By Robin Clark + Melissa Lee
Taiwan is a melting pot. We were ruled by the Japanese government for fifty years. The arrival of the Japanese in 1895 brought an array of ingredients ranging from seaweed and raw fish to tempura and miso. Most of our elders speak Japanese, and Japanese food is my comfort food. When I was little, tempura was a treat that I looked forward to indulging in every time my dad or grandma took me to a nice Japanese restaurant. I can never resist the crunchy feeling of a tempura shrimp in my mouth. Never! Now I am in my thirties, and those crunchy treats bring me back to my childhood. Every time I see a plate of tempura shrimp, my eyes light up with joy and excitement.
Brownies were a novelty for me, but for Robin, they were a huge part of her childhood and spark happy memories. Just like tempura is my weakness, brownies are Robin’s weakness. She also loves fried food. “If you fry it, I will eat it,” she said. So here we are, the tempura brownie—an Asian twist on an American confectionary classic. You can’t go wrong!
Prep Time: 45 minutes total
Cook Time: 20–30 minutes for the first bake, 5 minutes to fry
Feeds 6 People
List of the tools and special equipments
- Chef’s knife
- Chopping board
- Dry and wet measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Mixing bowl
- Loaf pan
- Resting rack
- Ice cream or cookie scoop
- Slotted spoon
- Rubber spatula
- KitchenAid Stand Mixer with whisk attachments
- Fryer or a deep pot with canola oil
125 grams (4.5 ounces) 70% dark chocolate
85 grams (6 tablespoons) Butter
150 grams (¾ cup) Sugar
40 grams (¼ cup) Flour
25 grams (3 tablespoons) Cocoa powder
½ tsp Salt
1 ¾ cups All purpose flour
1 ½ cup Ice water
¼ cup Cocoa powder (optional)
To make the brownies
- Melt the chocolate and butter in a small saucepan, whisk until glossy and smooth.
- Beat the eggs and sugar in a mixer with the whisk attachment until light and fluffy. The mixture should be pale yellow.
- Add in the melted chocolate mixture. Mix until combined.
- Combine the flour, cocoa powder, and salt in a bowl.
- Add the dry ingredients mixture to the mixer.
- Mix just until combined and a smooth batter is formed.
- Spray a loaf pan liberally with non-stick spray.
- Add in the brownie batter.
- Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20–30 minutes. (You want them to be slightly underbaked, so they are easier to scoop later.)
- Let the brownies cool completely then scoop brownie balls with a cookie scoop.
To make the tempura batter
- Preheat fryer to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Beat egg in a bowl until smooth.
- Add the ice water and whisk to combine.
- Add the flour and cocoa and whisk lightly to combine. Do NOT overwork the batter.
- Working in batches, dip the brownie balls in the batter and then carefully place them in the oil.
- Fry until crispy.
Trust me, you’ll eat these all in one sitting.
Melissa recommends Valrhona Noir Guanja 70% dark chocolate for this recipe. It’s bittersweet and elegant!
For a less chocolatey dish you can use just flour in the tempura batter.
These go great with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or even powdered sugar. If you want to add another playful component to this dessert, please try our soy caramel! They are BFFs just like Robin and Melissa!
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Here are the Amazon affiliate links for you to order the ingredients and tools to create this delicious dish.