Monday, July 18, 2011

Brownie Day Part 1: Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies


   Stonesoup is owned by Jules.

   I love Stonesoup. And I love Jules. She has such a simple philosophy of keeping things simple and fuss-free. She has lots and lots of recipes that uses only 5 ingredients, or even less. For someone who cannot, at the moment, afford to spend a lot of money on buying baking ingredients, Jules's recipes are nearly exactly what I need.

   Nearly because so far I haven't had much hand in preparing the main meals in my house. I only make things fit for dessert (unless you eat cake for breakfast, lunch, dinner, supper...).

   And nearly because some of her recipes (or at least the ones that I'd like to try) uses whipping cream. I have recently discovered that many supermarkets in Malaysia (or at least the ones that I have been to) such as Tesco and Giant sell whipping cream in the dairy section, but my oh my how expensive they are. 1 litre for arounr RM 18.00 to RM 26.00! Gulp. I'm afraid I'll have to wait 'til I've started working before I can even think of buying them.

   Other than that, I just love reading what Jules has to say on her site. She writes about incredibly interesting stuff. Actually, it's just better if you head over to her site and see for yourself. But I would like to say that I think she's a wonderful person because it seems that she just loves sharing knowledge without asking for much in return. Her free e-Books are delightful. Truly.

   What are you waiting for? Hope over to StoneSoup and have a good time reading the recipes and everything else besides!

Ramblings on the Recipe

Peanut butter brownies

   Today, I made two kinds of brownies. The first was made using one of Jules's recipes. If you like brownies that are really, really fudgy and squidgy, then this recipe is for you!

   I modified the recipe a bit to suit my taste and also to suit whatever ingredients that I had at the moment. There happened to be a jar of peanut butter which had, I noticed, been sitting all alone on the counter. When I opened it, I discovered that there was about a third of the contents left. The whole thing, including the plastic jar, weighed 150g, which is the amount of peanut butter needed for the recipe. What the heck? I thought. Whatever works, Mayah!

   Jules noted that all-purpose flour would work just as well, but since we had rice flour I decided to follow the recipe on this. I think rice flour gives the extra squidgy-ness to the texture? I don't know. Next time I'll try using all-purpose flour and see what happens.

   I also reduced the amount of sugar because I have, out of a lot of experience, found that most recipes use too much sugar for my liking. I don't know how this affects the overall product, but like I said, whatever works!

   I was also happy because Mum had just bough a new batch of eggs, and man are they large!

   Note: Please check the original recipe for the temperature setting. I often reduce the temperature for my oven because it tends to get too hot. You know your oven. Hoho.

More Ramblings on the Recipe

This recipe uses Halal ingredients.

It is also gluten and dairy-free.

THE Recipe

Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies

[Click HERE to see the original recipe]


130-150g smooth peanut butter
200g brown sugar
2 eggs
50g cocoa powder
75g rice flour


1. Preheat oven to 150C. Grease and line baking pan ( I used a 8x8 inch pan) with baking paper (which I forgot to do).

2. Beats eggs. Add sugar. Beat. Add the peanut butter. Beat until well mixed.

3. Fold in flour and cocoa powder. Mix until just incorporated.

4. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Test with a skewer or toothpick, if it comes out slightly moist  then it's ready.

The Ugly but nonetheless Delicious Truth 

   Even after setting my oven to a lower temperature and baking the brownies for exactly 30 minutes, I seemed to have overbaked them (which is something I often do). Or not. 

   The truth is whenever I bake something chocolaty or brown-in-colour, I am often confused because I don't know whether the cake/brownies/cookies are properly and thoroughly cooked because I can't see it by the colour! Which is funny because most of the things I've baked so far involve chocolate or cocoa powder. Oh well. 

   Anyway, even though they were a little around the edges, the brownies were perfectly sticky, squidgy and fudgy. The funny thing is that it was so difficult to pry the brownies from the edge of the pan, and quite as difficult to pry them off the bottom, but once they cleared the pan, they truly cleared the pan! I expected to see a lot of crumbs on the pan but there wasn't much. 

   Verdict: It's a lovely recipe, and my youngest brother loves it. However, I personally would be able to finish only one slice at one seating. Maybe it's because it takes some effort (for me anyway) to chew it. The taste is good enough, but maybe other people would like a more peanut buttery flavour? Next time I'm going to use chunky peanut butter. I wanted to add some crushed peanuts actually, to add to the texture, but we didn't have them. Maybe next time. Sprinkling them on top of the batter would be great. Yeah.

   Thank, Jules! My brothers give your brownies 9 out of 10! 

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