Cocoa Brownies

I finally had a day for ME, a day when the time to bake aligns with the desire to bake and not the need to bake. Last week, I had a day off. I woke up late, had my coffee in the sun, watching the blue bright sky and contemplating the sea.

I haven't told you yet, but we moved back to Lebanon a couple of months ago. I didn't have the time nor the chance to tell you about this change in my life, and every time I wanted to write a post about our move, words wont come out easily and I just shut down the computer.

It was a hard decision to take, I know, I have lived in France for the last 5 years, and I was discovering the city with all its beauty... but when my husband came home that night telling me that we're moving back to our homeland, Lebanon, I was overwhelmed. You know, the idea of returning back home was tatooed in my brain... His announcement brought tears to my eyes, I hugged him and thanked him.... as if i was waiting for this years ago.

And here we are, back in our lovely country, sharing our happiness with the people we love. I can't tell you how it feels to be back home, how secure you are when you're surrounded by your family and friends.

I used to be a beautiful city… Some people say I’m still as beautiful as I was before... 

Every day I stand there, waving to all these people, mostly young, leaving on these big things so called airplanes… Jealousy kills me, knowing that they will go and enjoy grocery shopping in a street I’ve never heard of, smiling to a stranger who doesn’t even know where their country is… Working hard and becoming successful… I wish they could be here with me, becoming successful with me… I feel helpless without them, thousands and thousands leave, few come back while I sit waiting and waiting and waiting…

“I miss you Beirut
I miss your weather
Miss your sea breeze
Miss staring at you at night from my bedroom balcony… when the world is sleeping and there is only you and I
Miss feeling loved
Miss belonging to you
Miss feeling the security…

I order you to come back… Yes I can’t promise you security but I promise you that you and me can make it together, come back and bring all those people who once left… because I miss them, miss their faces and their laughs… Come back and fight for me, clean my body from rotten creatures, change the world for me, help me stand… I can’t do it alone.

I’m your city
I’m your mother
I’m your child
I’m Beirut

This is what brought me home, because I love my country and I am proud to be Lebanese.
I know I was away from my blog for a while, it was not easy settling down, and having a full time job again... that was pretty hard for me; but I'm happy...

Ingredients: Makes 16 larger or 25 smaller brownies

10 tablespoons (140 grams) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (280 grams) sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (80 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, cold
1/2 cup (70 grams) all-purpose flour

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F (160ºC). Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.

Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and set the bowl in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and hot enough that you want to remove your finger fairly quickly after dipping it in to test. Remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot. It looks fairly gritty at this point, but don’t fret — it smooths out once the eggs and flour are added.

Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Spread evenly in the lined pan.

Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack. (Deb suggests putting the cooled pan in the fridge or freezer for a while, which helps if you want clean lines when cutting the brownies.)

Lift up the ends of the parchment or foil liner, and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Cut into 16 or 25 squares.

Brownies au cacao

80 g de cacao en poudre non sucré type Van Houten
140 g de beurre mou
2 gros oeufs
280 g de sucre
1 cuillère à café d'extrait de vanille liquide
70 g de farine

Préchauffez votre four à 160°C.

Dans un bol supportant la chaleur, versez votre beurre, sucre et cacao. Mettez ce bol au dessus d'une casserole d'eau bouillante sans que le bol ne touche l'eau!

Bien mélanger le tout jusqu'à ce que le mélange soit assez chaud pour que dès que vous plongez votre doigt, vous ayez envie de le retirer immédiatement...

Retirer le bol de la casserole et laissez ce mélange tiédir. Une fois tiède ajoutez un oeuf, bien mélanger. Quand la pâte est lisse, ajoutez le deuxième. Bien mélanger à nouveau. Puis ajoutez l'extrait de vanille. Enfin ajoutez la farine. Mélanger vigoureusement.

Versez votre préparation dans un plat carré de 21 cm sur 21 cm. Enfournez environ 20 minutes. Surveillez la cuisson (et ce surtout si vous utilisez un moule plus grand). Plantez un couteau, il doit ressortir légèrement humide.

Une fois le plat sorti du four, attendre 10 minutes et découpez en carrés!

Adapted from Alice Medrich’s Bittersweet


  1. They look so moist!
    Love that chocolate...
    Thank you for sharing.

  2. Lovely brownies! Great to read you again...



  3. I love days like that :-) I have been having a week that has been just for me. I haven't done much, but it has been nice.

  4. Glad you are happy to be back home! The brownies are very tempting and look so moist and yummy!

  5. That's wonderful, Cherine! It's a great feeling to be at your home country, Congrats! And those brownies...Mmmm I want a bite :)

    Hugs <3

  6. I am very happy you are back home with your loved ones. Best wishes to you and your husband.

  7. i made them yesterday- they are fabulous. Saved the recipe. Thank you so much. Enjoy your home and family!

  8. I love your blog. It's so delicious just to watch! Hugs

  9. Lovely, lovely, lovely! So heart-felt..I loved this post!
    The best for you in your new life back home.

  10. Mabrook on your move home. I've lived in Lebanon and while I'm so glad to be back in the States there are times I really miss when I want to pick up something to eat on the way home and not a falafel or shawarma place in sight! ;)

  11. I just made these brownies and they were so fudgy, moist, and delicious! I highly recommend them.


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