It's not every day that you come across a brownie recipe that completely knocks your socks off. In fact, it's pretty rare, especially if you're a die-hard chocoholic like me who craves dark chocolate from time to time. Sometimes I'll have a brownie or make some brownies and they're too mild, as if they taste more like sugar than chocolate. Or sometimes I'll think it's a good idea to have a brownie frosted with chocolate frosting, like that will make the brownie more brownie-y...
That's really never the case. It actually tends to have the opposite effect: I feel like I'm eating a slice of cake and when I want a brownie, chances are I DON'T WANT CHOCOLATE CAKE. We've had this conversation before, I know.
But then I came across these. And they are everything.
Dark, decadent, rich, chewy & thick and over-the-top chocolaty, these are by far my new favorite brownies. They don't need a darn thing except a light dusting of powdered sugar on top (and even that is optional), and if you're feeling fancy, pour yourself a glass of milk or top one off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Ugh, brownies. When you do them right, they're not at all like cake. Trust me.
Gorgeous photo by Shelby Del Vecchio
Adapted from Baking Illustrated
5 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed
3 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (5 oz) all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 9-inch square pan with baking spray and line with parchment paper, ensuring there is a 1/2-inch overhang on one side. Spray with baking spray.
In a double-boiler or in the microwave in increments, gently melt the chocolates and butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Whisk in the cocoa and espresso powder and set aside to cool slightly.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt until combined. Whisk the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture, then use a wooden spoon to stir in the flour until just mixed. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, spread into the corners, and spread the surface evenly with a spoon or offset spatula.
Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, until the brownies are puffy, slightly cracked and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.
Let cool completely or, if you're like me, let cool for 20 minutes, remove the brownies from the pan using the parchment and serve while they're still warm.