Now, I don't like to talk in absolutes, but...
...without a doubt, there's definitely something wrong with you if you don't think that the Baked Brownie is the finest brownie of all.
I recently used it as the base for Mimosa Brownies, which were most excellent--but really, this is a brownie that doesn't need anything added--and for that reason, I'd like to take a few moments to celebrate the beauty that is the Baked brownie in its purest form.
This is a brownie which is fudgy and chewy but not too extreme in either direction. Each bite is redolent of chocolate, and every bite is indulgently delicious. They're perfect (but it's ok if you don't like the espresso--while I don't necessarily understand what your problem is, they still taste great without).
Here's the recipe. As you can see from the top photo, it's not only CakeSpy-beloved, but gnome-approved.
The Baked Brownie
As seen in Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons dark cocoa powder
- 11 ounces quality dark chocolate (60-72%), chopped coarsely
- 8 ounces butter (2 sticks), cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 tsp instant espresso powder
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 5 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Butter the sides and bottom of a glass or light colored metal pan 9x13x2 pan (I like to lay down a bit of parchment too, for easy removal from the pan).
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, the salt, and cocoa powder.
- Configure a large sized double boiler. Place the chocolate, the butter, and the instant espresso powder in the bowl of the double boiler and stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and combined. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water of the double boiler and add both sugars. Whisk the sugars until completely combined and remove the bowl from the pan. Mixture should be room temperature.
- Add three eggs to the chocolate/butter mixture and whisk until just combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until just combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not over beat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.
- Sprinkle the flour/cocoa/salt mix over the chocolate. Using a spatula (DO NOT USE A WHISK) fold the dry into the wet until there is just a trace amount of the flour/cocoa mix visible.
- Pour the mixture into the pan and smooth the top with your spatula. Bake the brownies for 30 minutes (rotate the pan half-way through baking) and check to make sure the brownies are completely done by sticking a toothpick into the center of the pan. The brownies are done when the toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
- Cool the brownies completely before cutting and serving.