Sunday, March 30, 2014

Also Not My Mom's Sour Cream Coffee Cake



Today my dear friend Kelly Z came over for lunch. Kelly and I met in 1994 in Montreal when I first moved into the area known as the Plateau (also known as Mile End - I don't really know where the Plateau stops and Mile End ends, but I digress).

Kelly and I weathered snowy and cold Montreal winters together, stomping up and down St Laurent in our Doc Martens, waiting for that slow, slow bus to crawl up the street from the station south of Sherbrooke, to come and save us from runny noses and salty streets, sometimes a hot bagel would be the reward. There were the sticky hot Montreal summers too - going to see plays at the Fringe Festival to support our friends who were aspiring actors writers and directors, eating dry and salty popcorn at Biftek St Laurent while waiting for a turn at the pool table, doing shots at the Double Deuce while listening to my brother DJ. Shopping at Warshaw for bargains and plants, eating cheese pies at Euro Deli, and dancing to the Tam Tams on Sundays at the base of Mont Royal. There is nowhere better than Montreal in the summer, by the way. As intolerable as the heat and humidity can get, there's always a patio chair available for you to kick back and soak up the rays. As long as you don't mind a cloud of cigarette smoke hanging over your head.

Our friendship persevered through all seasons - Kelly always had a seat at the Passover table when we celebrated with 20 to 30 of our closest friends. I even dragged her to Newfoundland a couple of times, where you can have all four seasons in a single day. She loved it, of course.

Kelly now lives in Toronto and as is the case with most of my friends in Toronto, we don't get to see each other enough. Now, when we plan our get togethers, they always involve food - eating it and talking about it. This date today started as brunch and then morphed into something more lunch-like, because of timing and other things we both had to do in the morning. We had planned a date a few weeks ago but then she got sick and Sam got sick and we decided not to gratuitously spread more germs so we rebooked. On the original date I was planning to serve vegetable soup, Danish rye bread, and something sweet to follow. For today, the menu was black bean soup with avocado and sour cream, corn bread, a nice salad with asparagus, toasted almonds and strong cheddar, and coffee cake to follow.

When I decided to make corn bread to go with the black bean soup, I picked up a really old cookbook my Mom had given to me a long time ago. It's called A Taste of Georgia. We have family on my Dad's side who used to live in Savannah, Georgia and I think my Mom bought this book when we took a family vacation there in the 70s. I have not tried very many recipes from it yet, but it is my reliable book for anything having to with corn bread, and it has some very excellent dip recipes in it.

As I was flipping through it today for a new corn bread recipe to try, I came across a recipe for "quick" coffee cake. What the heck - it looked like it would be a fast mix up so I went for it. I did make a couple of adjustments (as usual). One of them was to add sour cream to the mix instead of just using milk. The recipe follows with my adjustments in brackets.

The reason I titled this post "Also Not My Mom's Coffee Cake..." is that I previously posted a recipe for coffee cake (you can find it here: http://richlerrecipes.blogspot.ca/2011/12/not-my-moms-sour-cream-coffee-cake.html), and that recipe was NOT my Mom's recipe because I could not find it at the time. After making this cake today, I have to say, this one turned out even better than that one (but it's still not my Mom's - one day I will post that one, I promise).

Quick Coffee Cake - Adapted from A Taste of Georgia, recipe contributed by Mrs. Benny N. Grant (Diane)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease an 8"x 12" or  a 9.5" x 9.5" pan. You can use cooking spray if you prefer.

Filling/Topping Ingredients:

*I made this recipe in the quantities as directed, and found that there wasn't enough topping since I left the nuts out. If you are leaving the nuts out, you need to make this recipe larger by 1.5 times. For example, instead of 4 tbsp butter, use 6.

4 tbsp butter, melted
1 cup walnuts, chopped (I left these out so the kids could take the cake to school)
1 cup light brown sugar
4 tbsp flour (I totally forgot this ingredient!!!)
1 tsp cinnamon

Cake Ingredients:

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar (I cut this back to 1/2 cup)
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
1/2 cup milk (I used half milk and half sour cream)

Method:

Cream together the butter and sugar.


Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat after each addition.


Measure the flour, then remove 1/4 of it. Add the baking powder to the 1/4 cup. Set it aside.

