Bob's Old-Fashioned BrowniesUser Submitted Recipe
Brownies Like Great Grandma Used to Make
Delicious - and well-worth the effort!"
3 oz. cocoa liquor (this is NOT chocolate liqueur) (requires you to roast and grind cocoa beans. Substitute Bakers chocolate in an equal amount if you can't get the cocoa beans.)***
1/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar (if you like sweeter brownies, use 1 and 1/4 cups sugar).
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup flour (I use all-purpose flour)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup of your choice of nuts. I prefer walnuts, but pecans or hazelnuts are delicious, too.
If desired, decorative icing, chocolate chips or candy sprinkles, or both, of your choice.
1. Melt cocoa liquor and butter together in a saucepan (note: melt on lowest heat possible - just enough to thoroughly melt the butter - cocoa solids can scorch and become very bitter).
2. Mix in all the remaining ingredients - thoroughly mix with a spoon or fork.
3. Transfer to a buttered, 8 inch square pan. (works well in an 8 inch round pan, too - and the brownies are a little thicker).
4. Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes. (time and temperature are OK for either round or square pan. Check brownies at about 20 or 21 minutes if you like a fudgy brownie).
5. Let them cool - then decorate with icing or candies - or both.
*** Preparation of cocoa liquor (NOT chocolate liqueur!) from beans:
The first task is to find a source of cocoa beans - many gourmet stores carry them. Get them roasted if you can. If you have to roast them yourself, do it on a cookie sheet in your oven. Every bean variety is different - but that is what makes chocolate tech so much fun.
A good starting rule of thumb is to roast the beans at 350 for 10 minutes, lower the temp to
300 and then roast for 5 more minutes, then drop the temp again to 250 and roast for 15 more
minutes. When the beans START to split, they are done.
Let the beans cool, then shell them
Put the roasted beans between layers of paper towel, and GENTLY run a rolling pin over them
- use just enough pressure to crack the beans. You'll see the dark nibs inside - this is where the chocolate is! Discard the husks (or save them and use them as mulch for your plants).
Put the nibs in a food processor - you want to grind them to a "smooth" paste without
overheating them. The paste is a mix of chocolate solids and cocoa butter! Transfer 3 ounces of the
paste to the recipe above!
-- OR -- use 3 ounces of Bakers chocolate.
The advantage of using beans is the incredible variety of beans from all over the world -
and each variety has a slightly different taste and aroma. Commercial "liquors" are a mix of
different beans, giving an "average" taste aimed at what consumers expect chocolate to be.
I prefer the Caribbean and South American beans - but there are sources in Africa and
Indonesia as well - try whatever ones you find. The fun is in trying as many varieties as
you can find - and picking your favorite.
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