Search Results | 'brownie'

Nutella Bomb Brownies

I’m going to try this or this blog will never be updated ever again: tapping away on the iPad (mini, which is perfect for typing with my small hands) at 2am in the morning with what might turn out to be… a post! I already finished drafting the recipe on Evernote earlier, as a gift to myself instead of brownies, after clearing the dining table and cleaning the kitchen. This is the kind of busy I’m in now. I’ve never stopped cooking or baking, but producing content for the site is a different story altogether. And what about photos taken with the DLSR, you ask? I could take one tomorrow IF there’s any left by the time I get around to it. For now, iPhone 4S photos would do. Please bear with me as I return from my writing slumber.

Now these brownies.


Do we need another one of these recipes, really? For Nutella Day, why not? It is, after all, the sweet and equally evil equivalent of bacon. I picked a drier and fluffier brownie from Alice Medrich’s book as the carrier of the gooey fudge “bombs” of Nutella, making sure to decrease the amount of sugar to accommodate the spread’s sweetness.

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The resulting brownie has pockets of Nutella in every bite.


While the “Nutella bombs” were just enough for me, my partner still needed an extra kick and he smeared more of it on top before devouring. I could only imagine how sweet that was. But then again, he’s our resident Nutella monster, known to empty a jar if left unsupervised. [Hi, love, I outed you.]

We did agree on one thing the other evening: to top the brownies with amarena cherry and salted caramel gelato from Bella Gelateria (our favorite).


I’ve included instructions for adjusting the Nutella content, as well as baking instructions when using a turbo broiler. The latter is a recent consideration after discovering that some friends in Manila use it.

Nutella Bomb Brownies

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
8 tablespoons / 4 ounces / 1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons / 2.75 ounces unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 large eggs
1 cup / 7.5 ounces white granulated sugar **
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/4 cup / 4 tablespoons Nutella **

** Guide to adjusting the Nutella and sugar content: you can add more Nutella but make sure to decrease the sugar. I suggest subtracting a tablespoon of sugar for every tablespoon of Nutella added. I wouldn’t add more than 7 tablespoons of Nutella to this recipe, though.


Line an 8-inch square metal baking pan with aluminum foil on the bottom and sides (a single sheet cut from a regular sized roll would do).

Preheat oven to 350F, position rack in the lower middle section of the oven. [For convection oven or turbo broiler: preheat to 335F]

Melt butter and chocolate in a heatproof glass bowl set over a pan with simmering water. Stir until smooth and free of clumps. Remove bowl from the water and set on the counter to cool at room temperature.

Whisk flour and baking powder together in a separate bowl using a fork or a whisk.

Beat eggs, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or a regular mixing bowl (if using a handheld mixer) on high for 2 minutes (longer with a handheld mixer), or until the mixture is thick, pale yellow, and double in volume. Fold in the melted chocolate using a rubber spatula until partially incorporated with the egg mixture. Sift the flour mixture over it and fold until the chocolate and flour are blended together.

Save a scant 1/4 cup of the batter and pour the rest over the lined pan, levelling the top with the spatula.

Combine the remaining 1/4 cup batter with Nutella. Notice that the batter will seize up and will look like coarse textured dough (not mushy), firm enough to hold. Using your clean hand, distribute marble-sized Nutella “dough bombs” on top of the batter in the pan. Press lightly into the batter to even out the top.

Bake for 25 to 28 minutes [For convection oven or turbo broiler: baking time would be 20 to 25 minutes and you should start checking the brownie for doneness starting at 20 minutes.], until a toothpick or cake tester come out clean when poked in a non-Nutella area; a few crumbs might cling to it, but it shouldn’t be wet. [The Nutella areas will be gooey.]