Add the pinch of salt to the larger portion of flour. Mix the sour cream and milk together. 



You are going to add the dry and wet mixes into the butter-sugar-egg mixture alternately, beating between each addition. Start with some flour.



Then add some milk/sour cream.



Carry on until you have emptied the flour and the milk/sour cream mix. Then add the 1/4 cup of flour + baking powder that you put aside earlier and beat that in very quickly. Don't over mix. 

Plop some spoonfuls of batter into the prepared pan.


Use a butter knife to spread it around.


Now you need to mix up your filling/topping. This is what it will look like without the nuts (and without the flour - oops!).



Now take some of the filling mixture and crumble it with your fingers onto this first layer of batter.


Don't bother spreading it around because it will be stuck to the first layer of batter and will make a mess (trust me, I tried). It's also unnecessary because during baking it all kind of melts together in a big pan of awesomeness.

Now spoon the next layer of batter on top of the filling mix.



Use your knife to spread it around like you did for round 1 of the batter.



Now add the final crumble of filling/topping. Again, don't try to spread it around as you will end up with a big mess. The oven will take care of it during baking.



Put your lovely pan of delicious goodness into the oven and bake for 25 - 30 minutes. The recipe said 30, I checked at 25 because I have a hot oven. It was ready. Test for doneness by using a wooden skewer - you want it to come out with a few crumbs on it but no wetness.


It looks kind of weird with pits and dents galore. The beautiful thing is that these pits and dents are usually filled with the topping/filling mixture. I call them sugar tunnels. See photo below.







So I recommend you serve this with a nice cup of strong tea, or coffee. You don't need anything else. It's DELICIOUS, moist, sugary, amazing. And it tastes like home.



P.S. The entire cake was eaten by Kelly Z, me, The King of Soup, and our children in about an hour. So I made another one. And this time I remembered to add the flour to the filling/topping mix. In my opinion, it didn't really make much of a difference.


The recipe for the black bean soup mentioned in the story can be found here:
http://richlerrecipes.blogspot.ca/2014/03/normal-0-false-false-false-en-us-ja-x.html

The recipe for the corn bread will be posted today. For your interest, the minestrone recipe is here:
http://richlerrecipes.blogspot.ca/2014/03/really-good-vegetable-soup-with-kick.html

... and the Danish rye bread recipe is here:
http://richlerrecipes.blogspot.ca/2013/06/meretes-danish-rye-bread-from-susan.html

Monday, March 24, 2014

Asparagus Naan



Sunday was leftover day at our house, as it usually is. The night before we had enjoyed a great Indian meal with family (plus a game of Cards Against Humanity, which if you haven't tried yet, you really should because it is hilarious). The Indian meal left us with a few pieces of naan bread leftover and I hate to see that awesome stuff go to waste, so I made a super easy appetizer with it - a recipe I learned from my friend Dayna.

Her original recipe is slightly different, so I will give you both versions below. The photo above is the one made with naan and tzatziki, whereas hers uses pita bread and sour cream.

The next time someone calls you up last minute to invite you for dinner, and you really want to bring something but you don't have much time, this is what you should make. Trust me.

Ingredients

Dayna's Version

whole wheat pita bread
asparagus, ends removed
olive oil
onions, sliced thin
oil to sauté the onions in
sour cream
onion soup mix
freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese

My Adaptation

naan (2 whole pieces, or 4 halves)
asparagus, ends removed
1 large clove of garlic, crushed
lemon juice (juice of 1/2 lemon)
onions, sliced thin
camelina oil (http://www.omegamaidenoils.com/about-camelina-oil.html)
tzatziki

For Dayna's version, here is what I usually do:

Slice the onions thinly. Heat the oil in a pan and toss the onions in with some salt and pepper. Caramelize the onions on low heat (takes about 15 - 20 minutes).

In the meantime while the onions are cooking, remove the ends from the asparagus and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill in the oven under broil (500 degrees F) for about 5 minutes. Remove and let cool, then chop into 1 inch pieces.

Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake the pita in the oven for a couple of minutes. Remove.

Mix some sour cream with a few tbsps onion soup mix.

Lay the asparagus across the pita, add some of the onions. Sprinkle some freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese on top and toss back into the oven for a couple of minutes.

Remove from the oven and add dollops of the sour cream mixture on top.

