Well. I finally did it. After resisting for the longest time due to the crazy amount of butter and sugar in these, I made Pioneer Woman's mocha brownies from her first cookbook.
I just want to say what an absolute hero Ree Drummond (aka The Pioneer Woman) is to me. I stumbled upon her blog via Cake Wrecks way back in 2009 (might even have been 2008...) and I haven't looked back. Not only did her buttery recipes appeal to me, but I also became hooked on the story of she and her husband's romance, entitled Black Heels to Tractor Wheels. You can read it on her blog (I'm having trouble finding the whole lot of them - perhaps the category was removed once the book was published? But at least some of the components seem to remain, so search for Black Heels), or buy it in book form. She comes across as being this lovely, sweet, slightly ditzy woman and is totally relatable in so many ways. It's going to sound really twee, but she made me believe in true love when I was doubting it, and she made me feel kinda normal cos hey, I'm a bit of a ditz myself and I share her love for food and family and friends, too. I love you, Ree!
(No... declaring your undying love to a blogger you've never met isn't weird. At all...)
Anyway, enough babble. To the brownies!
I have scribbled this out on the back of a receipt and am transcribing it on my bus ride back up to Barham, so hopefully I wrote it down correctly. Note that I have written the Australian measurements here, and that I have only included a half quantity of the icing as I (accurately) assessed a whole batch to be a bit over the top. If you want the original recipe, buy the book! Your thighs won't thank me, but your heart will sing with joy. There's this amazing recipe for berry cobbler and... oh, just by the dang book already!
120g dark chocolate
4 large eggs
3tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4c plain flour (I used gluten free flour and they turned out wonderfully)
Preheat oven at around 160oC (325F was what the original said - you may wish to check my conversion!)
Melt chocolate, being careful not to burn. Set aside to cool slightly.
Beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and mix until batter is an even consistency.
Drizzle melted choclate into sugar/butter/egg mixture with the mixer still running. Add vanilla and mix. Add flour and mix until just combined.
Spread into greased 8" tin (I also lined it with baking paper coming up two of the sides to make it easier to remove the cooked brownie). Bake for 40-45 minutes until set in the middle (note that I cooked mine for closer to an hour, but I think the thermostat on mum's oven is buggered - I have ordered an oven thermometer and hope this will assist future recipes!).
110g butter, softened
2 1/2c icing sugar
1/8c cocoa powder
1 1/2tsp vanilla extract
1/4 - 1/3c brewed coffee, cooled to room temperature
(optional: coffee essence)
Mix all but the coffee until just combined in the mixer. Then, add a little under 1/4c of the coffee and whip until light and fluffy. If the mix is too stiff then add a little more coffee. I added some coffee essence at the end because I only used instant coffee and the flavour wasn't strong enough for me.
Spread icing on brownie and refrigerate until set. Cut into 16 slices.
Note that if you cut it into 16 slices, I calculated that there are around 540 calories PER SLICE!!! Yes, really. So I cut it into 25 slices and I feel much more comfortable with my decision to eat two in one day :)