Set pan on a rack to cool completely. Carefully lift out the foil with the brownie from the pan and place on a cutting board. Use a long metal spatula to separate the brownie from the foil. A straight plastic dough scraper is the best non-sticky tool to use for cutting into them, but any knife would do. For super clean cuts, cool the unsliced brownie in the fridge for 2 hours and slice with a lightly oiled metal dough scraper.

Storage: Brownies will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days. If sliced, use parchment paper between layers when stacking.

Posted in baking, cakes, chocolate, dessert, snacks0 Comments

Easy Fudge Brownies

While it’s a no-holiday-rush week for us Canadians this week (unless you’re getting ready to shop in the US like me!), I feel the “pain” of my friends in the US as Turkey Day approaches. Been there, done that last month. I love the holiday shared with friends and family, but it could be so stressful and tiring when you forget to come up for air and remind yourself that everything will turn out fine.

Speaking of coming up for air, if you won’t be one of the busy bees who will be knee deep in the kitchen for hours, why not make this for your Thanksgiving dinner host?

Fudge Brownies

Drop it off a day or two before the big day and tell them you appreciate all their efforts. Trust me, these babies and a glass of wine are better than a dehydrating dose of Red Bull. And the best thing about this recipe is that you have brownies in under an hour — including a prep time of less than 15 minutes! Using just one bowl and wooden spoon!

Even if you’re not celebrating Thanksgiving, I mean really…who needs a reason to bake brownies?

Fudge Brownies

Adapted from the book, Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich (Artisan 2010)

This has to be my favorite effortless brownie recipe: it takes less than 15 minutes to prepare by hand with just a bowl and a wooden spoon, and bakes in 25 minutes or so. It comes out perfect every time – a thin top and bottom crust that complements a smooth fudge middle layer. Now this may or may not be due to the special “ice bath” quick-cooling method of this particular recipe, but I’ve done it each time and it works!

Yields: one 9”x13” pan of chocolaty goodness


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces (226.8 grams) unsweetened chocolate chopped (or use chips)
  • 2 ½ cups (17.5 ounces) white granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup (4.5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3 cup (4.66 ounces) walnut or pecan pieces (optional)


  1. Preheat oven at 400°F with the rack positioned in the lower third of the oven. Line a 9″x13″ metal pan with aluminum foil.
  2. Place butter and chocolate in a large glass bowl and melt in the microwave twice for about 45 seconds, and for 20 seconds each thereafter. Stir with a wooden spoon after each interval until chocolate is completely melted and smooth.
  3. Stir in vanilla, sugar and salt. Add each egg separately; making sure it is incorporated in the mixture before the next addition. Fold in the flour and beat vigorously until the batter is smooth and glossy. Stir in the nuts (optional).
  4. Pour the batter into the pan and level. Bake for 25 to 28 minutes, until brownies begin to darken along the sides of the pan and pulls away from it. Insert a toothpick in the middle of the pan to test for doneness (only a fine crumb will stick to it). After 20 minutes of baking, prepare the “ice bath”: Fill a roasting pan or jellyroll pan with ice cubes and water.
  5. Once the brownies are done, remove from the oven and immediately place in the ice bath to cool completely. Lift the brownies in foil and transfer onto a cutting board.

Storage: Keep in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days.

Posted in baking, chocolate, dessert9 Comments

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

Imagine this: It’s the middle of the night. The windows and door leading to the patio are open, the air is crisp, and you’re leisurely reading a book (the only time you have to do so is at odd hours of the eve) while you wait for something baking in the oven. Chocolate laced with summers of your childhood eating spoonfuls of peanut butter wafts in the air; something good’s almost ready. The timer beeps and you make your way to the kitchen to shush the persistent timekeeper. You open the oven door and the aroma of warm peanut butter cups makes you smile, and pause, before reaching out your mitt-covered hands. Helpless, you cross the fine line of reason and stupidity, immediately dunk a spoon — not even a knife — into the hot baking pan and taste it. Curses of euphoria and a shot back to reality ensues.