Slice into wedges and serve warm.


For My Sunday Night Leftover version yesterday, here is what I did:

Slice the onions thinly. Heat 1 - 2 tbsp of camelina oil in a pan and toss the onions in with some salt and pepper. Caramelize the onions on low heat (takes about 15 - 20 minutes).

In the meantime while the onions are cooking, remove the ends from the asparagus and toss with olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Grill in the oven under broil (500 degrees F) for about 5 minutes. Remove and let cool, then chop into 1 inch pieces.

Reduce heat to 350 degrees F.

Lay the asparagus across the naan, add some of the onions. Put into the 350 degree oven for less than 5 minutes.

Remove from the oven and add dollops of the tzatziki on top.

Slice into wedges and serve warm.

Additions

toasted pine nuts
zucchini sliced thinly and sautéed with the onions
red peppers
toasted slivered almonds


Black Bean Soup Inspired by Simon




I have posted a recipe for black bean soup before (http://www.richlerrecipes.blogspot.ca/2013/02/black-bean-chick-pea-soup-with-sour.html) but it is a bit different from this recipe. This recipe is smokier, spicier, and a bit richer in my opinion. Both are delicious. The inspiration for this soup came from my brother-in-law, Simon.

Simon, his lovely wife, and my beautiful niece live out of town so we don’t get to spend enough time with them. Whenever we visit them in their quaint little town, brother-in-law pulls out all the stops to make us delicious eats. One of his specialties is soup (he is the King’s brother after all), and my very favourite soup that he makes is black bean.

The problem with Simon, like many actual chefs, is that he doesn't write down his recipes. So every time he makes this soup it is slightly different - but it is always ridiculously delicious. Two visits ago, as he was making the soup, I hovered around the kitchen and wrote down a list of ingredients. I was not able to write down any amounts because he was halfway through the process when we arrived - but I have made some educated guesses for this recipe.

This weekend my cousin Emilie was visiting from Montreal (and before you ask, yes, she brought us 6 dozen Fairmont bagels and tzatiki from Arahova and she is welcome back any time). For her first night here we decided to make tacos because we are all big fans. We made the black bean tacos that are on this blog (http://www.richlerrecipes.blogspot.ca/2012/05/cinco-de-mayo-black-bean-tacos.html) and they were amazing.

Saturday night the plan was to have Indian food (also delicious, recipes to follow later for Chettinad Chicken Curry and Mulligatawny Soup) and then Sunday was going to be leftover day. In the spirit of leftovers, and reinvention, I decided to turn the black bean taco medley into this soup. It was a good decision.

For this list of ingredients, I am going to pretend that we are starting from scratch (but now you know the secret - make tacos one day and turn them into soup the next).

Black Bean Soup

2 - 3 tbsp grapeseed oil (or an oil that can be heated to a high temp, not olive oil)
1 medium to large sweet onion, diced
1 shallot, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 stalks celery, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
1/2 large red pepper, sliced
1/2 large orange pepper, sliced
1 small zucchini, sliced
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed (14 oz each, or you can soak dry black beans if you prefer)
1 can diced tomatoes (28 oz, or fresh tomatoes if you prefer)

2 cups+ water or vegetable broth

1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp dried epazote
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika (or a touch more if you like)
salt and pepper
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tsp sambal olek (thai hot sauce)

To serve:

avocado, chopped into biggish chunks, or a few spoonfuls of guacamole
limes -juice and zest, at least one for in the soup, and some wedges 
chopped fresh cilantro
sour cream (optional)
cheddar cheese, grated (optional)

If you have these ingredients on hand, you can add some to the pot if you want to:

tomatillos
oregano
jalapeño (instead of the sambal olek)
rice (to thicken the soup)
yellow or green pepper
kidney beans (or other bean)

Method

Start by heating the oil in a heavy soup pot. Sauté the onions for about 4 minutes on medium heat. Add the garlic and shallot and sauté for another minute, then add the celery and carrots and continue to cook for about 3 minutes. 





Then add the peppers and zucchini and all of the dried herbs (thyme, epazote, chilli, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, pepper). 

After about 3 minutes, add the beans. Stir for a minute and then add the tomatoes and broth or water, the sambal olek, 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, and the lime zest from 1 lime.



