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More (and moreish) sourdough brownies

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Everyone has their own favourite brownie recipe, the one some people call "the best brownie recipe ever" or "the ultimate brownie".
I don't doubt that a brownie can be the best ever or the ultimate one. But it is all a matter of taste. Personally, I'm not so keen on really squidgy or pudding-like brownies or the ones with an additional gooey layer slathered on top. If I have to eat it with a fork or keep wiping away the creamy topping or chocolate smears from around my mouth and on my fingers, then I consider that not quite ideal.
I prefer my brownies crisp and crackled on top, and chewy and tender in the middle. Brownies are often referred to as a cross between cake and cookie and that's how I like it. If there's a topping, it should be baked on. I'd like to be able to pick up a brownie with one hand and not have it crumble as I eat it.
These brownies came about because I wasn't satisfied with the Coconut Nut Sourdough Brownies that I made for the Sourdough Surprises baking group challenge. That recipe was adapted from a sourdough-less but very reliable cocoa brownie recipe from Mad About Brownies by Barbara Albright and Leslie Weiner. Well, I did say in that post that I would be tweaking the recipe. 
So I played around with my basic sourdough recipe, and thought about reducing some ingredients and adding others – and changing how they are added – and this is what I came up with.
I think  in fact, I know since I have done it many times before – that it's easy to make ordinary brownies. But it's easy to make extraordinary ones too. 
These cocoa sourdough brownies may not be everyone's idea of the best ever or ultimate brownie, but to my taste, they are.
Crisp top, firm nutty centre
White Chocolate & Almond Sourdough Brownies
Makes 16

25g unfed leaven
55g all-purpose flour
45g tepid water

Mix all the ingredients together, cover and set aside until slightly bubbly, 2-3 hours.

Final batter
25g all-purpose flour
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp table salt
150g caster sugar
75g butter, softened
1 egg yolk
2 egg whites
All the sponge (about 110g)
1 tsp vanilla extract
50g unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
90g almond nibs
50g white chocolate, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 20cm square baking tin and line the base and sides with parchment paper.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, beat together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk until just combined.
Beat in the sponge and vanilla extract.
Fold in the cocoa powder, followed by the flour mixture and almond nibs.
Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until the soft peak stage. Stir a third of the egg whites into the cocoa mixture to loosen it. Fold in the rest of the egg whites.
Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and sprinkle with the chopped white chocolate. Press down lightly and bake for 35-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out with just a few crumbs sticking to it.
Cool in the tin on a wire rack until warm, the remove from the tin. Best cut and served after storing overnight in an air-tight container at room temperature.

1 comment:

  1. Wow Jane, that looks absolutely amazing! Makes me want to rush to the kitchen and make some... yumm


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