I recently went to the MPH book fair at the Singapore Expo, hoping to wipe out whatever cookbooks that were on sale. But I have to say, it was disappointing because I wasn’t there early enough to grab the good deals. My basket was empty after walking 3 rounds, not many cookbooks and the leftovers didn’t look worthy. But I knew myself too well, I couldn’t just walk out empty-handed. So I continued to eye and dig, lucky enough I found a rather thin, hardcover book titled “Popina Book of Baking”. What caught my attention was the quote on the cover by Elizabeth Hurley “Wholesome recipes with a naughty twist; I love this book.”
This book is not to be underestimated because it actually contains very interesting recipes like the ginger and chilli caramel biscuits, chocolate and chestnut tart, gouda and hazelnut bites and a small section on savoury recipes like the spinach, garlic and nutmeg muffins and honey-roast parsnip, carrot and shallot tart. I just feel like making them all! I think I’ve got myself a gem. What really caught my eye was a simple recipe, the chocolate truffle brownies. I mean I had made various kind of brownies, the fudgy, the chewy, the type with a crispy thin crust but I’ve never come across a brownie that according to the book, has a similar texture to truffles. So my chocolates were put to work.
If you expect your brownie to have that thin crust, then this is not the recipe for that. But if you are like me, thin crust or not doesn’t matter, then you should try these. This brownie does live up to it’s name because you really feel like you are eating chocolate truffle but only it’s lighter due to the addition of eggs that had been whisked till pale and creamy. It melts in your mouth. Everyone who tasted it commented that it was like eating pure chocolate. I’ll defintely make these again and next time I might add a touch of booze like baileys or kahlua for an extravagent treat.
I would also like to thank my lovely childhood friend Eunice, for queing patiently in the snake queue for payment of the books while I sit and wait outside because I was freezing in there, and for insisting on paying for the book as a little gift for me.
Chocolate Truffle Brownies (Recipe adapted from Popina Book of Baking by Isidora Popovic) Makes 9 squares or 16 smaller squares
240g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)
100g unsalted butter
135g golden caster sugar
55g plain flour
cocoa powder, to dust
- Preheat the oven to 150C (300F) Gas 2. Line an 18cm (7-inch) square brownie pan with greaseproof paper.
- Put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Do not let the base of the bowl touch the water. Stir until melted. Set aside to cool. (My tip: Alternatively you can melt the chocolate and butter in a microwave on medium heat, just remember to take it out every 30 seconds and stir to prevent them from burning. This process took me about 2 minutes)
- Put the eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk until pale and creamy. Sift in the flour and fold in gently. Finally, fold in the molton chocolate and mix until smooth. (Do not overmix)
- Pour the batter into the prepared brownie pan and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. (My tip: If your brownie seems too jiggly, you may want to bake 1-3 minutes more) The brownies should have risen slightly.
- Leave to cool completely, then dust with cocoa powder. Cut into 9 squares or 16 small squares and serve.