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When my client Colavita USA sent me boxes and boxes of chocolate bars to make recipes for their newest client, Perugina chocolate, brownies were the first thing to pop into my mind.
You can use olive oil to replace melted butter in almost any recipe.
Substituting extra virgin olive oil for saturated fats can lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, which clogs arteries with fatty deposits. Olive oil contains more monounsaturated (“good”) fat per serving than any other cooking oil. Monounsaturated fats help lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol, which cleanses the arteries.
It might seem strange at first, baking with extra virgin olive oil, but overall, it’s not. You can use olive oil to replace melted butter in almost any recipe. You wouldn’t want to use a fine, finishing oil in these recipes, nothing with a lot of grass or pepper notes, but a neutral olive oil works just fine.
Melting the chocolate
This recipe for Fudgy Chocolate Brownies results in brownies that are more fudge-like. As for the chocolate, you can make these with Perugina, as I did, or another high-quality chocolate brand. Since the chocolate you use is the most important taste component, whatever you buy, make sure it’s at least 70% cocoa.
You can make these brownies with or without nuts. I personally love walnuts in my brownies, so I add them. If adding be sure to toast the nuts before you add them.
Toasting the nuts brings out the nuttiness.
The batter for these brownies is very thick so I suggest you use a rubber spatula to spread the batter evenly in the pan. Lining the pan with aluminum foil first helps when removing them from the pan. It’s not entirely necessary as you could cut them in the pan and remove them, but I like being able to take the whole batch out and cutting them neatly on a board. Just my own personal preference, plus, I don’t have a pan to wash.
These brownies will stay, unrefrigerated, for up to 4 days in an airtight container; if they last that long!
Heat the oven to 350° F. Line an 8 x 8 glass baking dish with aluminum foil. Spray lightly with cooking spray.
In a small saucepan, combine the olive oil and chocolate; cook over medium-low heat, whisk vigorously, until combined and smooth. Remove from heat and bring to room temperature.
In a large bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, cocoa, vanilla, and salt; stir until medium-low. Add the cooled chocolate and mix well; add the flour and stir until no white streaks remain. Add nut, if using, and stir well into the batter.
Transfer the batter to the baking dish and bake about 25 minutes, or until a tester, inserted in the middle, comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool completely before cutting.
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