The brownie stands alone

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I have learned that there are two types of people in the world: ones who like cakey brownies and ones who like fudgy brownies. Note: I have not provided an option for people who do not like brownies. This is because those people do not exist. While I do have a great cakey brownie recipe that I’ll share this summer (it calls for fresh zucchini and so in my head is a summer recipe), it’s my fudgy brownie recipe that is a true ace in the hole.

Seriously.

If ever confronted by the devil Charlie Daniels style, I’d wager this recipe for my soul. And. I’d win that shiny brownie pan made out of gold.

Over the years, I’ve searched far and wide for a good brownie recipe and I couldn’t tell you how many recipes I’ve tested and had to toss for one reason or another. This recipe though, it’s fail-proof. Calling for nothing more technologically advanced than a wire whisk and a rubber spatula, I found the original recipe on Chowhound and have since adapted it to fit my own brownie needs.

Because of its simplicity, the key to this recipe are the ingredients and how you combine them. Use. The. Best. You. Can. Find. The best chocolate, the best butter and the best eggs. And, make sure these fantastic ingredients are all at room temperature before you combine them.

While you can use chocolate chips for this recipe, my advice is to chocolate-up and use the good stuff.

Give it a good chop so that it will melt uniformly.

I’m serious here, once you have smooth glossy molten chocolate and butter, turn off the burner and set it aside to cool to room tempurature.

Here is the deal on the espresso/coffee: it’s just there to enhance the flavor of the chocolate, you won’t actually be able to taste it in the brownie. While the original recipe calls for cooled espresso, I don’t happen to have an espresso machine. In the past, I’ve just used instant coffee. Now that we have a cool Keurig machine, I just make a single cup of dark roast. Again, let it cool to room temp before using.

I’ve also done a stout beer reduction and replaced the coffee with it. That’s always fun too.

While the chocolate cools, whisk together sugar, cocoa and salt. Then, beat in the room temp eggs, vanilla and coffee.

Now can you add the chocolate? You bet!

Once combined, FOLD in the flour. Gently, very gently.

These are like the Men’s Warehouse of brownies: I guarantee them!

Brownies

Ingredients

  • 2C superfine sugar
  • 2 TBS unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 ½ t kosher salt
  • 1 C butter
  • 12 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 TBS coffee, espresso
  • 1 TBS vanilla
  • 2 C flour, sifted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Line with parchment and grease a 9X13” baking pan

Over low heat, melt together butter and chopped chocolate. Once melted, set aside until cool.

In large bowl, whisk together sugar, cocoa and salt. Beat in eggs one by one. Mix in vanilla and coffee. Whisk in cooled, melted chocolate and butter mixture. Fold in flour until just combined. Pour batter into prepared baking pan, cook 35-50 minutes until cake tester or toothpick comes out with dry crumbs.

Note: This makes a thick brownie. Often if I am going to use the brownies for hot fudge brownie sundaes or if I need a lot of them, I’ll one-and-a-half the recipe and use a 10X15” jelly roll pan. The brownie will be thinner but in my experience, more uniformly fudgy. Just be sure to adjust the baking time down (start checking at 30 minutes).

Of course, you can add just about anything to theses: nuts, more chocolate, fruit, candy. While less is often more and these brownies stand sturdy on their own, sometimes more is more too.

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