Thursday, July 03, 2008

Were the brownies outrageous enough?

Two Sweet Reviews

One of the things I find hard to resist is a good brownie. Full of decadent, buttery, chocolate-y goodness, I usually save these for an occasional indulgence, and buy them by the piece, because even though they are fairly easy to make, there are not enough occasions to justify baking a pan full of them. I have a really long list of brownie recipes I would like to try, and I know a good brownie when I eat one, but how am I supposed to tell by just looking at the recipe? All those glamor shots that sometimes accompany them don't help either.

Outrageous Brownies

Not long ago, I mentioned having over a boatload of guests, with varied tastes, and thankfully a few of them were dessert people, so I ruffled through my list to see which one I should try first, and what a difficult decision it was. I settled on Ina Garten's Outrageous Brownies after reading high praise on the user reviews. I followed everything exactly, and they baked up beautifully. Great texture, and pretty good taste. The overall impression however was that the coffee flavor was too strong. The coffee is supposed to boost the chocolate flavor, not overtake it. It is quite possible that the particular coffee I used was too strong, but these brownies tasted good only on the first day and didn't quite hold that well by the next day, which can be a big plus if one is making a tonne of them. And they also didn't do well after freezing (and thawing). Ultimately, this is not the 'it' brownie recipe for me, and I am more likely to try some others in pursuit of the perfect one.

All is not lost in this post though. Here is a plug for a superb Mini Chocolate Cupcakes recipe from Nicole, a prolific blogger and baker. It took me all of 10 minutes to make the batter, and that included opening cupboards, jars, bottles, and sundry containers of ingredients. I needed a tad more milk than specified to get the batter to come together, but a taste of the batter promised great things to come, and these did not disappoint. I have never eaten chocolate cupcakes before. I am not kidding, I have never had an occasion to sample chocolate cupcakes, but these were incredible. I didn't even make the frosting, as I didn't have all the things on hand. I thought of drizzling some ganache over them, but they were mighty good as is. Moist, delicious, easy, eggless, and possibly easy to convert to a vegan version if needed. I can't wait to try them out again. There was a small catch, and even though it didn't matter, I thought I should mention that while I made half the recipe, it was just enough for only 12 mini-muffins. At first I thought I had filled the cups too much, but the cupcakes seem to have risen almost as much as they have in Nicole's pictures.

Mini chocolate cupcakes

Noting down the recipe for future reference.

Mini Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes 12

3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 tsp instant coffee powder (optional)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
big pinch of salt
3/8 cup milk, or a little more if needed
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F. Line 12 mini muffin cups with paper liners.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa power, instant coffee powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Pour into dry ingredients and stir until just combined and no streaks of flour remain.

Distribute batter evenly into prepared muffin cups, filling each about 3/4th full.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Turn cupcakes out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

39 comments:

Asha said...

Good fudgy brownie made with dark chocolate and not too sweet, I would eat 2 of them!
Looks great, I have bookmarked that recipe long time ago too from Miss Ina! :D

ranji said...

Ina is my fav chef..love her baked recipes and even other type dishes....i am bookmarking the mini choco lcakes too...looks soooooooo good..love them both..

Mints! said...

OOOOOhhhh! Egglesss!! Thank you so much !

KALVA said...

Ohh they look gorgeous!!!

Richa said...

such a yummy chocolatey' post :)
i guess this shud yield @6 reg size muffins with a few more mins of baking? they are sooo tempting, et!

shyam said...

I'll let you know after I make your outrageous cupcakes :)

notyet100 said...

look so yummy,,,nd cute..

Angel said...

These are my two favorite brownie recipes. Maybe you will enjoy them.

Supernatural brownies: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/11/dining/111brex.html?scp=1&sq=supernatural%20brownie&st=cse

Nigel Slater's Very Good Chocolate Brownies: http://shopping.guardian.co.uk/food/story/0,,1237454,00.html

sowmya said...

the cupcakes looks so cute..

प्रिया said...

No butter/cream, less oil, less sugar :) I am sold! Looks like something I MUST try to pamper my sweet tooth without feeling too guilty about it!

Arundathi said...

oh those cupcakes look gorgeous. i've been on the search for a perfect brownie too - think i found it - but it doesn't look like a brownie :( oh well. the taste is fabulous! :)

TheCooker said...

Gorgeous!
I most certainly going to try and make these w/ soy milk. Will keep you posted.
3/8 of a cup must've been a bit tricky, no?

Bharti said...

omg, those look so delicious. I just made a raspberry cake today and your post is making me doubt my decision!
Make note to self- next time chocolate, chocolate and only chocolate!

Madhuram said...

The brownies look so moist. But I love the cupcakes because they are eggless. When you have time leave the link to this cupcake below, I'll update it in the eggless muffins list. Thank You.
http://www.egglesscooking.com/eggless-baking-recipes/eggless-recipe-submit-form/

Cynthia said...