Bring to a boil and then simmer on low for about 1/2 hour or so. You don't want to overcook the veggies as they will lose flavour.

Remove from the heat and use a ladle to remove about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of the mixture. Set aside.

Puree the remaining soup using a hand blender. Once it is smooth and to your liking, squeeze in the juice of 1 - 2 limes. If you need to add more water at this point, go ahead. Make the consistency what you like it to be. Once you are happy, salt and pepper added to taste, consistency good - then add back in the 1 1/2 - 2 cups of mixture that you set aside. This way your soup is nice and smooth but also has some character with the bigger chunks of beans and veggies. See photo below.



To serve, ladle some soup into a bowl, top with chunks of avocado (or guacamole, as shown in photo below), cheddar, sour cream, fresh cilantro - one or all of these toppings. You can also serve with some lime wedges and tortilla chips (as crackers) if you like.



This soup is quite filling so if you are serving before a main course, just serve a small bowl. If you put it in the fridge overnight it will thicken and you will have to thin it out with broth or water before serving.

For a great guacamole recipe, click here: http://www.richlerrecipes.blogspot.ca/2011/09/best-guacamole-ever.html

Let me know how you like it!!





Sunday, March 9, 2014

Really Good Vegetable Soup, With A Kick



If you're anything like me, then you eat a lot of vegetable soup. Sometimes too much of a good thing can be boring. This recently became the case for me and vegetable soup and I forced myself to take a little breather. The King of Soup made his amazing minestrone last month, with the cabbage and the beans and the goodness all swirled together in a beautiful pot of colours and flavours - and I didn't even have one bowl of it. I watched as the container full of soup was slowly depleted by my Mom and The King. I thought, as I watched it go, should I just have one bowl? But no, I really needed the break. Absence makes the heart grow fonder...I have been thinking about that soup since the last drop was drained from the container.

A few days ago The King brought home the latest Food & Drink magazine, and inside the cellophane-wrapped package of magazines and brochures was the one I usually toss right away, the Longo's advertising piece - where every recipe starts with a branded Longo's product. Before dumping this issue, I cracked it open. Lo and behold, the first page my eyes fell upon had a recipe for "Longo's Minestrone". A sign? Perhaps. I checked the cupboard and fridge, I had all the ingredients except the dreaded broccoli (which I loathe anyway) so decided to give it a stab.

It's YUMMY. So yummy that The King told me it might just be better than his. So yummy that I made another batch today.

What makes it special, in my opinion, is the kick from the red pepper flakes. For some reason, the simple addition of this one little ingredient just makes it stand apart from all the other veg soups I've had.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

For this recipe, I didn't take any photos of the process since it's dead easy. My edits are in brackets, as usual.

Really Good Vegetable Soup, With A Kick (adapted from Longo's Minestrone)

1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 onion, chopped (I used half of a giant sweet onion, which are my favourite types of onions)
4 cloves garlic (I used 2/3 of one clove of Elephant Garlic, which may have amounted to closer to 5 cloves of regular garlic)
1 carrot, diced (I used 2)
1 stalk of celery, diced (I used 2)
2 cups chopped broccoli or cauliflower (I used 1/2 of a bunch of asparagus instead)
1 large potato, peeled and diced (I used 1 medium potato)
1 small zucchini (I used 1 large zucchini - about the length of a banana)
1 tbsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp crushed chillies (I used 3/4 - 1 tsp red pepper flakes)
**2 tsp epazote (not called for in the recipe but I find it counteracts the effects of the beans so I use it whenever I cook with beans)
1/3 cup tomato paste
6 cups vegetable broth
1 19 oz can Romano or white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (I used white kidney beans)
1/4 fresh Parmesan cheese

In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, carrot and celery and cook for 3 minutes (I cook the onions and garlic alone for a minute and then add the carrots and celery and cook for another 3 minutes - I like my onions a bit more cooked).

Add zucchini, asparagus (or broccoli or cauliflower), potato and herbs/chillies. Cook for another 3 minutes.

Stir in tomato paste to coat and then pour in the vegetable broth and stir in the beans. Bring to a boil and cook at a simmer, partially covered for about 1/2 hour (the recipe says 40 minutes but I prefer my veggies to still have a bit of bite to them).

