Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Intense Chocolate Brownies

I have written before about how brownies are not the place to cut corners, but it bears repeating.  In quite a few recipes I try to cut the sugar or the fat a little - or at least the salt.  Brownies, however, are not that kind of recipe, Especially not rich, decadent brownies with the word intense in the title. Admittedly, it is a lot of chocolate, a lot of sugar, and a lot of eggs - but these are worth every dime.  If you are looking for a cheap and cheerful, 5-minutes-to-the-oven brownie, go buy yourself a Betty Crocker mix from the store.

This recipe is from a cookbook I picked up recently: Joanne Chang's Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston's Flour Bakery + Cafe Joanne mentions that the ideal brownie is somewhere in between chocolate cake and fudge and I absolutely agree.  Have you ever salivated over a tray of brownies in a bakery but just been so damn disappointed?  Dry and cake-like, tastes only remotely like chocolate, and a covered with a thick smudge of meh frosting so you won't notice.  In fact, 4 out of 5 times, a brownie with frosting is just not worth it.  A perfect bakery brownie is a rare and beautiful thing, and in case you don't have the time or money to visit Flour Bakery and Cafe in Boston, just make them at home with this recipe!

This is the first brownie recipe I have deviated from using cocoa - with outstanding results.  These are the best brownies I have ever made or tasted.  I added in the cayenne pepper because I wanted more intensity (trivia time for Bill Murray fans - what movie?).

Intense Chocolate Brownies
adapted from Flour Bakery's Intense Chocolate Brownies

5.5 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
5 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Bring water in a small saucepan to simmer.   Place chocolate in a heat-proof bowl and set over top, just above but not touching the water.  Allow to melt slowly.

While you are waiting on the chocolate, melt the butter in a small saucepan.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and cayenne pepper together in a medium sized bowl.  Set aside.

Once the chocolate has completely melted, remove from heat and whisk in the melted butter.

Crack the eggs into a large bowl. Using a stand mixer or hand-mixer, slowly mix the sugar into the eggs, for at least one minute or until thick and frothy.  Fold in the chocolate mixture.

Using a spatula, fold in the flour mixture, stirring gently but being cautious not to over-mix.  I threw in a handful of chocolate chips here.

Grease or line a 9x13 inch pan with parchment.  Using a firm spatula (batter will be thick and sticky), move batter from bowl into pan and bake at 325 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Joanne recommends checking starting at 20 minutes - I say safely start checking between 25 and 30 minutes.  You want a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the middle to come out with a few moist crumbs attached, but not liquid batter.  Keep checking every few minutes.  My batch took 35 minutes.

No comments:

Post a Comment