I don’t do many reviews but when one like this rolls around I don’t need to be asked twice. I was lucky enough to be chosen to take part in a new cook book spot light for Joy Wilson, owner, operator and CEO of Joy The Baker. Some of you may remember the review I participated in for Lisa Fains recent book launch called “The Homesick Texan” I had loads of fun doing that one so when Heather from Girlichef asked if I’d be up for another one, I jumped right in. Over the course of four weeks myself and twenty one other bloggers will bake specifically chosen recipes from Joy’s book, on the third week we are set free to choose our own and the fourth week is a review of the book and the delicious treats we have all made.

Joy Wilson is a self taught baker who learned mostly from her father. It seems like he gave her the foundation and she kept building on it to get to where she is today. I’ve never met Joy in person but from reading her blog and following her Facebook posts she seems kinda cool and unpretentious. I’ve seen her post about kitchen fails and things that just don’t work. Wait, she sounds just like us! I’m not here to review Joy but I want to give you an idea of her style and the accolades she’s collected since picking up the camera and hitting the keyboard in 2008.

Best Baking and Dessert Blog 2011 – Saveur
Named one of the top fifty best food blogs in the world by The London Times
Nominated by The Bloggies Best Food Blog for 2010
Named Best Baking Blog by Foodbuzz

Yup….Not too shabby for being self taught. In real estate it’s all about location but for Joy, baking was all about foundation.

Chocolate Fudge Brownies with frosting, was the first recipe in our mission to immerse ourselves in Joy’s Los Angeles kitchen. I like brownies, I do, maybe even love them a little bit, but there’s so many varieties around that if your going to put brownies in a cook book, they better be above any others you’ve tried before. I loved these and I’m actually eating a square as I write this post! I like to browse ingredients before I make something and that gives me a better idea of how the product will end up. Reading through the list of butter, cocoa powder, fine chocolate, brown sugar, chocolate chips and vanilla gave me a pretty good vision of my ideal brownie. Simple and fast to make I’d keep this as my go to brownie recipe.

The basic ingredients foe the ultimate brownies

Oh wait!! I almost forgot to mention that the brownies have another little chocolate friend to keep them company when they’re lounging in the Tupperware. The craziest, chocolatiest butter cream frosting you have ever tasted. Again, reading swiftly through some of the ingredients of butter, cocoa powder, cream and Ovaltine…yes Ovaltine! Giving it that malty chocolate flavor really works well with the brownies. If I was a brownie I’d like to be wearing this chocolate butter cream toupee! I made the quantity below but half the butter cream recipe would be enough. Oh gosh darn it, what am I going to do with all of that leftover frosting?

Rich chocolate fudge brownie frosting
Easy and tasty, chocolate fudge brownies with frosting

Here’s the recipe from Joy The Baker:

3/4 cup of AP flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter
3 ozs of unsweetened good chocolate
1/2 cup of packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8 inch square brownie pan.
In a bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. set aside. Bring about 2 inches of water to a boil in a small pot. In a heatproof bowl melt the butter and 3ozs of chocolate mixing to incorporate. When melted add the sugars and stir. Whisk in eggs, yolk and vanilla. Add the flour mixture mixing well, finally fold in the chocolate chips. Pour into the pan and bake for about 20 minutes. Remove and cool completely before frosting.

For the frosting:

1 1/2 sticks of butter at room temp
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 to 3 cups of sifted powdered sugar
2 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup ovaltine powder

Cream together the butter, cocoa powder and salt for about 3 minutes and then scrape down.
Add the powdered sugar on low speed and then add the milk and vanilla. Scrape down again.
Gradually mix faster until well smooth. In a separate cup mix the cream and Ovaltine together.
Slowly add this to the mixer on low speed scraping down again. Beat until smooth and creamy.
Spread or pipe frosting onto brownie or cakes.
Frosting will last for up to five days in the fridge. Ha ha, theres no way it’ll last five days once you taste it!


This post is part of the Joy the Baker Cookbook Spotlight and Cook-Off sponsored by Hyperionand hosted at girlichef