Literally everyone reacted the same way when I mentioned I had baked sour cream brownies. I can almost imagine the mental image they had lingering in their minds;– a deathly pale-coloured 2 by 2 inch square, possibly clumsily slathered with a foul undecipherable frosting of sorts, and the only ‘brownie’ part of it all was a misleading meager sprinkle of chocolate chips here and there. I think the mister summed it up pretty aptly with his “Oh yah… The… sour cream brownies…” The ellipsis denoting his hesitation was enough to gain the empathy of the next man whose wife asked if she looked fat in a curve-clutching black dress.
Yet, as you can clearly see, these sour cream brownies really don’t look half as horrifying as they may sound. In fact, they look just like any other brownies. And then some.
Being a follower of the chewy and fudgy brownie camp, these brownies, disregarding how beautifully they photographed, didn’t quite make the cut for me. They were delicious, no doubt, and if I may say so, quite addictive. In fact, I found myself easily snacking on two slices in one sitting. And that is clearly testament to the texture and density of these brownies.
More like chocolate snack cakes, these brownies were light and definitely heaven redefined for fans of cakey brownies. A prior search online garnered several remarks that the brownies lacked the chocolate flavour (hence I added in cocoa powder for good measure), but I think the chocolate depth really hinges on the quality of the chocolate you use. So, why not just call it a chocolate sheet cake? Because albeit cakey and not as dense as their fudgey counterparts, these little squares managed to be light, yet chewy, with a crisp crust that lent itself to a somewhat tight-crumbed interior.
These would be the perfect brownies to pack into your picnic baskets;– the texture ensures the brownies retain its shape, while its density doesn’t leave you with a guilty indulgence of chocolate decadence. But of course there are those of us who would willing revel in chocolate decadence, and grab a fudgey brownie instead
Sour Cream Brownies
(modified from Nick Malgieri’s The Modern Baker)
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
6 ounces butter
7 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
1 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
3 tsp vanilla essence (or extract)
- Preheat the oven to 350F or 180C.
- In a small bowl, sift together the flour and cocoa powder.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Allow it to bubble for about 10 seconds, then remove from heat, and add the chocolate. Let it sit for a minute or two, then whisk it smoothly.
- In a large bowl, whisk the brown sugar and eggs until smooth.
- Whisk in the sour cream and vanilla until well-blended.
- Stir in the chocolate and butter mixture, then fold in the flour and cocoa powder mixture.
- Scrape the batter into a lightly greased 9 x 13 pan, and bake for about 30 mins, or until they are firm but still moist in the center.
- Cool completely before cutting into squares.