About three years ago, we were hunting for a brownie recipe and came across Deb Perelman of smittenitchen.com’s recipe for Belgian Brownie Cakelets. The thing that caught our eye about these was her reference to the Pain Quotidien belgian brownies, which we were consuming very passionately and rather overzealously at the time. We made ‘em and boom! We were sold and have never gone back. Every time we make these, we fall in love all over again. The slightly crispy top, the melt in your mouth center... Different shapes and sizes of these brownies have featured over the years and they come out perfectly. Every. Time. Here we’ve added a sprinkling of Maldon sea salt on the top because chocolate and salt just makes us extra happy, but you do you. These are close-your-eyes-and-enjoy keepers. But we’ll let you be the judge of that!
7 ounces (200 g) bittersweet chocolate (70 or 72% cocoa solids), roughly chopped
7 ounces (200 g) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon (20 grams) all-purpose flour
Maldon sea salt for sprinkling (optional)
Place chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl. Either over a saucepan of simmering water or in the microwave in 15- to 30-second bursts, stirring frequently, melt the two together. Off the heat, whisk in sugar, which should cool the mixture down significantly. Whisk in salt, then eggs, one at a time. Stir in flour.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. The batter will thicken a bit as it stands.
Heat oven to 325°F (165°C).
Coat whichever tin you are using with nonstick spray or line it with cupcake papers and spoon the batter halfway into each cup.. We’ve gone for heart shaped tins here, or have also used a mini muffin tin which yields a perfect brownie bite. Just remember to adjust your baking time accordingly. Smaller tins mean shorter baking time. Baking time for a regular size muffin tin or these larger heart shaped tins is 25-30 minutes, in a mini muffin tin, they will take around 20 minutes.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of cakelets comes out batter-free. (Fudgy crumbs are to be expected.) If you’re using the sea salt, give every brownie a little sprinkle as soon as they are out of the oven, before they cool.
Let cool on a rack for 5 to 10 minutes before unmolding. Puffed tops will fall a little as they cool.
Recipe by Deb Perelman, www.smittenkitchen.com