Hmm. That may or may not have been me. The tip of my tongue is  also not slightly numb right now. {big grin}

I could blame it all on this: A few weeks ago, I sat in the makeshift large conference hall at Theo Chocolate in Seattle for IFBC on a Sunday morning, listening to Shauna of as she talked about blogging for specialized diets. Even from afar you can tell that this woman lives with her half glass full. Instead of soliloquies of I-can’t’s, her approach to celiac disease is inclusive: What can I eat? That talk was huge for me and I was drawn to learn more about gluten-free cooking and baking. I just started and I’m hooked.

Say hello to these peanut butter brownies. I would devour a whole pan of it if I knew I could live after such gluttony.

You know you want some. Wink, wink.

Clearly, as someone who can choose not to be on any special diet, I was the one missing out! These are insanely good. Will you forgive me if I keep baking GF brownies like this for a while?

I have Shauna (Gluten Free Girl) and Danny (the Chef) to thank for generously sharing the recipe for this. I’m happy in the belly. :-) Their 2nd book is just hot off the press and I highly recommend you check it out, whether you’re on a GF diet or not. Take a look at Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef: A Love Story with 100 Tempting Recipes and if you pick up a copy you’ll find these brownies!

I’m eagerly awaiting for my package from Amazon so I can try more recipes and tell you about them. For now, this Wordless Wednesday turned out to be very wordy. Ah!

Posted in baking, books and publications, chocolate5 Comments

“Healthier” Ultimate Brownies

Dare I tamper with our Ultimate Brownies?

Healthier Ultimate Brownies

Yes, yes I did!!!

Hop on over to Craftzine for my guest post about the “healthier” version!

Here are the ingredients of the two versions, side by side:

Battle of the Ultimate Brownies

Download the Original recipe:      Download the PDF recipe for the ORIGINAL Ultimate Brownies

Download the Healthier recipe:   Download the PDF recipe for the HEALTHIER Ultimate Brownies

Posted in articles, baking, chocolate, healthier choices, original Gourmeted recipe, snacks, sweets9 Comments

Better Than Ultimate Brownies

** You may also want to check out the Easy Fudge Brownie recipe **

Every now and then, an idea will spark for me from even the smallest triggers in life. This in particular was the result of a discussion about surprises. Mine was to be about dessert. The person that this surprise was for is someone special, so one cannot simply buy something from the store. I wanted to know what would make the best of the best. A kind of channeling of Tyler Florence, if you will.

I gave it a thought and I knew exactly what to do. Since my brother does not like cake, and my nieces and nephews tend to be picky, and my sister will eat generally anything with a sweet tooth, the only thing that made sense for me to prepare were brownies.

A quick google search led me here, The Ultimate Brownie Recipe. And I thought I had all the ingredients listed.

The result is this:

Ultimate Brownie

What was I missing? 3 unsweetened cocoa squares. Over 25% of the ingredient I needed was already used from what I thought was a full box of unsweetened cocoa.  What did I do? I dug up some semi-sweet chocolate chips and measured out on the scale 3 oz of the sweetened stuff.  I also reduced the amount of sugar by 1/4th cup to compensate for the sweetness coming from the chocolate chips.

Another thing I did differently was the choice of flour. I didn’t know the immediate impact on brownies but I used bread flour instead of all-purpose flour. I am also not a fan of nuts in my brownies, so I omitted the walnuts.

The result is this adapted recipe:

Better Than Ultimate Brownies Download the recipe


  • 5 1-oz squares of unsweetened chocolate
  • 3 oz of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butter
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt


1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease 9 x 13 pan.

2. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate squares and chips, and butter; set aside.

3. Beat eggs, sugar and vanilla at high speed for 10 minutes. [I definitely recommend a stand mixer for this.] Add melted chocolate mixture, salt and bread flour and mix until just blended. Let the batter sit on the counter for 20 minutes before pouring into the greased pan. Let air bubbles escape by tapping the pan.

