I was at the Y this morning, and asked Sam how his Christmas went. Conversation evolved, and I mentioned the brownies I made. He asked for the recipe, and here it is. First I'll give the recipe, then the modifications I used on my latest batch.
1 bag (10 to 12 ounces) of bittersweet chocolate chips.
1 bar (4 ounces) unsweetened Baker's chocolate.
1 1/2 sticks of butter (NOT MARGARINE), plus "a bit."
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup chocolate powder, plus "a bit."
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
1 bag (10 to 12 ounces) milk chocolate chips
I must note here that using better quality ingredients will improve the flavor of these brownies. Those typically require paying more, but if you want really good brownies you can't use cheap ingredients.
Another note: when melting your chocolate, you MUST BE SLOW. Brute force in melting will make the chocolate crystallize, and that affects the flavor and texture.
In a double boiler, melt the butter (1.5 sticks) and stir in the sugar (1 cup). Add the unsweetened Baker's chocolate and melt, stirring occasionally. Add bittersweet chocolate (1 bag) and melt, stirring occasionally.
Coat the bottom of a 9" by 13" glass pan with a thin layer of butter. Line with parchment paper, then coat that liberally with another layer of butter. Dust the bottom with chocolate powder. (This is the "plus a bit" for butter and chocolate powder.) Preheat oven to 340 F.
Stir in vanilla (2 tsp). Add eggs (4) one by one, stirring in separately. Stir in salt (1/2 tsp), flour (1 cup), and chocolate powder (1/4 cup). Add in milk chocolate (1 bag), stirring until melted and smooth.
Pour into pan and smooth flat. Bake at 340 for 30 minutes. Place on cooling rack and WAIT UNTIL BROWNIES ARE FULLY COOLED TO ROOM TEMPERATURE BEFORE CUTTING OR REMOVING FROM PAN.
Here are the modifications I used for the batch pictured above:
- I used a 1/2 cup of sugar + the equivalent of a 1/2 cup of Stevia.
- Instead of a full cup of flour, I used 1/2 cup of flour plus 1/4 cup of almond flour. However, the almond flour yields a bit of a grainy texture.
- I really like the flavor of vanilla extract in my brownies, so I used a full tablespoon.
When I first started baking these brownies I had trouble with the edges getting pretty crunchy. The original recipe called for 350 for 35 to 40 minutes, and I've had to back that down to 335 for 30 minutes. I also covered the sides of the glass pan with foil to slow the cooking there, removing after 15 minutes. The edges were still a TAD overdone, so my next batch will leave the foil on for 20 minutes.
When it looks like the whole pan is "boiling," remove immediately. It's the butter bubbling up, and leaving it in will overcook your brownies. They'll cook a bit on the cooling rack as they approach room temperature.
Also, you'll have to get to know your own oven. Each of them is different. The temperature and humidity may also affect your own efforts, and bakers at higher altitudes will also need to modify the process.
So that's it. If you want more "cake-like" brownies, use the full cup of flour and toss out one egg yolk. I like mine fudgy, so if you make them for me keep that in mind. :-)