Stir in Parmesan (if desired) before serving. Top with fresh basil if you like. I ate mine with my homemade honey whole wheat bread and some butter.

Enjoy! Thanks Longo's ;-)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Toffee Bars


If you read my blog, then you’ve seen this picture before. 



This is the old school Better Homes and Gardens cookbook with the Cookies section (tab 9 in case you are wondering), open to the page that displays photos of some of the wonderful cookies you can make (and then eat). This book is older than me. My brother and I spent many hours looking at these pages and imagining what each cookie would taste like. My Mom never made all of them, but we were lucky enough to get to sample many.

My Mom was kind enough to let me have this book several years ago and the memories that go along with it are priceless. The book is so well-worn that both the front and back covers are no longer attached (but I have them), and neither are many of the pages. This time when I opened it up to tab 9, I found a page about roast beef just hanging around in there. I didn't even bother to try to find where it belonged but rather left it there for the next time.

This is what the book looks like:



This post is about the two bars you see up in the top right hand corner of the page in the first photo. They are called Toffee Bars. The recipe is simple with five ingredients (actually six, but we don’t put the nuts in due to allergies in the school). The hardest part about this recipe is finding a cookie sheet that is 15 ½ x 10 ½ x 1 inches, since most companies make them much larger these days.

Note: If you cannot find a cookie sheet this size, use a larger sheet and only use the real estate provided to fill the space of 15 ½ x 10 ½ x 1 inches with the dough. You can do this easily by making a little wall out of tin foil and pressing it up against the edge of the dough. Use a ruler to help you.


Although from the photo you might think these Toffee Bars look like chocolate chip cookies cut into bars, they are not. Because of the butter to brown sugar ratio, along with the lack of eggs, they are firmer than regular chocolate chip cookies. There is also no leavening agent so they stay flat and crunchy.

I think you will love them. This year, they played a large role in my cookie tin gifts for neighbours and friends.

Since the recipe is so simple, and I have made no adjustments (aside from leaving out the nuts), I am not even going to retype this recipe. Instead, here is a photo of it, with photos of the process as well.






Start by putting the butter into your mixer. Then add the brown sugar.








Cream the butter and sugar together with the vanilla.


Then add the flour and the chocolate chips.


You will end up with a dough that looks like this:


Take a 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1 inch cookie sheet and line it with parchment. You can try doing this with no parchment but I find that sometimes the dough sticks and it's hard to get it out of the pan. It depends on the quality and age of the pan you are using.

Press the dough into the pan ensuring that it is the same thickness throughout.


Pop the tray into the oven and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 - 25 minutes (depends on your oven). You want to take them out when they are golden but still a bit soft.


Cut them into bars while they are still warm. 

The recipe says that the yield is 5 dozen, but I never get that many. 

It will depend on how big you cut the bars!


I decided these looked too big so I cut them again.


And then I packed them into cookie tins and promptly gave them away so I wouldn't eat them all.

And then I sneaked one out of the tin and ate it.

And then I went to the gym.







Sunday, December 15, 2013

David's Robert's Absolute Best Brownies EVER




Brownies. The bane of my existence. I never met a brownie I didn’t like – well, that’s not really true as there are some pretty crappy brownies out there. And since I like to try most of the brownies I meet, I have tasted some duds in my day.

I’ve made:
Joy of Cooking brownies (cakey and classic), 
Jenifer Soper’s (my Uncle’s girlfriend) brownies (best icing ever on a good cakey brownie),
Better Homes and Gardens brownies (not bad),
Alice Medrich’s brownies (awesome, with a beautiful cracked top),
brownies with applesauce instead of butter (don’t bother), 
brownies with cream cheese (a mistake and confounding), 
Nigella Lawson brownies (of course they’re good because they have a pound of butter in them), 
Martha Stewart brownie cookies (pretty good)
and many, many more.

I’ve also tried many brownies made by other people. 
Starbucks’ brownies, 
crappy cafeteria brownies at work, 
Tim Horton’s brownies, 
fancy brownies from quaint little bakeries in small Ontario towns near the cottages we rent,
brownies from Rocket Bakery in St. John’s, 
brownies from Auntie Crae’s bakery in St John’s (back in the day), 
two-bite brownies from the supermarket (gross), 
Weight Watchers brownies (why not?), 
and Sara Lee brownies.

