I’ve made a lot of great brownie recipes, but each one had at least one imperfection. Either they were too thick or thin, too fudgy and gooey, too firm and fudge-like, or too dry around the edges.
And brownies is one of those desserts that when you decide to indulge in such a rich treat, you want to make every bite worth it. I typically wouldn’t make a low-fat brownie, because why eat a brownie if it’s low-fat and won’t possess that buttery, bittersweet chocolate flavor that defines a brownie? I find some of the really good low-fat brownie recipes are almost there, but I always feel like they’re missing something, and therefore don’t satisfy my brownie craving.
Recently, I happened upon a new blog called Cookie and Kate. When I read the description and recipe for her “Very best brownies,” I decided to give them a go. It was unique in that she instructs the baker to brown the butter before mixing in the rest of the ingredients and her recipe calls for fine grain sea salt. The chocolate used for the substance of the brownies is 100% unsweetened cocoa powder and then some semi-sweet, chopped chocolate is mixed in right before the brownies are baked to enhance the chocolate flavor even more and add another textural element, gooifying the brownies more with those spots of delicious chocolate that aren’t completely melted in.
I cut the sugar a bit, as usual, which ended up being the perfect amount. I also used all-purpose flour, as opposed to white-whole wheat called for in the recipe. Although it was said you won’t be able to taste the difference in the final product, I didn’t want to risk that wheaty flavor that might taint the brownies 🙂
So when you bite into one of these delicious treats, you will find a brownie that is amazingly chewy, a little gooey, very moist, and fudgy with a glistening top as well as one that has a deep caramelized flavor (from the browned butter), that combines with dark, rich chocolate and hints of sea salt to make a brownie that you will savor until the last crumb.
And the part that made me over the edge happy was that the edges weren’t dry at all! They had the same moist, chewy texture as the rest of the brownies, but had an added bonus: that crusty edge!
Yield: one 8 inch square pan
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch slices
generous 1 cup granulated sugar
¾ cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted if has become lumpy
½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon espresso powder or very finely ground coffee (optional)
2 cold large eggs
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
⅔ cup unbleached all-purpose flour (can also try white-whole wheat flour)
1 to 2 ounces dark or semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped (or ⅓ cup chocolate chips)
Adapted from Cookie and Kate blog