Not delicious, however, are the brownies. They are often flat, dry and minuscule, and they seem to cost twice the price of the more traditional and delicious desserts. In my experience they almost always disappoint.
I was pretty convinced that Switzerland could not do brownies—but that was before I found a recipe for Basler Schoggitorf.
I'm going to go ahead and say it: these are better than brownies.
They are mushy and rich and they do evoke their name, torf, which is German for peat. The recipe is originally from Betty Bossi's Schwiizer Chuchi, but I have never seen these chocolatey miracles anywhere else, neither in bakeries nor homemade. A cursory internet search revealed a few recipes and blog posts, but no further information on their history or if they are connected with a specific event or time of year.
I like to think that the Swiss are baking these superior brownies in secret and laughing every time they see a hapless chocaholic like me order a brownie at a cafe counter.
250 g dark chocolate, chopped
75 g butter
75 g sugar
75 g flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp ground coffee
Preheat oven to 160 C / 325 F / gas mark 3
Melt the chocolate over a bain-marie. Let cool slightly. Whisk in the butter.
Separate your eggs.
Put the whites into a large, clean bowl, they will eventually be whipped to soft peaks.
In another large bowl, whisk together the yolks and sugar until pale yellow.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and coffee.
Add the melted chocolate mixture to the egg yolks and whisk well. Using a spatula, gently fold in the flour mixture.
Add the pinch of salt to your egg whites, then whip them to soft peaks. Using a spatula, gently fold them into the rest of the batter.
Scrape into a parchment lined square baking form (20 cm or 8 inch) and bake 25 minutes, or until the top is set.
- Use the best quality (Swiss) chocolate that you can find.
- For the ground coffee—just pierce a Nespresso capsule and use the grounds inside.
- The original recipe called for the whites to be whipped to stiff peaks, but I preferred the softer, mushier texture that the softly whipped whites provided.
- I think these are best with super soft, underbaked centers, but if you prefer a bit more tooth, leave them in the oven a bit longer.
- They taste great out of the fridge.
- They also taste great with ice cream.
- And as a midnight snack.
- And for breakfast.