I was hit by another lazy Saturday this past weekend and like the one before, decided not to wakeup until noon. Once again this lead me to finish “breakfast” somewhere around 3PM. However, unlike the previous week, this time I needed chocolate. Bad :). I went back and forth between a few bookmarked recipes before rediscovering these brownies. I immediately remembered how fascinated I was by the idea of an olive oil brownie and for some reason was even more fascinated by it now. The bonus? Brownies are quick and easy (even when you screw them up they're still guaranteed to taste good).
After reading the comment that the brownies were quite sweet (though not too sweet), I knew I would be reducing the sugar (like there was a chance I wouldn't), as well as making the switch to light brown (I like brown sugar in brownies). The only other changes to the ingredients were to increase the salt and use a combination of unsweetened and semi-sweet chocolate since I don't typically have the recommended 70% cocoa on hand. This also meant I would be using chocolate chips (not that there's anything wrong with that) because I apparently ran out of semi-sweet bars. This is never an issue though, I have come to love these particular chocolate chips and any chance to use them is a plus. Unfortunately they don't list a cocoa percentage but I wasn't too worried as I had already chosen to reduce the sugar. And obviously because I could not think of anything else to mess around with, I went and fiddled with the recipe's process. I love fudgy brownies and wanted to ensure that these would be as fudgy as possible (despite there being no indication otherwise). The brown sugar would aid in the fudgy quality, but typically the purpose of beating together the sugar and eggs is to create a lighter and more cakey brownie. To make sure this wasn't the case I added the sugar and eggs directly to the chocolate, stirring with a spoon. Perhaps, I just didn't want to take out my mixer but I think I'll stick with the fudgy reason. It makes me look better if I was in pursuit of a noble end (well, it's noble to me :)).
As the brownie baked I was overwhelmed by the wonderfully fruity scent wafting throughout the house (reminding me somewhat of banana bread). No doubt the result of the olive oil working its magic. I was very excited. And what flavour! There was a fruity undertone that could be tasted throughout, something I'm not used to finding in a brownie. It was awesome. The sweetness was quite reserved, right where I like it, definitely not overpowering, and to top it all off, the brownie was also super chocolatey (I wouldn't have it any other way), but not what I would consider rich (or at least too rich). This was most definitely because of the texture. Just as everything else, it was different. When you see the brownie it looks dense and fudgy but in actuality was super light. Not in the way that a cakey brownie is, but in its own way.
These brownies are good, really good, and I can't believe that they are my first “proper” brownie recipe for the site. Granted, I couldn't be happier that this is the case. With so many unique qualities these brownies are anything but typical. Need proof? The brother who usually has very little to say about my baking told me, without prompting, that these were his favourite brownies so far. I was astonished. It was almost as nice as the time he hugged me; and it didn't even cost me sixty bucks :).
Olive Oil Brownies
Adapted from Cookie Madness1/2 cup all-purpose flour (65g)
1/2 tsp salt
3 oz semi-sweet chocolate (85g)
1 oz unsweetened chocolate (28g)
1/2 cup packed golden yellow/light brown sugar (110g)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup nuts of your choice – omitted
Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8” square pan with foil and grease.
Melt both chocolates in a heat proof bowl over a pot of barely simmering water. Remove from heat and add olive oil, whisk to combine. Set aside until slightly cooled (lukewarm to touch).
In a small bowl add flour and salt and whisk to combine.
When chocolate mixture has sufficiently cooled, add sugar and vanilla and whisk until completely combined. Add eggs one at a time, stirring (with a spoon) until completely incorporated.
Add dry ingredients to chocolate, stirring until just combined. If using, fold nuts into batter.
Pour batter into prepared baking pan, making sure to spread evenly.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean (this took me 20 minutes and always remember: a slightly underdone brownie is always better than an overdone one).
Allow to cool completely before serving.