Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Mocha Brownies

                                'There is no love sincerer than the love of food'

Its confession time again. First thing - a blogger's block. Second - (ouch! it hurts to write this, but its only you, so will cry away on your shoulders) I sometimes just don't get things right when I bake, I really don't know why! And this happens with a series of bakes, I remember this had happened last year too. It will be OK tasting and not really bad, but nothing I can really rave about or share with you. That something will be missing in the recipe, I would not have got it the way it should turn out or its not to my  satisfaction. I will be like a grumpy bear and hubby and kids sense that all's not hunky dory in my baking life. I am scared of the way baking is possessing me.  I swear during these times that I will never go near the oven again... till the next day. Does this happen to you too or is it just with me?(panic, panic!!!) Do I have to name this as Suma Syndrome? I hope not!!! 

I am seriously considering a section here titled 'Oops'! May be you can help me with my fiasco? How not to have too many kick-myself moments. Or just so that you can avoid the goof ups I did. Isn't a blog the best way to learn and interact with people who can really understand how serious a matter food and baking is? Oh, yes, am really glad I started to blog!

Nothing really binds people like food. Who better a foodie's friend than another foodie? One girl who really is crazy about baking Nachiketa, manages to bake in the midst of her super hectic busy life. Baking late in the night when she comes back from office, doesn't bat an eyelid if it has to be for say a couple of hundred people! Gulp!!! How on earth would she be managing that feat?? Well, I never really have met this baking obsessed friend till date. But then the smell of vanilla travels far. And then there is FB, email and the blog of course which make the world even smaller.

Brownies remind me of her somehow. Don't ask me why.  I guess I subconsciously think she has a stash of brownies in her bag and in her goodie box at home too, always!! And don't be shocked, but I haven't really made a lot of brownies. I have made a few and am really loving them. Am discovering that I like brownies with melted chocolate better than those made with cocoa. And brownies made with both cocoa and melted chocolate make them taste intensely chocolate. Just the way I love my brownies. Fudgy and very very chocolaty. These brownies on Nachiketa's blog looked just that. And when I got a chance to bake 'anything chocolate' at short notice, it just had to be these Mocha Brownies

The recipe is from here on Nachiketa's blog, original recipe from Martha Stewart's site here.
  • Unsalted butter - 8 tablespoons (1 stick) cut into pieces, plus more for pan
  • All-purpose flour, spooned and leveled - 1 cup
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder - 1/4 cup
  • Baking powder - 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
  • Instant espresso powder - 2 teaspoons
  • Semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped - 8 ounces (I used dark)
  • Sugar - 1 Cup plus 2 tablespoons (recipe has 1 1/4 cups)
  • Eggs - 3, large
  • Vanilla essence or extract - 1 teaspoon (I added this, can't risk the eggy smell!!))


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C / 350 degrees F. Brush a 9-inch square baking pan with butter. Line bottom and two sides with a strip of parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the two sides. Grease the paper and set pan aside. Measure out all your ingredients and get set to go!
  2. In a small bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; set aside. I normally sift all dry ingredients to make sure its well mixed.
  3. Melt the butter and the chocolate in the microwave. Careful here. Add the instant coffee. Add sugar; mix to combine. Lightly whisk the eggs and add them to the chocolate mixture. Use a spatula, mix to combine. Splash in the vanilla. Add flour mixture; mix just until moistened (do not over mix). The batter is not very thick. Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top.
  4. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few very moist crumbs attached, 25 minutes or so. Bake longer if the toothpick comes out with raw batter, may be 5 minutes more. DO NOT OVERBAKE. Cool in pan on the rack for a couple of hours.
  5.  Using paper overhang, lift brownies out of pan; transfer to a rack to cool completely (still on paper). On a cutting board, using a dampened serrated knife, cut into squares. Store in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 2 days.

  I am always scared of over baking the brownies. I like them a little moist and undercooked rather than over-baked, dry and crisp. Brownies are supposed to be the easiest things to bake, but this part is something which can ruin my brownie, texture-wise. Do u have a tip here for me?   Now cutting the brownies into neat squares is something which I haven't been able to do very well. This I guess was one of the better cut ones of mine. With a damp serrated knife as the recipe suggested. How do you cut your brownies to get those smooth shiny edges? Puhleez share your secret!

