Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sour Cream Swirl Fudge Brownies

I laugh when I think about how obsessed I am with food.

It's those times when I refer to an occasion based on what I ate, or what someone brought to eat.

"Remember when we saw that UFO hover over the neighbour's house and beam up Zach?"

... ..."ohhhh yeah! Nonna made chicken risotto that night."

That's when I realize my whole life really does revolve around food and I'm not sure if that is totally awesome or totally pathetic.

I'm gonna go with awesome.

If you want me to remember a milestone or special occasion, make sure you feed me something delicious that day. That way it's sure to make it in the chapters of my food-driven brain.

I can't help but relate everything I sense to food.

If you show me a tennis ball container, all I really see are Pringles.
The smell of campfire makes me instantly crave s'mores, charred corn on the cob and hamburgers.

And when I have the self control to not eat the 250-gram block of 72% chocolate in all its pureness, I can't help but melt it into a luscious batch of brownies.

If these Sour Cream Swirl Fudge Brownies were the only thing I ever ate, ever again... I'd go smiling (with chocolate smeared all over my face).

There's this magic that happens when sour meets bitter meets sweet. Rich dark chocolate mixed with tangy thick cream in a fudgy dense brownie is probably perfect.

It's like the classic fancy-pants pairing of dark chocolate and red wine - there's something there that sets fire to our tastebuds.

Do not spare the sugar in the sour cream swirl because it serves a purpose other than sweetening it up a bit. Sugar gets in between milk proteins to prevent them from curdling and turning grainy when exposed to heat, keeping it velvety and smooth once baked. It also binds water and prevents it from drying out.

It will be hard for you to share these and don't feel bad for it. These deserve that jealous kind of love - the kind that wont let anyone else even have a glimpse.

Cutting it into squares is optional. The spoon-in-pan method is just as efficient.

Good grief!

Sour Cream Swirl Fudge Brownies
Makes 16 brownies 

150 g/5 ¼ oz bittersweet chocolate (70% cocoa) 
6 tbsp (84 g) unsalted butter 
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt 
1 cup (200 g) superfine or caster sugar 
2 large eggs, at room temperature 
½ cup (71 g) all-purpose flour 

For the swirl:
¾ cup (175 ml) full fat sour cream (14% milkfat)
2 tbsp (30 g) packed brown sugar

Preheat your oven to 325°F and line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.

In a medium saucepan, gently melt together chocolate, butter, vanilla and salt over low heat until melted and smooth. Stir in sugar until combined. Whisk in eggs, one at a time until mixture is smooth and glossy. Sift flour over chocolate mixture and stir it in until just blended.

Pour brownie batter into prepared pan. Stir together sour cream and brown sugar in a small bowl and then dollop over brownie batter in several spots over the surface. Use the blunt edge of a knife to swirl it in to create a marble effect. Bake until the chocolate mixture is shiny on top, the sour cream swirl is just set and it still feels just a bit soft in the center, about 25-30 minutes.

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