Frosted Brownies

Sponge cakes are nice. Airy, light cakes are great. And un-risen, soggy mass of cakes, are, to say the least, are not considered a success. Where, I wonder, does that leave the brownie to? Ah, why should I really care? It’s still moist, it’s intensely chocolaty, it’s mostly chewy; what’s there to complain about?

So what are brownies really? Brownies are American inventions. They also happen to be America's favourite 'bar cookies' although I don't know why they are called bar cookies. Clearly I have to (bake) read more. Brownies have evolved over the last 100 years or so; the original brownies were called so because of their dark brown colour, but they didn't contain any kind of chocolate. The colour came from all other ingredients one of which was apparently molasses. That would explain the colour. The earliest chocolate recipe appeared in the Boston Cooking-School Cook Book although there seem to be some references to a Sears, Roebuck Catalog for 1897 where brownies first appeared. From then on, brownies, in general refer to 'chocolate brownies'.  On the other hand are Blondies - blond versions of the cake/cookie. These are usually made with white chocolate - hence these contain absolutely no cocoa. From what I have read, blondies are actually predecessors to the brownies; their recipes appeared even before brownies but were called by other names. Some recipes seemed to contain butterscotch.

Brownies traditionally will not have no added leavening agent except the eggs that are used. Its debatable whether brownies should be cakey or fudgey. I guess that depends on your tastes. For me the brownie should be almost fudgey, dark, rich but still crumbly. From all the recipes I have seen till now, most recipes contain large amounts of butter and chocolate, eggs, sugar and little flour. I guess thats where the moist and fudgy texture comes from. For a detailed breakdown of different recipes and methods and more, I recommend you read Felicity Cloake's article in the Guardian - How to make the perfect brownies. I am a girl inspired after reading this. And I too am in search of the perfect brownie recipe.

My earliest brownie memory is from a certain dessert at certain restaurant I used to frequent  and I never failed to NOT eat it. It was a  rich as sin, chocolate cake (which now, I am pretty sure was a brownie), chocolate fudge, Chocolate / Vanilla Ice cream and Chocolate sauce.  Can you guess what it was called?  Penalty. Yeah, that about sums it up. The penalty of course was the arrow moving forward on the weighing scale, every time you stood up on it. But it was good that at that time, I didn’t bother too much about it.

Some time ago, these Ultra Chocolate brownies  grabbed my attention on TLC and I couldn’t get them out of my (glutton) mind. I didn’t let it go until I bought like a whole tray of it (OK so I may be exaggerating, but only a little). But how could I recreate this at home? A few years ago, I had this fail safe microwave brownie recipe. It was super easy lip-smacking. I used to make it a point to eat it with ice cream. But over the years I lost the recipe. I obviously didn’t see the value of it then. And so for the last couple of years, I have been looking for that elusive, lip smacking brownie recipe. And I think am close to finding it. 

You will find an unlimited number of brownies if you just search online. I did. But the more you read the more confusing they get. You never know which one to choose. I finally narrowed down to the book versions of brownie recipes and these ones turned out great. The great thing about them is that although they don’t use cooking chocolate (or a dark chocolate bar) they still possess that deep, rich chocolate flavour that are intrinsic to good chocolate brownies. These border on being completely fudgey rather than crumbly. The original recipe is almost double and me being me, I cut it down to half. You can find the original recipe here.

*If you are a vegan or don't eat eggs, or you just want to be adventures you could also try these Egg less Brownies.

Frosted brownie
Adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook

Makes about 16 2X2 brownies

You will need:

2 eggs
150g caster sugar
45g / ½ cup - plain flour
40g cocoa powder
150g unsalted butter, melted
½ cup shelled walnuts, chopped
½ cup or about 50 gms dark chocolate chips

for the frosting:

2 heaped tsp icing sugar, sifted
1tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 heaped tsp cocoa powder, sifted
100g cream cheese at room temperature

a 20cm x 20cm square baking tray, lined with butter paper

To make the brownie:

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas 3. Line your tin with the butter paper.

2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and the sugar with a whisk or electric handheld mixer until pale and fluffy.  Sift in the flour and the cocoa powder into the mixture. Sift so that you’ll remove all the lumps from the cocoa and mixing will be easier.

3. In this mixture, slowly add the melted butter and mix it thoroughly. Add the chopped walnuts and chocolate chips and stir using a wooden spoon until they are evenly dispersed.

4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and spread it out evenly. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30-35 minutes until the top is firm. Test the cake with a wooden skewer – there shouldn’t be wet batter sticking to it. 

5. To make the frosting, beat together the icing sugar, butter, cream cheese and cocoa powder in a medium bowl. Here also I recommend sifting the cocoa powder. I had not, and immediately saw the problem; it’s very hard to remove lumps of cocoa when it’s incorporated in the mixture.

6. When the brownie is cold, spread the frosting over the top.

7. Chill them completely before cutting. This gives better, cleaner cuts.


  1. Nice.....brownies i love them.....
    How did i know you posted this.....well say hello to your new subscriber ;)

  2. Thanks :)
    Make them, and tell me how they are ok?


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