Thursday, April 14, 2011

Mini Brownie Cakes

Warning: this recipe is not entirely healthy.

But it is delicious and it uses organic eggs from happy chickens. It is also made with organic, fair-trade chocolate and locally-milled flour, so then I can happily say that at least this recipe is a treat that is deliciously organic.

These mini brownie cakes have been in my recipe repertoire for some time- they have been to art show graduations, baby showers, and birthday parties. They also make their way into the (all-too-familiar) rainy days of our lives when we seem to have nothing to do but bake.

They walk the fine line between cake and brownie. To their benefit, they are not too sweet nor too chocolatey (which I do enjoy, but usually on special occassions!) They can also be whipped up in a couple minutes and are spectacular in their simplicity.

I think I clipped the recipe from Martha. The original recipe made millions of mini brownies (or at least close to that!) so I had to revise the recipe so that it made a more manageable amount.  I also revised the directions as they were far too complicated for something this easy...

Mini Brownie Cakes
Makes approximately 2 dozen mini cakes
If you like a more chewy brownie, bake it a little longer. You might be considered insane if you were to frost these little buddies, adorning them with a sprinkle of icing sugar would suffice! If you really love the idea of these,  you may want to go ahead and double the recipe. Although I usually use all organic ingredients to make mine, I mention using organic when I think that it is especially important for the flavour of the product. If you can't get organic cocoa and chips- look for those that contain very few ingredients and are dark in colour.

1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 oz (approx. 1/3 cup) good quality (organic) semi-sweet chocolate chips or small chocolate chunks
3 tbsp dutch-processed organic cocoa (you want dark brown cocoa instead of the red-brown colour)
3/4 cup cane sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup unbleached flour

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Melt the butter in a medium-size bowl in the microwave for approximately 30-40 seconds (or in a saucepan). When butter is melted, stir in the chocolate chips until they are melted and the mixture is smooth. Heat for a few seconds only if necessary. Add cocoa and whisk into mixture.
3. Whisk in the sugar until nearly smooth (there will still be granules of sugar visible), adding eggs, one at a time. Stir in flour until fully combined.
4. Spoon by heaping tablespoon into buttered or lined mini muffin tins. Bake 18 (cakey)-20 minutes, until tops are rounded and springy to the touch. Bake even longer (up to 25 minutes) if you like them very chewy, they will be fairly firm to the touch. Do not let brown. Remove from oven,  let cool 2 minutes and then remove from pan.
Brownies on right have been baked in butter-lined tins.
Note: Buttered mini muffin tins release very well. I have used liners at times but the cake tends to cling to the liners. If you use an oil spray, you could spray the liners if you so desire.