Brownies (America’s Test Kitchen)

 

Adapted From Brown Eyed Baker– ‘Chewy Brownies’ (Cooks Illustrated, March and April 2010)
http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2010/03/09/chewy-brownies/

Makes: 24 (2 x 2 inch) brownies

Verdict: A dense bar, far richer than cocoa brownies; these boast fudgy interiors, crisp chewy edges and pockets of gooey melted chocolate.

I’ve come to realise that the two most popular things to bake, and yet also perhaps the most under-rated in terms of difficulty, are the Brownie and the Chocolate Chip Cookie. For the past few months I have been trying to find the ‘perfect’ brownie recipe, ploughing my way through numerous recipes on numerous websites and food blogs. I finally settled on two brownie recipes (and none, yet, for the ultimate chocolate chip cookie); this one, that uses chocolate, and another, which makes use of the more easily available cocoa.

These brownies require only a single bowl.

INGREDIENTS

1/3 cup cocoa
1½ teaspoons instant coffee granules (optional)
½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons boiling water
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2½ cups (17½ ounces) sugar [I reduced this to 1 3/4 cups]
1¾ cups (8¾ ounces) all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon salt
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into ½-inch pieces [I cut each square of chocolate into four smaller pieces]

METHOD

  • Grease, flour and line a 9×13-inch baking pan with foil. Let the sides overhang a bit so that the brownies can be easily lifted out of the hot pan to cool, once baked
  • Using a fork, whisk the cocoa, espresso powder if using, and boiling water together in large bowl until smooth
  • Add the unsweetened chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted
  • Whisk in the melted butter and oil (mixture may look curdled)
  • Add eggs, yolks, and vanilla and continue to whisk until smooth and homogeneous.
  • Whisk in sugar until fully incorporated
  • Add flour and salt and mix with rubber spatula until combined
  • Fold in the bittersweet chocolate pieces
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes at 375F/190C or until a wooden skewer inserted comes out partially clean; with moist crumbs attached. Do not bake until skewer comes out completely clean


Notes:

  1. I used bittersweet chocolate for the whole recipe since unsweetened chocolate wasn’t available, with no apparent change in the taste, texture or appearance.
  2. Leave the brownies overnight at room temperature for ease in cutting the next day.
  3. Store the brownies in an air-tight container to retain the freshness and ‘gooey-ness’.

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