There’s something so special about baking for someone, whether it’s a birthday girl, an under-the-weather colleague, or a boyfriend with a new promotion. Unless, that is, your oven is off limits. No oven, no stove, no brownies.
However, this week, I tried my hand at non-baked brownies. Raw desserts are fascinating to me–the creative substitutions for categorically baked dishes remind me to keep an open mind in the kitchen. This recipe surprised me as well. For a brownie made of melted chocolate, graham crackers, nuts, cocoa powder, and sweetened condensed milk (no eggs, no vanilla extract, no flour?), they do taste like the real thing. The texture is not cake like, but still nice. They’re fudgier than normal brownies, and they should be served cold.
4 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1. Line a square 8-in. pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper, and grease lightly. Set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, cocoa powder, salt, and walnuts until evenly distributed. Optionally, add in chopped crystalized ginger, dried cherries, sweetened coconut flakes, or vanilla or almond extract.
3. Pour in the sweetened condensed milk and stir.
4. Chop the semi-sweet chocolate, and melt either in a double-boiler or in the microwave. (For the microwave, heat for 30 seconds on medium power, stir, and repeat for 15 seconds until chocolate is melted.)
5. Stir melted chocolate into bowl, and stir. Pour into the pan, and spread as evenly as possible. (Mine did not come out very evenly, but it doesn't affect the brownies.)
6. Chill for at least an hour, covered. Cut with a sharp knife, and serve cold.