4.Bake for 30 minutes and test with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, take the brownies out to cool before serving.

I believe my substitutions made these brownies above and beyond that of the original Ultimate Brownies! Each square is dense and chocolate-y, and has a nice chewiness to it. It’s better than store-bought or just-put-in-the-oven brownies. If you happen to be lucky enough to have some left over after a few days, you’ll be fighting over the the last few bites of super-moist and ultimately soft and chewy brownies. A little sacrifice of instant gratification truly pays off for these. ;-)

Give them a try in your kitchen and let us know how they turn out!

Posted in baking, cakes, chocolate, dailies, dessert, featured, food g33kery, healthier choices, reviews, snacks, sweets42 Comments

How to Win Brownie Points

pink roses from Dan

Dan picked me up at the airport yesterday with a bouquet of pink roses. How cute is he? [Uhm, hon, is there something you want to tell me?!]

When we got back to the apartment, he surprised me with this cake on the dining table. He baked. A cake. For ME! And he ROLLED FONDANT. How can I wrap my head around the fact that he rolled the fondant before I did? Haha. It’s not an ego thing, but just think about it: your boyfriend making a fondant cake. Got it?

Anyway, it was awesome! I was so impressed and I kept asking — “Did you really make this?!”

Here’s the goodness inside, devil’s food cake. We ate it with champagne. This was our little celebration together for 2008. :-)

The day he made me this was the same day as my grandmother’s birthday. It’s a very significant day to me because of the huge impact she has in my life–from teaching me cursive writing when kids my age were still struggling to write legible print letters , to introducing me to the joy of letter writing, to her cooking and baking. But I best remember her kitchen skills with her mean peanut butter cookie and oatmeal raisin cookie. She’s one of the people who introduced me to baking, aside from my mom. I never knew it then but now that I think about it, throughout my entire life, I still reference her baking as one of my fondest early childhood memories.

What a wonderful way to celebrate the new year with Dan and celebrate my grandmother’s birthday in spirit. Thanks baby, for giving me another good memory on this special day!


Posted in baking, cakes, chocolate, dailies, dessert8 Comments

Late Night Cravings: Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I get a lot of random late night cravings, anything from cherry clafoutis and fresh homemade margarita, down to the basics like fudge brownies. Alone in the house one night, going through unanswered emails, I had the strongest need for chocolate chip cookies. I had to stop what I was doing and bake some stat.


I make different kinds all the time, but I tend to favor this recipe because the resulting cookies remind me of the palm-sized ones you grab from bakeries right before you pay–you just couldn’t resist getting them. Comfort me with big, chewy mouthfuls of chocolate goodness, please.

Another bonus is that these take less than an hour to make and they don’t require any special equipment. It’s just perfect for those last-minute cravings.
I had a specific craving for good ol’ chocolate chip cookies and stuck to using just bittersweet chocolate chips that evening. However, the base cookie recipe is excellent for adding whatever your heart and taste buds desire: white chocolate, milk chocolate, butterscotch, almonds, cashews, and dried fruits, but probably not all at the same time. Keep things simple and pick two or three at the most, or you would have to tweak the recipe a bit to compensate for moisture and sweetness.

Consume heartily, but responsibly. Enjoy!