The brownies turned out very good, moist and dense, the flavor of coffee going really well with the chocolate. Definitely going to be baking these again. Thanks Nachiketa for sharing this!

 Till mojo returns (hopefully as soon as tomorrow!), I hope to turn out some decent stuff at least. If you do not see posts here for sometime, you could safely assume - disaster again:-( Or I could be busy painting the town red with hubby's niece who is visiting us from the US and baking away for her.

Promise to stop by again?


Divya Kudua said...

It's been a long,very long time since I baked Brownies.Even I like the melted chocolate brownies better than those with cocoa.Your slices have come out well,fudgy brownies are a li'l difficult to cut into perfect squares.You could also try freezing the brownies for 30 minutes or so,cut it and then warm it up in the microwave before serving.

Don't remind me of baking disasters.I have to agree with the cursing and vowing not to go next to the oven forever etc:).I think it is just a learning process,for us to better the baking mojo:)

Hari Chandana P said...

Woww.. delicious looking brownies.. Yummy !!
Indian Cuisine

chef and her kitchen said...

Delicious brownies..looks delicious n yumm..send me some na suma!!

chef and her kitchen said...

Delicious brownies..looks delicious n yumm..send me some na suma!!

Reva said...

Mocha brownies looks fabulous:) I love the presentation .. truly classic.. U have the talent to write, your posts are a great read:) Loved every bit of it..

Sum said...

Ohh wow! The brownies look sooo nice... and they are cut well, btw...

Don't worry, the goofing up is not just with you, it happens to me too... So we need not call it as 'Suma's Syndrome'.. It's rather beginner bakers' syndrome!

Radhika said...

Another delight to try out from your space. Thanks for sharing Suma.

Event: Let's Cook - School Break Time Snacks

Zareena said...

Wow!!! beautiful and cute brownies. They look so inviting.

Sayantani Mahapatra Mudi said...

now here is a problem I love your brownies so much that am actually drooling over here and want to make it right away but none in my family will eat this. they dont like fudgy brownies...how funny is that. I have tried to argue that brownies are meant to be fudgy but they say it looks like mud cake....
love this Suma. you sliced it very well.

divya said...

Woww.. delicious looking brownies.. Yummy !!

Hamaree Rasoi said...

Simply Brilliant. Loved your brownies. They look simply amazing.

Hamaree Rasoi

Jayashree said...

Wow ! Yummy ! Feel like eating it right of your blog.
Beautiful blog
Good Luck !

Rookie Qookie said...

They look perfectt!!

Gayathri Ramdas Sreekanth said...

It looks so perfect, chewy and the crust is amazing..Nice one with the coffee..Bookmarked..!!

Priya Kumar said...

Yummy Brownies! As for the "I sometimes just don't get things right when I bake", welcome to my world :)

Sushma said...

I havent baked anything till now and looking at your browine looks so tempting and feel like making cakes..

Nithya said...

Perfect looking brownies :) The shiny top makes me want to grab a piece from the pic :)

Nachiketa said...

SUMA........ These look fantastic.....
You've done such awesome stuff in the kitchen despite being busy with kids, home n office that you make us all pale away....
Baking disasters, weeping stuff in summers n oven mishaps have given me a fair share of tears but it's the love of baking, creating n seeing happy faces eat which keeps us all going....
I must thank you for the kind words and constant encouragement during my baking mojos.... You're a friend worth weighting in the most precious substances on Earth.....

Hope to see your next leap into the Daring space.... Have a blast with your hubby's niece :))))

The Variable, Crazy Over Desserts - Nachiketa
Catch me on facebook @ Crazy Over Desserts

Pinky said...

Hi Suma

The brownies look so nice and so decently cut, n baking disasters, everybody faces it but u r doing such a great job just keep on going.

Shubha said...

this looks wonderful, cant stop drooling....