Sunday, August 11, 2013

Fudgy cocoa brownies

What kind of brownie person are you? Do you like yours cake-y or fudgy? I'm more of a fudgy brownie girl. If I wanted something cake-y, then I'd eat cake. I've made a bunch of brownie recipes before, including my favorite brownies, these salted fudge brownies and even fudgy egg white brownies. My baking friend Averie has praised Alice Medrich's brownie recipe multiple times, and I thought that I'd finally bake them to see what the fuss was all about.

I was a bit skeptical when I read the instructions and saw that the butter, sugar, cocoa powder and salt had to be melted over a double boiler. The brownie recipes I've tried (and loved) previously all needed direct heat, so this double boiler method was new to me. Regardless, I followed the directions and kept my fingers crossed. I got a bit worried when the mixture looked grainy and slightly lumpy before adding the eggs, but it became smooth and shiny again after I continued adding more ingredients.

I have to say that these brownies were fantastic. They truly were thick and fudgy as advertised, and they didn't even require any type of leavening ingredient like baking soda or baking powder. Addie had a small sample and immediately asked for another serving (nice try, kid) after she shoveled her piece into her mouth.

These brownies would be wonderful with some add-ins as well. If you're a nut fan, you could add those. Or, you could add peppermint patties, caramels, chocolate candies... the list goes on. Thanks, Averie, for introducing me to this awesome brownie recipe and method. Although these brownies are slightly more time-consuming than most (since the double boiler takes a while to melt all the butter), the results are definitely worth waiting for.

Fudgy cocoa brownies
  • 10 tablespoons (1 and 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 and 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Directions 
Preheat your oven to 325° F.

Either 1) generously grease an 8x8 inch square baking pan, or 2) line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil, making sure to leave an overhang on the two opposite sides. I used a 3rd alternative and baked it in my ungreased silicone 8x8 inch baking pan.

In a large heatproof bowl, combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt. Set the bowl over a pot of simmering water (you're essentially creating a double boiler).

Using a whisk or a rubber spatula, occasionally stir the mixture until the butter has melted and the mixture is smooth. The sugar may not have melted yet, and that is perfectly fine. The mixture will not be completely shiny and glossy.

Turn off the stove and remove the bowl from the heat. Allow the mixture to cool slightly.

Using your rubber spatula, whisk in the vanilla. Then individually add the eggs and whisk vigorously after each addition. Once the batter appears shiny and glossy, gently incorporate the flour until it is completely incorporated. Finally, beat the mixture for 40 additional strokes.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula or wooden spoon.

Bake your preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with some moist crumbs and/or batter. You do not want to overbake these.

Turn off the oven, remove the pan and allow it to cool completely before cutting and serving.

The brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for about 5 days.

Note: I doubled the recipe and baked for 20 minutes, and they came out perfectly.

Yield: About 16 brownies

Source: Food 52; via Averie Cooks

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