Saturday, February 5, 2011

Best Brownie Recipe

Do you have a dessert weakness?  Is there one sweet that really floats your boat? 

Is there one tasty treat that you can't resist?  For me that weakness is brownies. 

It wasn't always the case.  For a long time chocolate chip cookies were my weakness.  Then one day brownies became my desire.  Call me fickle, but brownies are now my favorite.
Not just any brownie will do.  I like my brownies chocolaty, moist and chewy.  While I like nuts, I prefer my brownie to be nut free.  Most of all, I like my brownie warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Oh,yeah, Baby!  That's what I'm talking about! 

Trouble is, brownies must be a once in a great while treat.  You know what I mean.  It's a slippery slope.  You eat one brownie, then another and before you know it the whole pan is gone!
With all this talk about how much I love brownies you'd think I would have a favorite brownie recipe, right?  Well, I don't.  No sirree, I do not have a favorite brownie recipe.  "It's time for Donna to have a favorite brownie recipe," you say?  I agree.  So here's my plan.  I've done some research and picked three recipes I think are contenders for my favorite brownie recipe.  They are...

Drum roll please.....

In no particular order....
Intense Chocolate Brownies from Flour, Spectacular Recipes from Flour Bakery + Cafe
The Baked Brownie, from Baked
The Best Fudge Brownie Ever, from King Arthur Flour

My plan is to bake each of these contenders, post about the baking process and resulting brownies here, taste them, and finally, choose the one that will become my favorite brownie recipe.  Does that sound like fun?  Oh, yeah!

Let's get started with the Intense Chocolate Brownies from Flour Bakery + Cafe in Boston.  I'm using the recipe from Joanne Chang's lovely cookbook, Flour-Spectacular Recipes from Boston's Flour Bakery + Cafe. 

In the introduction to the recipe Joanne describes these brownies as "not as light and fluffy as a cake, not as dense and candy like as fudge, but something moist and deep and dark and rich."  She also cautions not to over bake, "you want the knife to have wet crumbs clinging to it to ensure they have the correct level of fudginess".  Sounds like the perfect brownie for me.  Let's see how they come out.

Intense Chocolate Brownies
The Ingredients
Ingredients
  • 5 1/2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 2 1/2 oz bittersweet chocolate (62-70% cacao), chopped
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 T unsalted butter, melted
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
Directions
Position rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325°F.  Butter and flour a 9"-x-13" baking pan.  I added some parchment paper to the pan to be sure I would be able to get the brownies out easily.

The recipe next gives direction to melt the chocolate over simmering water and then whisk in the melted butter.  I decided to melt the butter and chocolate together in my 1000 watt microwave, set on 50% power.  This worked out perfectly.  I set the chocolate and butter aside to cool slightly.

Chocolate and Butter Melted in Microwave
Next, place the eggs in the bowl of your mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.  On low speed, slowly beat in the sugar for about 1 minute total, or until frothy.

Whisking Eggs and Sugar Together
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Using a spatula, gently fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture until thoroughly combined.

Folding Dry Ingredients into Chocolate Mixture
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread in an even layer with the spatula (the batter will be thick).
Ready for the Oven
Bake for 30-35 minute, checking after 20 minutes to be sure you don't overcook the brownies.  A knife inserted in the center should still have moist bits on it when removed.  I baked my brownies for 30 minutes, but your oven may be different.

The result...

...a lovely, chocolaty, moist, dense brownie that makes me want more.  These are going into the freezer-FAST!  I need to be protected from myself!!

Click the link for the printable Intense Chocolate Brownie recipe.
Stay tuned for the next installment in my search for a favorite brownie recipe.  In the meantime, enjoy this one.  It is a delicious brownie!







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