Late Night Cravings: Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe type: Cookies
Active prep time: 
Cooking/Baking time: 
Total hands-on & cooking/baking time: 
Serves: 18
Makes 18 3-inch cookies. These chewy chocolate chip cookies are the quintessential bakery cookies. They are great whether eaten fresh out of the oven (with or without ice cream, just a suggestion) or after cooling. This is a great overall cookie base that can be used as a vessel for other flavored chips, nuts and dried fruits.
  • 2⅛ cups (300 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ cup or 1½ sticks (170 grams) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 cup (200 grams) brown sugar (light or dark)
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 - 2 cups chocolate chips or chunks (semi or bittersweet) - I use 1½ cups of bittersweet chips
  1. Pre-heat oven to 325°F, with the racks in upper- and lower-middle positions. Prepare two 20"x14" baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silicone baking sheets.
  2. Mix flour, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside. Stir or whisk butter and sugars in a large bowl until thoroughly blended. Add in egg, yolk, and vanilla extract. Add dry ingredients; mix until just combined. Stir in chips.
  3. Shape scant ¼ cup dough into a ball. Split it in half and stick it together side by side, with both jagged ends facing up. Carefully press to form a cylinder. It would look like sushi roll with a jagged top.
  4. Bake in pre-heated oven for 15-18 minutes, switching and rotating the baking sheets halfway through the baking time. The cookies are done when the bottom edges of the cookies begin to brown and the tops would still be a little puffy. Cool cookies on cookie sheets propped on cooling racks. [Frozen cookies might take up to 3 minutes extra baking time.]
Make ahead:
Prepared dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen up to 1 month.

To freeze dough: It's best to pre-shape dough and freeze until they are solid, and transfer into freezer-safe resealable bags or container in a single layer.

Everyone has food cravings.

Posted in baking, cookies, dessert, quick & easy0 Comments

Triple Chocolate Cookies with Cherries & Cashews

Between us two, Jens & I consume a fair amount of chocolate on a daily basis. When they’re not in the form of bars, truffles or chunks, they are in something baked. These brownies have certainly been on rotation to help keep up with our quota, but there’s always room for more.

Triple ChocolateCookies with Cherries & Cashews

I had my heart set on this cookie recipe since I got Alice Medrich’s book last year. What’s stopped me from making them was the need to refer to another page in another section of the book for the chocolate wafer recipe. This stresses me so.

One evening a couple of weeks ago, the need to bake something chocolate-y overruled my cookbook pet peeve. I just wish it happened sooner. The original recipe called for pecans and sour cherries, but I stuck to what we had on hand at midnight: cashews and dried bing cherries. J would have preferred hazelnuts, but we were out of them, too.


I debated about making my favorite homemade Oreos instead of trying something new–but this fruit and nut chocolate cookie might have just stolen my comfort cookie spot. Heck, they could even substitute for brownies.

Triple Chocolate Cookies with Cherries & Cashews

They keep well for 2 weeks, but tend to disappear. Just saying.

Give them a try this weekend. I already saved you the agony of having to go to another page to begin the recipe. [There must be someone else out there who doesn't like this.] I have it all right here. Ha.

This recipe was adapted from Alice Medrich’s “Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-In-Your-Mouth-Cookies“. It’s my go-to cookie baking book.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Triple Chocolate Cookies with Cherries & Cashews
Recipe type: Cookies
Active prep time: 
Cooking/Baking time: 
Total hands-on & cooking/baking time: 
These moist, chewy and brownie-like cookies with fruits and nuts make for an indulgent snack. Warm, these cookies go really well with vanilla ice cream. Milk “dunkability” tested, it will not get soggy and disintegrate. These pair surprisingly well with red wine, too.
  • 1 ½ cups (6.75 ounces) unbleached all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup (2.4 ounces) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (7.8 ounces) sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 14 tablespoons (1 ¾ sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened, cut in 12 pieces
  • 3 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, cut in small chunks (chocolate chips or chunks would work, too)
  • 1⅓ cups (5.25 ounces) chopped toasted cashews (toasted at 325°F for 8 to 10 minutes)
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) dried cherries, chopped (I used bing)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F, with racks on the upper and lower third of the oven. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Add flour, cocoa powder, sugar, salt, and baking soda in a food processor and pulse. Add butter and pulse several times. Combine milk and vanilla in a small bowl and add through the feed tube. Process until the thick paste clumps together on the blade or around the bowl. Transfer into a large bowl and fold in the chocolate pieces, cherries and cashews with a sturdy spatula or wooden spoon.
  3. Drop half dome mounds of dough using a tablespoon measure, about 2 inches apart, on the lined cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the cookie tops look dry but are soft (not mushy) when touched lightly with a fingertip. Rotate pans after 8 minutes, top to bottom and front to back. Transfer the cookies on parchment paper on racks. Cool completely before storing. These cookies are best stacked with wax or parchment paper in between cookies; will keep in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Notes: These cookies break easily when they first come out of the oven. They will become crispy on the outside and softer inside once they cool. This recipe was adapted from Alice Medrich’s book, “Chewy Gooey Crunchy Melt-In-Your-Mouth-Cookies” []

