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Here’s the second post of the day. Brownies. While I don’t eat a great deal of cake, chocolate cake especially, this brownie is pretty good when its warm and eaten with a large helping of Haagan Daz Strawberry ice cream ❤ And for special occasions, such as an anniversary or Valentine’s day, you can spiff this simple dessert up a little by adding some fresh fruits and delicate leaves, or you could try cutting out pretty shapes with a cutter.

For this heart shaped brownie I made a trip to Phoon Huat in Holland Village. I needed a heart shaped cutter and I desperately wanted to get some edible gold flakes. It was so difficult to find these two for some reason. Understandably not many shops carry gold flakes but the heart-shaped cutter should be more common. I never knew Valentine’s day was so widely celebrated that all heart shaped cutters get sold out quickly and that all restaurants are fully booked on this day. I’ve been out of touch for so long. Mostly, I spend Valentine’s day staring daggers at lovey dovey couples carrying gorgeous flowers who go around with hearts in their eyes and dizzily giggling with happiness.

That aside, I had an amazing time at Phoon Huat. Yes, I do love my kitchen utensils, props and supplies indeed. Also found the ever reclusive gold flakes XD

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Ingredients

Brownie

  • 6 1/4 oz plain flour (156g)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 8 oz corn oil (250ml/1 cup) – I would decrease this amount to 3/4 cup
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 12 1/2 oz caster sugar (310g)
  • 2 1/4 oz Van Houten cocoa powder
  • 6 ozs hot water (188 ml)
  • 1 tsp Nescafe coffee
  • 8 ozs evaporated milk (Nestle) (250ml)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

Chocolate Dripping

  • 7 ozs plain chocolate (Van Houten cooking chocolate, around 1 1/2 whole bars of chocolate)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 ozs salted butter (40g)

Chocolate Dripping (edited for glazing)

  • 2 whole bars of chocolate
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 40g salted butter
  • heaping table spoonful of double cream
  • 1/3 cup of full cream milk (may not be too accurate as I eyeballed the amount)

Cooking Instructions

  1. Mix all dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl

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2. Add in the corn oil and evaporated milk and beat at low speed for a minute. Scrape the sides of the bowl before beating the mixture again.

3. Dissolve the coffee into the hot water before adding it slowly into the mixture. Add the vanilla essence as well and continue beating until smooth.

4. Beat the 2 eggs in a separate bowl and add them into the brownie mixture, ensuring that it has cooled down from the hot coffee, otherwise you’ll get scrambled eggs in your brownie. You don’t want that do you? ;p20140131-224917.jpg

5. Preheat your oven to 170 degrees celsius.

6. Grease and line a 10″ round cake tin. Do not use a springform (removable bottom) baking tin for this recipe as the brownie mixture will leak out. If you’re worried about the brownie sticking to the bottom of the baking tin (and it WILL), grease the bottom and sides of the tin with butter and place baking paper at the bottom. Grease the surface of the paper as well.

7. Pour the mixture into the centre of the tin (the weight of the batter will press down on the paper so it will be nice and even and won’t leak through to the other side of the paper) and pop it into the oven on the bottom rack for about an hour.

8. Once the hour is up, switch off your oven and leave the oven door ajar to cool off the brownie and so that it doesn’t cool so rapidly that it sinks in the middle.

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9. Next, we work on the chocolate dripping. Chop up the chocolate into smaller pieces. If you leave it in big chunks like I did you’re gonna have a horrible time smushing it T____T.

10. Place the chocolate, butter and vanilla essence into a double boiler. (You can make one by boiling some water and placing a heat-proof bowl on top of this pot of water, ensuring that the bowl doesn’t touch the water).

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11. Mix it all up together until it’s nice and glossy

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12. Spread the melted chocolate on top of the brownie. I don’t know who took out a chunk of the brownie before I could even put the chocolate dripping on top 😡 20140131-225136.jpg

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13. My feeble attempts at decoration. Heat up the brownie before serving.

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So, for a more special occasion, here’s what to do:

1) Cut out shapes in the brownie like so. Make sure that the brownie is completely cooled, or refrigerator-chilled so that it’s easier to cut, and that you cut all the way through for a clean edge.20140214-111633.jpg

2. Remove the excess brownie and gently remove the shaped brownies. 20140214-111651.jpg

3. Make the chocolate glaze! I felt that the chocolate dripping was too thick for what I wanted to make so I amended it a little. I’ve been reading up on Japanese cookbooks and their chocolate glazes are absolutely perfect. Too bad I can’t make out half the words in those cookbooks otherwise I’d have had a smoother glaze. 20140214-111704.jpg

4. The glaze was still a little thick, but its ok. Place the brownies on a wire rack with a tray at the bottom to catch the excess chocolate. Grab a ladle and spoon a generous amount of chocolate on top of the brownie. I say generous because the chocolate has got to slosh over the sides to cover that as well.20140214-111717.jpg

5. If you can, slosh enough chocolate so that it falls evenly over the sides to cover everything evenly. If you were to use a knife to try to coat the brownie, its gonna end up in heartache and a bad frosting. The trick is the amount of chocolate and how quickly you work with the ladle.20140214-111729.jpg

Please check out the frosting on the left…. too much human handling spoils the chocolate.20140214-111746.jpg

6. Chill in the fridge. The chocolate will harden up and make the brownie easier to handle. You can then pretty up the brownie by adding some gold flakes, but do remove them before microwaving the brownie. 20140214-111803.jpg

Awwww~~ next time this is gonna look better but I’m pretty happy with it already. 20140214-111822.jpgHappy Valentine’s day!