It’s been a long time since I’ve tried a brownie recipe with chocolate (as opposed to cocoa powder only), but I guess it has also been a long time since you have heard from me. So I’ll start with the new year first!
First, we have moved–and we only just found the wire I need to upload pictures online, so I apologize for the lack of photos of the house. The house is amazing–it is bigger than anything I have ever lived in as an adult (i.e., that I was paying for 😉 ) and it seems like I can find a space for anything at the moment.
Of course my mom took one look at the boxes in the garage and opined that we needed to build an addition, so check back with me in a week or 2 and see if I am still feeling so spacious.
But in the meantime, everything from the last house has been put away, which means that my kitchen is fully functional, but also that I am still unpacking kitchen/dining stuff that was packed away at the previous 2 residences. I still have not found all my cookbooks, for example, or teacups (does anyone still use teacups? I am strictly a ginourmous mug girl, but I hold on to the matching teacups in case someone’s grandmother comes to dine I guess). We are also still waiting on various stuff, both in the kitchen and in the rest of the house. We chose to move in as soon as it passed occupancy rather than wait for it to be totally finished as we did not want to move in the middle of John’s semester, after classes had started. So I am missing a hood, some cupboards where they messed up the fridge, and my desk in the kitchen is not very functional as it is waaaaay too high. And we are missing some doorknobs and doorstops, which I find kind of random, but whatever.
Let’s face it: without pictures you are all getting kind of bored anyway. So on to the brownies.
Every Christmas I get loads of cookbooks, through gifts and gift money. One in the latter category this year was Baked, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, which I had become intrigued by after reading about it on Smitten Kitchen. Apparently they are quite famous for their brownies, which have been raved about by everyone from Oprah to America’s Test Kitchen. But that was not what sold me on making them–it was actually the picture.
Every chocolate-based brownie I have seen looks fudgy. I know some people love this, but if it seems kind of wet and reminiscent of brownie batter to me, then it is not my thing. I discovered earlier this year that I really love cocoa-based brownies, which are chewier, apparently because they get their fat from butter, as opposed to cocoa butter. Anyway, the Baked picture looked very chewy, not so wet and fudgy. And plus they are famous, so I had to give them a try.
They are as advertised.
A little fudgy but really chewy. Absolutely fabulous. Definitely the best chocolate-based brownies I have ever made. I think mine might be a little underbaked, but they are still quite good.
The Baked Brownie
Adapted from Baked, Matt Lewis & Renato Poliafito
1 1/4 cups AP flour
1 t salt
2 T cocoa powder (I used Scharffenberger–quality is important here, they like Valrhona)
11 oz bittersweet chocolate (I used 70% cacoa)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 t instant espresso
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
5 large eggs, room temperature
2 t vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 9 X 13 pan with nonstick spray and line it with parchment paper.
Sift together the flour, salt and cocoa powder. Set aside.
Put a large, heatproof bowl above a saucepan of simmering water and place the chocolate, butter and espresso powder into it. Whisk it smooth as it melts. Turn off the heat but leave the bowl over the water and add the sugars to the chocolate. Whisk it smooth again. Remove from the saucepan and set aside to cool to room temperature.
Whisk 3 of the eggs into the chocolate mixture. Only whisk until smooth. Add the remaining 2 eggs and whisk smooth again–do not over-stir. Whisk in the vanilla. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture and, using a spatula, gently fold it together. When just a few spots of flour are visible, scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth the top.
Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating front to back halfway through. Begin paying attention toward the end–you do not want overbaked brownies. Mine took about 32 minutes. They are done when a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let the brownies cool completely before cutting into squares.
You had me at “brownie”!
(And congrat’s on being in the new kitchen!)
Congrats on the move and thanks for sharing these rich & heavenly looking brownies!
That Girl says
Yay for the move!
noble pig says
Yeah you’re in! That’s awesome Laura.
And those brownies look very nice and chocolatey! Yum.
Liz Stambaugh says
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Robin Sue says
Horray! You are in your new house- good for you! The brownies look fantastic too!
a little fudgy and a lot chewy is what i prefer as well, and these look stellar. welcome back, and i hope you’re used to your new place by now!
I’m glad you are finally in your home!! The brownies look great. Everyone seems to be thinking brownies lately. Even me!
SoCal Pastry Chef says
This is sooo true… I can’t remember when I baked brownies using chocolate and not powder.
Hmmm, now I’m curious and will have to try.
OK… LOVE the pics of the house. I can’t wait to have one of my own.
Damn this apartment! 🙁
Nah… it’s my home for the moment.
Welcome back to blogland!
I really need to bake a dessert tomorrow (was supposed to be the weekend, then last night, then today…) so I have something to stick in Josh’s school lunch, but here is why I am always putting it off: the Baked bakery is 5 minutes from my house. And yes, it is REALLY good. A little pricey for me to go there with much frequency — hence I do actually bother baking things myself even though I’m usually feeling lazy — but we sure love them. Next time you get out this way you’re going to have to stay 5 days so we can visit all the places whose recipes you’re cooking… (Hope that’s soon)
Thanks for all the nice words, everyone. The kitchen counters are ALMOST clear–YEA! I am sending the brownies–much as I loved them–in to John’s work because I am itching to play some more (never mind that the house is still a wreck).
Amy: Give me the time and the money and I could eat myself silly where you are! But think of all the things I have learned to cook since I live in the culinary middle of nowhere. 😉
Butter, chocolate, chewy? I can’t think of any reason not to make these!
The Duo Dishes says
Underbaked brownies are awesome! All that fall apart chocolate goodness literally melts in your motuh. Sinful!
I made these for a customer, and they were (according to her) a hit! Thank you for sharing.
I do have a question about chocolate–do you prefer Scharffenberger, and why?
Linda: I do, although I would never claim to be a big chocolate expert or to have the most selection (or money for some of the imported options) in the world. Anyway, I prefer Scharffenberger because it smells fruity to me–it has those complex undertones that you always read about with wine, olive oil and chocolate but which I can rarely detect. But I detect them in Scharffenberger, especially in the cocoa powder (confession: I have never tried Valrhona–a friend just sent me some to compare). I also like that their semi is 60% and their bitter 70% (approx for each)–I like my chocolate to be pretty dark, although there certainly are instances where I choose the semi over the bitter. I also like that because they are American they are, for me at least, affordable (compared to an import).
And no Scharffenberger pays me nothing. I doubt they even know I exist. 🙂