It’s my birthday week! (Yes, I make a whole week of it).
Actually It’s my birthday tomorrow – woohoo! I’m celebrating it Saturday night as well, and had a lovely birthday lunch yesterday with my soon to be mother-in-law and sister-in-law, along with my adorable little niece.
Every year I try and bake something special just for my birthday and share it with family or friends. I have a few recipes I’m wanting to make for this weekend so I’ll share them next week. I made these brownies at 10:00 at night on Monday because it’s far too hot out right now to have the oven on during the day. Also, brownies are better (read: a must) if they sit overnight, usually in the fridge. This allows them to become dense and fudge-like without being too cake-y. Baking them the night before means you have no option but to wait, and you can go to bed dreaming of brownies without being tempted to eat them ;)
If I had a choice between a layered cake, a cookie or a brownie I would almost definitely choose a brownie. It has to be a certain type however, one that is dense, crisp on top with a layer of crackle crust, and a dense fudge centre that you can really sink your teeth into. I like cookies and cake too, but I would always go for a rich chocolate brownie over the other two.
Brownies are in the same category as cookies because they’re a ‘finger food’ dessert, meant to be eaten with your hands instead of a fork like cake. The ‘food legend’ goes to say a housewife forgot to add baking soda to her cake mix and the batter didn’t rise, therefore creating a thinner dense dessert. She cut it up into small pieces and served it as a bar.
I’ve made quite the collection of brownie recipes on my site to prove my love for the dense dark square including:
Vegan Brownies (amazingly dense, you’d never guess they were vegan)
Flourless Almond Meal Brownies (no flour! same texture if not better than regular and perfect for gluten/wheat sensitive friends)
Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Brownies a.k.a brookies (the best of both worlds, brownies topped with chocolate chip cookie dough)
Fudgey Banana Brownies (a delicious blend of fruit and chocolate to create a thick brownie)
Banana Brownies with Chocolate Avocado Ganache (the banana brownie taken to the next level with avocado ganache, believe me it tastes good!)
Chocolate & Blonde Swirled Brownies (blonde brownies with a touch of chocolate)
Pumpkin Swirl Brownies (perfect for fall, pumpkin and chocolate are a great duo)
- 1 1/4 cups whole spelt flour (can sub regular AP flour, Whole Wheat Flour or gluten-free)
- 1/2 cup cacao powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
- 3.5 oz dark chocolate, chopped (or 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup almond milk
- 2 eggs (flax or regular will work)
- 1/2 pint raspberries
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a 9″ square pan with parchment paper; set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cacao powder and baking soda.
- In a a microwave-proof bowl melt the shortening and chocolate, 1-2 minutes.
- Once melted, stir in the sugar and heat additional 30 seconds.
- Create a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the eggs (flax or regular) and chocolate mixture; stir with a whisk just until combined. Add in almond milk.
- Batter will be thick, switch to spatular and fold together.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and level with the back of spatula.
- Dot with raspberries (use as many as you want).
- Bake at 350˚F for 20-25 minutes.
- Allow to cool in pan entirely, transfer to fridge for an hour or two or overnight. The longer they sit the fudge-ier they will be.
- If your raspberries sink into the batter while baking, simply top with fresh raspberry halves as soon as the brownies come out of the oven.
- You could also fold in some raspberries into the batter before pouring it into the pan, and then top with more berries.