Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Best Brownie Recipe #3

Today I'm sharing the third contender for my favorite brownie recipe.  I'd say it's a very good thing we are at the end of this quest because my hips can't take much more of this brownie sampling!   I'll be selecting the winner on Friday.

As a reminder, contender #1 is the Intense Chocolate Brownies and favorite brownie contender #2 is The Best Fudge Brownie Ever.

The third contender is from the cookbook Baked, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, owners of the Baked bakery in the red Hook section of Brooklyn, New York.  In the introduction to the recipe in the cookbook, they tell us that this recipe was awarded best brownie honors by both America's Test Kitchen and the Today show.  I have very high expectations for this brownie!

OK, let's go...

The Baked brownie Ingredients
The Baked Brownie
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 T dark, unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 11 oz dark chocolate (60-72% cacao) coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Butter a 9x13-inch glass or light-colored metal baking pan.  I used the same light-colored metal baking pan used for the other two brownie recipes and added a parchment paper sling for easy brownie removal.  (This turned out to be a little problematic this time, but more about that later.)

In a medium bowl whisk the flour, salt, and cocoa powder together.

The Dry Ingredients Whisked Together

Next the chocolate, butter and espresso powder (I used instant coffee because I couldn't find espresso powder in the grocery store) need to be melted together. 
Chocolate, Butter and Granulated Coffee

The Baked directions call for this to be done over simmering water, but I chose to do it in my microwave. I combined the chocolate, butter and instant coffee granules in a glass bowl.  I set the microwave at 50% power and checked the mixture after 1 minute.  I stirred the chocolate mixture and microwaved it again for another 1 minute.  It required another 30 seconds after that for a total of 2 1/2 minutes of microwaving at 50% power (1000 watt microwave). 

The Chocolate Mixture After 2 1/2 Minutes in the Microwave

Next I added the sugars, whisking to completely combine. 

Adding Sugars to the Melted Chocolate Mixture

Remembering the instructions from the King Arthur bakers to heat the chocolate and sugar twice to ensure a crispy crust (and boy, do I love a crispy crust on my brownies) I decided to pop the bowl back into the microwave for another 1 minute at 50% power.  This was NOT recommended in the Baked recipe, so take this step at your own risk.

With the chocolate mixture at room temperature, add 3 eggs, whisking to combine.  Add the remaining two eggs and vanilla and whisk to combine, being careful not to overbeat or the brownies will be cakey (and we don't want cakey).

Next Add the Eggs and Vanilla
Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture and using a spatula (they explicitly say NOT to use a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture until just a bit of the flour is still visible.

Fold In the Dry Ingredients

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. 
Here We Go-Ready for the Oven

Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. 
Cool completely before cutting.  You'll see from the picture below, that I had trouble with the parchment paper folding over on top of the brownie batter.  Try as I might, I could not get the parchment paper to stand up, so my brownie crust was covered by the parchment along one side.

The Finished Baked Brownie with the Parchment Paper Snafu
The Baked brownie is delicious!  It is fudgy, moist, chewy and has the crisp, shiny top I love so much.  It also has a hint of coffee flavor.  Yum!

Click the link for the Baked brownie printable recipe.

Oh, my.  Now I must choose a favorite.  The winner will be decided on Friday.  See you then.



  1. The best thing I have discovered is using Reynolds non stick aluminum will never use parchment paper again or butter and flour your pans. The best thing since cream cheese. Try it! You do not need to use anything on the foil as it is non stick. Fantastic!

    1. I agree, the Reynolds non stick aluminum foil is an option as well. I like using parchment paper. I guess it is a personal preference thing.


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