For those of you who don't waste copious amounts of time reading food blogs, I'm talking about the new cook book out there: "Baked New Frontiers in Baking". Their brownies have gotten a lot of attention, they were featured in Oprah's magazine "O" as a 'favorite thing' and awarded 'best brownie' by America's Test Kitchen.
Being a very loyal fan of "America's Test Kitchen", I ran out and bought the book. There are a lot of recipes in there I'm dying to try, but I knew the first one had to be the "Baked Brownies". This recipe is killer. It calls for 11 ounces of chocolate, a whole cup of butter, 5 eggs. Yikes. These better be good.
I broke out the good stuff - threw 11 ounces of my highest quality chocolate, butter and instant espresso powder in a bowl over simmering water and waited...
Once everything is melted and smooth, you add your sugars and stir, leaving the bowl over the simmering water with the heat turned off.
Then you remove the bowl from the water and add the eggs. First 3 then the remaining 2, being careful not to over-mix.
Sprinkle your dry ingredients over the mixture, and gently 'fold' with a large rubber spatula.
Again, you want to be careful not to over-mix it - in fact, the recipe says to stop when you still have streaks of flour remaining in your batter otherwise your brownies will be cakey.
Pour into a greased 13x9 inch pan (I foiled mine to make it easier to remove them),and bake for approximately 30 minutes, checking frequently. If your toothpick comes out clean, you've over-baked them. You want there to be a few moist crumbs sticking to it. (I started checking mine at 25 minutes, and then every 2 minutes thereafter...)
Then you allow to cool before cutting. *Note: If you have a large dog who loves brownies and does not hesitate to sample anything and everything left on your counters, block your dog's access with a large cutting board. It works.
Nice glossy crust on top of the brownies? Check. Fudgey, moist and dense texture? Check.
I like to take pictures from 'above' standing on my dining room chair with the brownies on the table. Here's the view from up there. Damn, she's relentless.
The verdict? These brownies are a-m-a-z-i-n-g! Worth every ounce of chocolate and every fat gram. Their chocolate flavor is intense, but not overly-so, they are delicious. Dress them up and serve them for dessert with ice cream at your next dinner party. They're decadent enough.
Recipe for The Baked Brownie
(Source: Baked New Frontiers in Baking)
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11 ounces dark chocolate (60% to 72% cacao), coarsely chopped
1 cup butter, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tsp. instant espresso powder
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9x13 inch glass or light colored metal baking pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa and salt together.
Put the chocolate, butter and instant espresso powder in a large bowl and set it over saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Burn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be room temperature.
Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining 2 eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat at this stage or the brownies will be cakey.
Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a large rubber spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour into the chocolate until just a bit of flour mixture is visible.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the centre of the oven for about 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out with a few moist crumbs. Let brownies cool completely, then cut into squares.