This is the same recipe that I tried previously. I did a few things differently:
- I added 1 tsp of espresso powder. Results: not a noticeable coffee flavor, but it’s possible it enriched the chocolate flavor. Would try again, but increase amount.
- Baked in a smaller pan with the goal of creating taller brownies. Results: the edge pieces were tall, but the center pieces rose and then collapsed like a cake does.
- Used an electric hand mixer instead of just manually stirring it on the stove. Results: much less sore arm.
Overall: these are still really amazing brownies and I would again recommend this as a great recipe.
Just a general reminder: this is not a recipe blog, but rather a place for me to record my baking efforts and personal thoughts and notes as I make things. For easier reference guides, please check the original links I post.
I have a vague hope of getting through all the recipes I’ve saved in my “want to bake” folders. One of the earliest was this classic brownie, adapted from a Cook’s Illustrated recipe. I can’t remember the last time I made brownies from scratch, if I’ve ever even done so. Brownie mixes are pretty straightforward, and usually yield good results. So to go to the effort to make it in a fancy way, it better be worth it.
How to make:
- Prep: preheat oven to 325. Line 13×9 baking dish with aluminum foil and spray.
- Toast 1 cup chopped nuts on a baking sheet in oven. (I used 1/2 cup walnuts and 1/2 cup pecans.)
- Combine dry ingredients: 1 1/4 cups cake flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 3/4 tsp baking powder.
- Potentially tricky part: melt 12 tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) butter and 6 oz unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped, in a pan on the stove. Hot take (lol): I know you’re supposed to use a “double boiler” in a stove chocolate situation. However, I’ve always found that if you melt the butter first, chop chocolate finely, and keep the heat very very low, you can avoid the fussiness of a double boiler and just deal with the whole thing directly in a saucepan. (Also, I didn’t have 6 oz of unsweetened chocolate, so I used about 3 oz of unsweetened and 3 oz of semisweet chips).
- Once chocolate is completely smooth, remove from heat and add 2 1/4 cups sugar. (In theory I could have reduced the sugar, since I had semisweet chocolate… but I didn’t haha).
- Add 4 eggs and 1 tbsp vanilla extract, whisk until thoroughly combined.
- Add dry ingredients in 3 additions, folding until completely mixed.
- Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth. Sprinkle nuts on top.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until toothpick comes out mostly clean. (I ended up going for a full 40 minutes.)
- Remove and cool for at least 2 hours before removing from pan. (This seemed like a lot… I was able to remove with no observed ill effects after about an hour.)
- These are some good brownies. My husband, who is generally a snob about chocolate and pretends he doesn’t like it, ate three of these and pronounced them edible.
- The most annoying part was that it took a little more elbow grease than I wanted to actually mix it all together. My arm hurt.
- I would DEFINITELY make these again. I am happily taking a box to my advisor as a thank-you present, and I’m pretty pumped about how much her kids are going to like them.
- Probably would be just as good without the nuts, I might try that next time.
- I need to bust out my hand mixer. I’ve gotten very dependent on the stand mixer, which is generally preferable. However, for this particular recipe, given the amount of mixing in a saucepan on the stove, the electric hand mixer would have been perfect.
Jealous background doggy