So here’s an International Perspective Thing I have to drop on you… I’m sure you had a hunch already, but brownies are really, really American. More American than apple pie–really! Apple pie didn’t even originate here. Brownies did, in 1893 at Chicago’s Palmer House Hotel to be exact.
Anyhow. I didn’t have a brownie until I was 10 or 11 years old (though I’m sure I have caught up to at least some of you American cats). My mom worked long hours after we moved Stateside, and she would often come home with a box of Little Debbie something-or-others, and having tea and pastry treats with us in the evening became a quality-time ritual of sorts.
I distinctly remember that it actually took me a while to figure out that brownies weren’t considered just a chocolate variation of coffee cake, as I guess I thought “brownie” was some sort of branding schtick.
Start with chocolate. It always starts with chocolate.
There’s brown sugar, too. To be honest, this whole story got me thinking about Little Debbie and I can’t stop! I’m writing about brownies but dreaming of making homemade versions of Honey Buns (my favorite) and Oatmeal Creme Pies. Focus, DL. Focus.
Lots of eggs for dense, fudgy goodness. This is a rich, rich, dark, dense, rich brownie. If you want a fudgy brownie recipe, look for something that calls for lots of eggs and no baking powder/soda. Rising is for bread and cakes, and I know the difference between cake and brownies now.
Butter and chocolate make sense. Internationally, even!
I was going to describe this thick, gooey batter as tarlike, but I won’t… ’Cause that’s not appealing. But then again, I just did.
So, there’s rum in these, and I like to poke holes all over and brush spiced rum on top. Can you taste the rum? Not really. But a little Captain Morgan isn’t going to make your situation worse (I missed my calling as a motivational speaker).
After sufficient booze soaking, just slice these up and go make 16 new friends. In my case, anywhere from 0 to 15.
Fudgy Rum Brownies
(recipe from the Little Teochew)
250g butter (about 2 sticks, plus 1/6th)
250g dark chocolate (roughly 1 1/4 cups; I just halved one of these)
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp rum, plus extra for brushing
1 cup flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-inch square pan with parchment paper. In a double-boiler type situation, melt chocolate, butter and brown sugar, and whisk until smooth. Set aside and allow it to cool a bit.
In a large bowl, whisk together your eggs, white sugar, salt, vanilla and rum. Add the cooled chocolate mixture into this and mix. Lastly, stir in the flour and mix to combine well. Pour batter into pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out somewhat clean (wet crumbs are okay).