It's chocolate heaven on this blog!

evolvingtastes said...

Asha, ranji, KALVA, notyet100, sowmya, thanks!

Mints! you're welcome. Because I know many people who do not eat eggs, I am always on the lookout for eggless recipes.

Richa, yeah, I'd think so too. Fill up the regular muffin cups upto 2/3rd, and see how many you get. Definitely bake them for 2-3 mins longer. And of course let me know if that works, so I'll know too.

shyam, you always know how to say just the thing!

Angel, thanks a lot for the 2 links. They look goooood, and I am adding them to my 'list'.

evolvingtastes said...

प्रिया, that's true. These petite treats shouldn't make you feel too guilty. And they held up well for 5 days, so no rush to finish them either. :-)

Arundathi, let me know if you find the one!

TheCooker, of course, let me know it goes with veganizing them. For getting a precise 3/8th cup, I use a 1/8 cup and measure out 3 times. Or one can use 1/4 cup + 1/8 cup.

Bharti, thanks, and welcome to my blog!

Madhuram, thanks for that link. I'll check it out.

Cynthia, :-)

Manisha said...

You made 12 and they last 5 whole days? Are you for real? I ask because I am looking at that half sheet of brownies which is almost all gone in less than 3 days. Ok so I confess that half of that half sheet was eaten by other people for a July 4th party. But the rest? It's found a new home on my heeeeeeps.

evolvingtastes said...

Manisha, hahahahaha, these were so good I was making them last longer. Truth be told, due to various reasons, I was forced to take a few meals outside right after I made these, and was too busy to even look at them, which is why they lasted so long.

Kate / Kajal said...

I can never ever resist a brownie , if i see one i have to have one !
And you've tempted me once again with 2 chocolate goodies this morning ...how am i going to forgive you !!! :D

madteaparty said...

The brownies look quite glam!...but I'll try the cupcakes since you say they tasted grate and if they take only 10 min - now what can be better than almost-instant gratification?!

madteaparty said...

oops! what will everyone think! Not great. :D

Shantanu said...

OMG! That looks positively sinful. :0

Priya said...

Read your post and could not resist the temptation, so here they are. Thank you!

bee said...

man, these look moist and fantastic, esp the cupcakes.

Divya said...

Ohh...chocolate muffins look so pretty and delicious!!loved it!!

Priyanka said...

the best part about this recipe is that it doesnt have eggs..yay!!! and who can resist anything chocolate:)

evolvingtastes said...

Kate, not YOU. Usually you are the temptress with all your fabulous baked creations.

Anita, you are great in my books regardless. :-)

Shantanu, these are actually not that bad in moderation!

Priya, I was so happy to read your post. And of course, thanks for stopping by and welcome to my blog.

bee, yes, they are.

Divya, thanks.

Priyanka, I knew that the eggless part would make many people happy.

Anonymous said...

I tried these cupcakes yesterday..made 8 regular size muffins with this recipe with 10 mins more baking time. They were great ..thanks!
Jane

Miri said...

Duly noted...those muffins look amazing, will wait till you get the perfext brownie recipe :)

evolvingtastes said...

Jane, glad to hear that these worked for you. Welcome here too.

Miri, duly noted 2!

प्रिया said...

ET, I want to bake this in a 9x9 or 9x12 baking pan instead of making cupcakes. Will the baking time change? For how long should I bake it?

evolvingtastes said...

Hi प्रिया, I am not sure how this particular batter would hold up as a regular cake because it had somewhat of a crumbly texture. It worked fine in mini cupcakes because they are bite size and don't need to be turned out of the pan like a cake. Of course, you could try by baking for about 25 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean. If you are specifically looking for a vegan chocolate cake, I would also suggest you take a look at thecooker's chocolate cake. I have not tried it myself, but have made a very similar cake in the past, and I am inclined to trust her judgement too. Either way, I would be eager to hear the results!

evolvingtastes said...

प्रिया, I forgot to add that if you use the cupcakes recipe for a 9X9 pan, my guess is that you would need to double the quantities.

प्रिया said...

ET, I don't care much for vegan/non-vegan, but I was looking for healthy (low-fat, low-cal) desserts. The Cooker's cake sure looks good. I'll let you know when I bake this. (Knowing my lazy self, it will take me atleast a month to get to it ;-) )

Suganya said...

These looks outrageously delicious. Love the warm feel your pics have :)

evolvingtastes said...

Hey Suganya, coming from you!! I think I might faint with happiness. :-)

Sophie said...

We would like to feature your cupcake recipe on our blog. Please email sophiekiblogger@gmail.com if interested. Thanks :)

Sunshinemom said...

Great, I just copied this recipe for my reference:)

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