Monday, July 21, 2014

Olive oil brownies and feeling nostalgic

Olive oil brownies / Brownies com azeite de oliva

You’ve probably noticed by now that I’ve been using olive oil in my baking quite regularly and with great results – it makes the cakes flavorsome and oh, so moist. That is why I couldn’t wait to try using olive oil in brownies – I was curious to find out if the ingredient paired beautifully with chocolate as it does with apples, coconut and citrus.

I found this simple, yet wonderful recipe online and it comes from one of the first food blogs I ever read, the beautiful The Traveler’s Lunchbox – it made me feel very nostalgic, but in a very good way. It reminded me of my discovery of food blogs, how eager I was to read them and how amazing it was to see so many people passionate about cooking and baking as I was. It was a first for me to see people actually enjoying making dinner or baking a cake, for up until that day I had never met anyone who felt what I did towards food – I knew tons of people who loved eating, but I knew no one who took pleasure at the act of making it as I did.

All of a sudden all those strangers felt a lot closer to my heart than many people I knew in “real life” – I guess that is what happens when you finally find people with something in common, for my friends did not like the kind of movies I watched back then and for sure did not feel that making dinner for a family of five was fun at all (we became six when my sister was born). They were so lazy that if their moms didn’t make any food on a given day they would feed on bread and butter, and some of them wouldn’t even eat on a plate to avoid washing up. I got older, my love for the kitchen became bigger, and my friends continued to believe that cooking was a stupid thing to learn.

Now you can imagine how I felt when I bumped into the first food blog. :)

It’s been a while since Melissa last updated the blog, but I recommend reading the archive – there are plenty of great recipes there, such as the one for these brownies; she calls for dark chocolate with 70% cocoa solids, but since I did not have any I used the one I had and added one tablespoon of cocoa to boost the chocolate flavor.

Olive oil brownies
slightly adapted from the beautiful The Traveller’s Lunchbox

115g dark chocolate, finely chopped – I used one with 53% cocoa solids*
1/3 cup (80ml) fruity extra virgin olive oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup (70g) all-purpose
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon table salt

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Brush a 20cm (8in) square baking pan lightly with canola oil, line it with a piece of foil leaving an overhang in two opposite sides, and lightly oil the foil as well.
Place the chocolate in a small bowl and melt it over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Whisk in the oil, then cool.
Using an electric mixer, whisk the eggs and sugar until pale and thick. Fold in the vanilla and the cooled chocolate mixture, then fold in the flour, cocoa and salt. Stir to combine. Pour into the prepared pan and distribute evenly.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is dry and crackly, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out a little wet. Cool completely, then cut into squares.

*the original recipe called for 70% cocoa solids, I didn’t have any, so I used the one I had (53% cocoa solids) and added cocoa for a deeper chocolate flavor

Makes 16


Marise said...

Will certainly try it, but I will add walnuts or pecans. I can't imagine brownies without the crunch! :-)

Patricia Scarpin said...

Marise, I think the nuts will make the brownies even more special!

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