When I´m preparing lunch or dinner I usually try new things depending of what I want to eat. Depends on my mood, the weather, if I´m eating alone, you know, things like that.
Baking is a different thing. I hardly bake something that I want to eat. Don´t get me wrong, I end up eating it, but I don´t choose the recipe because of that, I choose it because I want to bake with a particular ingredient or method. It might be that I want to use some fresh seasonal fruit, or share a specific recipe with you, or are just in the mood for lemony things.
I guess it´s fair to say I don´t have many sweet cravings that get me running to the kitchen. But, when I do get a sweet craving it usually has to do with chocolate. And nothing but dark chocolate will do. Like those intensely flourless chocolate cakes, made with the best Belgian chocolate I can find.
Enter these brownies, that had been bookmarked for a while now. I decided to make them to use up some homemade peanut butter. I had just made these incredible bars, which, for the record, I have made several times and are now, unquestionably, at the top of my list, and had become obsessed with the combination of coconut and chocolate along the way.
This recipe fit the bill with very dark chocolate, peanut butter and coconut. So I happily spent an afternoon baking, trying to take some decent shots, being chocolate a tough cookie to photograph when you don´t really know what you´re doing with a camera, and ended up tasting them while still lightly warm.
They skyrocketed to the top of the list, sharing a place with a few others. My top of the list is never about just one recipe, that´s an utopian idea.
They were incredibly rich and chocolaty and peanutty right from the first warm bite. But, there´s a bonus because they totally changed it´s texture over the next few days. They hardened a bit and, since they do have a lot of sugar, ended up being something like candy brownie bites. Maybe that should´ve been the name.
Anyway, I like my chocolate straight up, as dark as possible, so I might ask what made me eat a little piece of these everyday until I gave them away? They´re fantastic, sugar and all. And they get even better the next day, and the next, and…until you give them away or freeze them.
adapted from Tea with Bea, by Bea´s of Bloomsbury
Makes 9 large or 16 small brownies
9 oz (250g) high quality dark/semisweet chocolate (I use Callebaut 70%)
1 cup + 2 Tbs (250g) unsalted butter
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups (250g) dark brown sugar
1 ¼ cups (250g) superfine sugar
1 ¾ cups (250g) all-purpose flour, sifted
1/3 cup (30g) shredded coconut
2/3 cup (60g) walnuts, coarsely chopped
¾ cup (100g) peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
¾ cup (100g) dulce de leche
Preheat oven to 350º F / 180º C. Grease a 9-inch (
cm) round or square baking pan and line bottom with
parchment paper or aluminum foil.
Melt chocolate and butter over boiling water, making sure the bottom of the pan doesn´t touch the water. Remove from heat and reserve.
Put eggs, salt and both sugar in a large mixing bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until combined.
Pour the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Stir until well mixed.
Fold the flour into the chocolate mixture and stir just until well combined. Do not over mix.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and immediately scatter the coconut and walnuts on top. Push them down with a spatula or wooden spoon and cover them a bit with the brownie mixture.
Scatter dollops of peanut butter and dulce de leche on top of walnuts and swirl lightly with the tip of a knife. It is messy, don´t be concerned if everything sort of gets mixed together.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes; turn the tº down to 160º and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes. This depends a lot on your oven. It might take more time. Do not over bake them, they should be a bit jiggly when you shake the pan.
Remove from the oven and cool on wire rack. Unmold and cut into squares.