I remember a special time with one of my best friends, I think it was grade 7 or 8. We told my Dad we were going to the store. We headed to some nearby shop and bought a foil pan of Sara Lee brownies. We walked home and talked about the brownies pretty much the whole way. Once we arrived, we went into the family room (why were we eating in the family room?), lifted the cardboard top off the tin, then the wax paper. Then we did the only sensible thing to do in a situation like this – broke the entire slab of brownie in half and shared it. I don’t think we managed to eat the whole thing in that one sitting, but maybe we did. Susan? You’ll have to remind me.

Based on all of this information, I am sure you can tell that I am always interested in finding the ‘perfect’ brownie. Two years ago I put out the call on Facebook for my friends to send me their perfect brownie recipe. Several people responded – Marni’s brownies were indeed pretty unbelievable (I may blog those someday soon). One friend (Karen) wrote back to me and reminded me that my own recipe that I had recently shared with her was amazing (in this particular recipe, I used Lindt chocolate balls as a portion of the chocolate in the brownie). But my quest continued.

Until I found these. This is it. The ultimate brownie. You may never need to consult another recipe again once you have tried these. Off. The. Hook. For realz.

As you know if you read my blog, I am a huge fan of blogger David Lebovitz. David posted a recipe for the ultimate brownie and he gave credit to Robert Steinberg (co-founder of Scharffen Berger chocolate) who had adapted his recipe from cookbook author Maida Heatter. David referred to them as “Absolute Best Brownies”, and I have to agree.

There is a key step in this brownie process that you cannot skip, you cannot shorten, you cannot change. This step is what makes these brownies the “absolute best” brownies you will ever eat. The step is simple – beat the ingredients for one full minute. You won’t regret it. These brownies are sort of cakey on the outside, and if you follow these instructions, fudgey on the inside. There’s something for everyone here.

Here is the recipe (with my edits/notes in brackets).

6 tbsp butter, unsalted or salted, cut into pieces, plus more for the pan (I use salted)
8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped (I have used chocolate chips when in a pinch, but for this recipe I used a combination of Ghirardhelli Intense Dark Twilight Delight 72% cacao (an entire bar of 100g), Lindt 70% chocolate (3/4 of a 100g bar), Lindt Fleur de Sel dark chocolate (1/4 of a 100g bar), and Schmerling’s of Switzerland Rosemarie bittersweet praline filled chocolate (4 squares).
¾ cup sugar (I use ½ cup)
1 tsp vanilla (always use real vanilla)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
¼ cup all purpose flour
1 cup walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts or pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped (this time I didn’t use nuts, but my preference is pecans)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line an 8 inch square baking pan with parchment. To do this, don’t try to jam one piece of parchment into the brownie pan because the corners of the paper will be crumpled and messy. Cut two strips of paper the width of the pan but longer. Place them perpendicular to each other then lightly butter the parchment. The original recipe calls for a 9 inch pan, but 8 inches is better. Yes, size does matter.

Melt the butter and chocolate together in a pan on low heat. Start with the butter 



... and then add the chocolate once it starts to melt. 



Stir by hand until the chocolate has melted completely and the mixture is smooth and glossy.



Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar and the vanilla until combined. 



Pour the mixture into an electric mixer. You can do the rest by hand but I have had better success with the one minute of mixing if it’s in my Kitchen Aid!



Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Then add the flour and beat for 1 full minute. If you are beating by hand, this one minute of beating must be “energetic”!



You will know it’s right when the mix is glossy and smooth, with no more graininess, and pulls away slightly from the sides of the bowl you are using. If you don’t follow the directions for the one minute of energetic beating, your brownies will not be the absolute best and will be dry and crumbly. It has happened to me and I am telling the truth.

Pour into the pan 



... and bake until the centre feels almost set. The instructions say 30 minutes but I only bake for 25. Do not overbake.

Let the brownies cool in the pan completely, then use the parchment to lift the block of brownie out of the pan. Cut into squares (I do 4 x 4). 



The brownies will keep well for up to 4 days (haha! They won’t make it past 2!). You can also freeze them – it says for up to one month but I don’t know why you could not freeze them for longer.



They taste spectacular with vanilla ice cream. Below you see our poodle, Kugel, wishing I would share with her. Not a chance.