I have been down with a really nasty flu this week. Second time this winter. With that comes medication, and hours staying inside without the strength to do anything interesting.
I learn something in the past few days – acceptance. My friend, H., she may never get well again. And this last stage of cancer is hard and cruel. There is no easy way out. The miracle that we all hoped for might never come truth. But then, isn’t life, and the time we had together in highschool a miracle in itself? It is a miracle since 10 years have passed and I still remember H. so vividly. The memory of us riding our motobikes through the old quarter of Hanoi. I was at the back, and she rode so fast. Young, wild and full of life.
You may guess it – I haven’t been that active in the kitchen. The brownie in the photo is something I made a while back. It’s a classic recipe from Alice Medrich. I love this brownie – fudgy and intensely chocolaty. While I am not a big fan of these brownie shots, I thought the recipe is good enough to be mentioned and shared around .
A recipe by Alice Medrich. As seen on my favourite buddy Patricia’s blog.
Vietnamese text of the recipe can be found here.
10 tablespoons (140g/1 ¼ sticks) unsalted butter
1 ¼ (250g) cups sugar – I used vanilla sugar
¾ cup + 2 tablespoons (80g) unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cold large eggs
½ cup (70g) all-purpose flour
2/3 cup (74g) walnut or pecan pieces (optional)
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F. Line the bottom and sides of a 20cm (8in) square baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides. Butter the foil.
In a medium heatproof bowl, add the butter and set on top of a large sauce pan with barely simmering water. Melt the butter, then add sugar and salt, and stir until well combined. Next add the cocoa powder and stir until mixture is smooth and hot enough that you want to remove your finger fairly quickly after dipping it in to test. Remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot.
Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Stir in the nuts, if using. Spread evenly in the lined pan.
Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack.
Lift up the ends of the parchment or foil liner, and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Cut into 16 or 25 squares.