Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Peanut Butter Yogurt Brownies

The supermarket was having a special on plain yogurt, just 98 yen per container. My cupboard was lush with jars of birthday peanut butter, both chunky and smooth. And my produce man was taking a week's vacation, so no cheap berries were available to make my usual ice cream topping. There was only one thing to do: make peanut butter yogurt brownies. I couldn't find a recipe that used only for the ingredients I had on hand (most call for cocoa powder, but all I had was some bars of dark chocolate; most call for butter, but I had nothing but olive oil and yogurt), so I kind of made one up, adapting from the family standby, Maida Heatter's All-American Brownies. Cutting the sugar to make up for the already-sweetened chocolate, substituting yogurt for the butter, and adding peanut butter to the batter-filled pan, I came up with a relatively good-for-you brownie.
The combination of chocolate, peanut butter, and vanilla ice cream is guaranteed to be delicious, but I think they might both be improved by a higher proportion of chocolate. Perhaps because they lack the 8 tablespoons of butter in the original recipe, and therefore also lack the bond between butter and sugar that gives baked goods their characteristic texture, they were a little too flat and slightly gummy, and the peanut butter (the principle source of fat in the recipe) all sank to the bottom. Also, I think I took them out of the oven a little too soon, because the middle was still pretty raw. That may be the fault of the oven, though, since every cake I've ever made in it has the same problem - if you can call gooey-centered brownies a problem. They still pair quite well with ice cream.

Peanut Butter Yogurt Brownies

75 g sweet dark chocolate
1/2 c plain yogurt
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 c flour
1/2 c chunky peanut butter

1. Break or chop the chocolate into chunks and, in a Pyrex measuring cup, microwave in short bursts (20 seconds or less), stirring in between, until melted.

2. Stir yogurt into chocolate, then add sugar, salt, and vanilla and stir to combine.

3. Add eggs, one at a time, stirring well to combine each completely.

4. Add flour in two parts and stir to combine.

5. Pour the batter into a foil-lined 9x9 inch square pan. Dollop the peanut butter over the surface, and swirl it into the batter with a knife.

6. Bake at 350 for about 20-30 minutes, or until done.

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