You all know I am ever in search of the perfect brownie. I study recipes. I try them, I tweak them. Ultimately, I keep looking. But now. Now, I have found one that at the very least is a keeper. It may, in fact, be The One. I’ve made this recipe about four times now. I’ve made the full recipe; I’ve cut it in half. The secret? The one thing that makes the brownies get that high gloss, that look on top as though the chocolate froze in time in a delicious lava-like flow?
It seems to be related to melting the butter and sugar before mixing into the other ingredients. I’ve melted the butter before and even melted the chocolate. But sugar gets hotter and stays hotter. In this case, it allows the chocolate chips to melt into a wonderful gooey substance.
I found the recipe here thanks to my sister-in-law, Kelly. I tried the recipe with and without chocolate chips. I decided I liked the recipe better with the chips in. In the end, the only thing I changed is that I don’t put in espresso powder. I’ve used espresso powder before and sometimes it makes the dish taste like coffee, other times it adds a nice unidentifiable bottom richness (such as can be found in tiramisu). However by and large, I just don’t need those bottom notes where chocolate is concerned.
Here is the recipe cut in half for baking in a small toaster oven:
1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/8th cups sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup Flour
1 cup chocolate chips
Melt butter and sugar in pan or in the microwave—get hot enough to melt chocolate chips–some of the sugar will be dissolved in the butter, but it won’t be boiling. While the sugar heats, crack the 2 eggs into a bowl, and beat them with the cocoa, baking powder and vanilla till smooth. This is a little stickier than it sounds.
Add the hot butter/sugar mixture, stirring until smooth.
Add the flour and chips, again stirring until smooth. Note: If you want the chips to remain intact in the baked brownies, rather than melting in, let the batter cool in the bowl for about 20 minutes before stirring in the chips.
Make sure your toaster oven is preheated to 350. Put the brownies in an 8 by 8 or 9 by 9 pan. Bake for about 20. During the last five minutes, you might want to turn the oven down to 325 depending on your heating elements! Cool and cut. They are very, very good brownies. Not gooey, but incredibly moist.
I highly recommend them.
I haven’t tried any of the products for sale at the King Arthur Flour site, but I was intrigued. They have great pictures and some other intriguing recipes.