself did not have an overpowering taste of peanut butter, but I made a peanut butter frosting to go with it so no worries.







  • 140 g unsalted butter
  • 115 g smooth peanut butter
  • 220 g (1 cup) brown sugar
  • 220 g (1 cup) regular white sugar
  • 148 g (1 1/4 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 64 g (1/2 cup) plain AP flour
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (** optional)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 large eggs



1. Preheat oven to 190ºC (300ºF). Butter and line your baking tin with parchment, ensuring to leave some overhang.


2. Melt butter and peanut butter in a saucepan over very low heat. Set aside.


3. In a mixing bowl beat eggs until fluffy. Then sift in all the dry ingredients.


4. Once you get something that resembles mud, drizzle in the melted peanut butter and butter mixture as the mixer is kept running on low.


5. Add vanilla extract (if using). The cake mixture should be thick and sticky.


6. Pour into your lined cake tin and bake for 45 – 50 mins.


7. Remove from baking tin and allow to cool to room temp before slicing (because the frosting needs to go on top of a cooled cake).



Peanut Butter Frosting.

  • 50 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 – 5 tbsp peanut butter, depending on how peanutty you want your frosting to be.
  • 3/4 cup  powdered confectioners sugar.


1. Place butter and peanut butter into the bowl of your mixer. Using the balloon whisk attachment, whisk until everything comes together and no more streaks are left.


2. Add in the confectioners sugar bit by bit until all the sugar is used up.



** Note : If the consistancy is too thick and clumpy, add a little milk one teaspoon at a time. If it is too runny, add more sugar until you reach the desired consistancy.




So there you have it, two very simple and pretty classic brownie varieties. Hope you have fun with it. Due to the relatively high sugar content in both recipes, they both come out with a nice crust on top and on all sides, which is exactly what I like about brownies. When they come out of the oven they might look and feel a bit soft, but as they cool the tops will get a crusty shell. Mmmm…!





~ ENJOY!! ~





Permanent link to this article: http://foodflurries.com/sweet/classic-brownies


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  1. Tamas

    it was delicious with the peanut butter, thank you!!

    1. bubviv

      So did everyone else like it too? Or did you eat all of it yourself? :)) Glad you liked it. I will drop off other cakes in the future if they are well received by your colleagues. xx

      1. Tamas

        I had to be quick to get some for myself 🙂

  2. Sarah Volpe

    OH my word these look amazing peanut butter icing! Yum.

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