Only the Best Brownie Recipe... EVER!
In fact, I made this recipe twice already. The first time I followed the recipe, but couldn't get ahold of Dutch-Process Cocoa from my local grocery store, so I used the plain ol' unsweetened stuff. The brownies were good but they weren't great, but I could see the potential. The chocolate flavor in my first batch was just too strong and acidic. So that lead me on my hunt to find Dutch-Process Cocoa so that I could recreate the recipe EXACTLY. I finally found it at Cost Plus World Market. The brand is called Droste.
The difference between Dutch-Process and other cocoa powders is that it has been treated with an alkalizing agent that modifies its color and gives it a milder taste. It has a neutral pH and isn't as acidic as well. But beware for those of you looking to switch to Dutch-process in your other recipes... You cannot use Dutch-process cocoa in recipes that use baking soda as the leavening agent because the baking soda relies on the acidity of the cocoa to activate it. You must use it in recipes that call for baking powder (rather than baking soda) for leavening.
The unfortunate part of the dutching process is that it removes the antioxidants from the chocolate, sometimes up to 90% are removed in a heavy dutching process. Oh well! I guess that means I will still have to eat my square of dark chocolate after I enjoy my brownies... darn! But really, are we truly eating brownies for the antioxidants? I don't think so.
Anyway, back to the brownies! The second round went fantastic! The brownies had an excellent chocolate flavor and by heating the butter and sugar together before adding it to the batter, it allows for the sugar to rise to the top during the baking process and gives you that awesome shiny, crackling top. What's even better about these brownies? You don't even have to get out the mixer! Love it!
Fudge BrowniesFrom King Arthur Flour
Makes 24 brownies
1 cup unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp espresso powder
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached AP Flour
1 1/4 cups Dutch-Process Cocoa Powder
2 cups chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9x13 baking pan with a light layer of baking spray.
In a large bowl crack eggs and whisk in cocoa, baking powder, salt, espresso powder and vanilla.
In a small saucepan, over low heat, melt the butter. Add in sugar and stir to combine. Heat the butter and sugar mixture for a couple more minutes on the stove just until it is hot (110-120 degrees, not bubbling). You can do this process in the microwave as well. The mixture will become shiny as you heat it. This process is what helps the sugar distribute more and gives you that shiny, crackly top.
Add the warm sugar/butter mixture into the egg/cocoa mixture and stir until smooth. Add the flour and chocolate chips and stir until smooth. If you want the chips to remain solid chunks in your brownie and not melt into the batter, allow the batter to cool for 10-20 minutes before stirring in the chips.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake on the middle rack for 30-35 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out with very moist crumbs, but no batter. Allow them to cool on a rack before cutting and serving.