Posted in baking, chocolate, cookies, quick & easy4 Comments

Bake For The Quake

Even now as I look at the screen to type, I’m still not sure what to say. The past month has been a trip through rolling hills of yays and nays, that the line between living in the moment and  is one big-pixel Gaussian blur. Geeky. There’s drama, action and catching something and almost missed it, suspense, there were fits of impatience, and then there’s one grand patriarch of the family who is ailing. Then you have the fantastical news (yes, I’m being sarcastic), from wars to natural disasters.

I was still going to stay mum about these things, but there is something as human as being compelled to act in spite of one’s suffering, to help another. I’m talking about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, which hit close to ‘home’ — Asia, where we have a lot of friends and family. I read and watched the news as it happened that early Friday morning, one horrifying update after another. It was during that time on Twitter that Melody ( a fellow Vancouver blogger) and I got to talking about doing something to help. Social media is a powerful thing and what better way to use it than for good? So what do food bloggers do to help? Doing what we do best and do something with the food we love: Have a bake sale!

It’s been a few weeks of planning, but it’s for a very worthy cause! We’re going to have Vancouver’s finest bakers come on board for an evening of baked yumminess. No, it’s not a reference to 4/20 (ha), but I’m talking about some real fine, freshly baked goods that warm the heart: they’re good for you and they’re good for the people we will be helping.

If you would like to join in as a Baker, check the Baker Guidelines and shoot me an email at gourmeted /AT/ gmail /DOT/ com.

If you would like to Sponsor the event, get in touch with Melody at mel /AT/ gourmetfury /DOT/ com.

If you would like to help in any other way, send either of us an email. We’ll be posting more details on the Bake For The Quake website.

You can also donate directly to our Doctors Without Borders fundraising page.

Please spread the word and get involved!

Mmm...peanut butter brownies...

Posted in announcements, events4 Comments

Lemon Poppy Seed Sour Cream Cake

We just finished a family feast of roasted spare ribs, cheese-filled pasta shells, and peanut butter brownies with vanilla ice cream, all inhaled dutifully. Yum. Sit-down meals on the weekends with the family is something I look forward to and I think it’s something we appreciate more now as adults. Are you the same way? Or is my age just showing? :)

This cake wasn’t served on the table today, but will make its way there again in the near future. I made this back in March and featured it in our monthly newsletter (that I have yet to resuscitate), so I apologize for those of you who are subscribed there and have seen it. It’s Autumn, the scent of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg are on high demand, and I may be in the minority for someone yearning for my citrus, but I’m a summer child and I welcome it at any season. If you’re like me who need a break from all the usual Fall flavors, here’s my treat for you.

Beginning today, I will begin putting that massive copyright watermark on the photos on this site. I’ve resisted and battled with it because it’s distracting, but our photos have been blatantly used by other sites with the copyright information cut from either the top or bottom of the photo — I mean, are those people for real? Although I don’t do this professionally, they’re still my work, hope you understand. Sorry we have to stare at these. If you have a better solution, let me know.

I hope your weekend is lovely, and if it’s Monday where you are, enjoy a good start of the week.


   Get the recipe for the Lemon Poppy Seed Sour Cream Cake

Posted in baking, cakes, coffee buddy, dessert, snacks18 Comments