I haven’t had a slice of brownie worthy of being called a chocoholic’s dream for quite some time now. I used to be the first to look through the dessert menu, and easily picked out the most classic brownie they offered. But ever since I found the one, I always steered away from those ‘nice-but-not-fudgey-enough’ or ‘I-believe-this-is-cake-not-brownie’ type of brownies in restaurants, simply because I could have my dessert in the comforts of my own room.
The problem with having found and embraced [ever so tightly, if I may add] a personal favourite brownie recipe is that the search for other brownie recipes had since inadvertently come to a stop. This doesn’t apply, however, to any other bake I’ve made.
I don’t know if it is the same for everyone, but I know that I got this trait from my mother.
Each time she gives the approving nod or second helping to any of my bakes, she would immediately say between mouthfuls, “Stick to this the next time, you hear?”. And we’d both break out in knowing chuckles.
My mother is a wonderful cook, and I know that by the very first week of moving out, I’d probably miss her cooking most. And as much as I try to learn cooking from her, jotting down the amount of ingredients and specification of steps are as tricky as a blind dog with a cold, sniffing his way down a hill. She teaches me to develop my own palate, so that I’ll never be restricted to recipes, and I’ll understand that ‘to taste’ means I can never literally measure out the amount of salt she tosses into the kuah celok, nor the amount of sugar she places into her egg sambal.
Despite our differences in recipe adherance, we share the same itch for trying out new bakes/dishes as well as variations of a favourite. Similar to how a request for another batch of peanut butter cookies would see me replying “Errr, which one was that?”, the mother would be smiling sheepishly each time I go, “Is this the same chicken gravy as the other week? The nice one?”.
And so, it is not surprising that when I baked these, many expected them to be the same chocolate chip blondies I made some time back, but my mother knew better.
The difference? I had one piece while it was still warm, and thought I definitely preferred the previous one; this was more cakey. A few hours later, I couldn’t stop chewing away. These were definitely soft and chewy, but unlike the previous blondie which I found to be a cross between a fudgey brownie and a chewy cookie, this felt like it was a cross between a coffee cake and a fudgey brownie. Does that make any sense?
Brown Sugar Brownies with Chocolate Chunks
(adapted from here)
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups light brown sugar
2 2/3 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chunks (I love chopping dark couverture chocolate coarsely, but you can use chocolate chips if you prefer)
- Preheat oven to 180C.
- Grease a 13×9 inch baking pan or line the pan with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix together oil and brown sugar. Then add the eggs one at a time and beat until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients and then add them to the brown sugar mixture. Mix well.
- Stir in chocolate chunks.
- Spread batter into prepared baking pan. Batter will be thick!
- Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.