So Easter weekend has just passed and I spent the whole weekend at my parents’ house sick as a dog, and there is only one thing on my mind when I am sick. Baking. This was also a great opportunity because not only was I at my parents’ house, but so was my brother, his partner and one of my aunts and uncles. I always go a bit crazy with the baking when I am at my parents house, mainly because I don’t have to pay for the ingredients.
One thing I have never been able to do in life was make brownies better than my brother. I don’t know what that man does but we will follow the same recipe to the t and his brownies would always surpass mine. Well it is safe to say that I think I have finally outdone him, thanks to an old recipe of my grandmother’s that I found in one of her hand written books that were passed down to me.
But of course because I like booze a bit too much, I had to adapt this recipe to get some brandy in there and lord are these brownies good. Fudgy, Chocolatey, and now and again, BAM, bit of brandy comes through. Now I made these a couple of times over the weekend and the first time I added walnuts (which are optional in the recipe below), and found that the flavour and texture of the toasted walnut complimented the brandy and the fudgy texture of the brownies. Side-note, there are few things I hate more than a cake texture brownie. If I wanted cake, I would make cake.
The second time I made them, I replaced the walnuts and chocolate chips with white chocolate chips and these were super good as well. This batch was also made gluten free as my aunty is coeliac (I always have to Google on how to spell this word). Thankfully (?) she is actually coeliac and just hasn’t jumped on the current band wagon of being gluten free. Anyway, this second lot, I made with a gluten free flour blend which had xanthin gum already incorporated which made it a really good choice for a straight substitute. Also note that many blends will not list “Xanthin Gum” in the ingredients but will list “Vegetable Gum 415”, they are one and the same.
If substituting the flour with a gluten free blend, I found that the brownies had to bake for roughly 5-7 minutes longer.
Boozy Chocolate Brandy Brownies
150 grams semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chopped
113 grams unsalted butter, cut into pieces
15 grams cocoa powder
200 grams granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
120 grams all-purpose flour (Can substitute with a Gluten Free Flour Mix*)
1/3 Cup Brandy
1/4 teaspoon salt
125 grams semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
1/3 Cup Toasted Walnuts, Roughly chopped (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place the rack in the center of the oven. Butter (or spray with a nonstick cooking spray) an 8 inch (20 cm) square pan, and line the bottom of the pan with parchment or wax paper
2.Melt the chocolate and butter in a large stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water.
3.Remove from heat and stir in the cocoa powder and sugar. Let cool for a bit.
4.Next, whisk in the vanilla extract and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add Brandy and combine.
5.Finally, stir in the flour, salt and chocolate chips (if using).
6.Pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out with a little batter and a few moist clumps clinging to it. Do not over bake.
7.Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. Serve at room temperature or warmed.
* If replacing flour with gluten free flour, make sure to use a gluten free mix that already has added xanthan gum, often named as Vegetable Gum 415. Bake for an extra 5 minutes as the batter will need longer to bake in order to achieve the same consistency.