blissful eats with Laurie Jesch-Kulseth: The Best Brownie Ever
Good morning all! So Valentine's Day was just a few days ago, and here I am pushing more chocolate. While you may be suffering from chocolate overload, I never will. My kids appear to have inherited my weakness for all things chocolate. Several times a day my two-year-old begs for a "blue-wrapping chocolate" (Dove milk chocolates). To make sure she gets one she adds, "...and one for Aanen (my four-year-old)?" Imagine it in a sweet, high voice, and you can see how I'm unable to resist indulging them. In this brownie recipe, I indulge myself
Take a look at these brownies. Take a closer look. Can you see the chunks of chocolate? And that's no run-of-the-mill chocolate-- it's a high, 60% cacao chip that gives this recipe a real punch. We've all had good brownies. I've tried dozens of recipes over the years-- most resulted in brownies that were pretty good, a few were even memorable. But this is the one. These are the best brownies I've ever eaten. Period. They're simple, yet the quality chocolate and addition of espresso powder give them real depth. No need for caramel, nuts, or anything else here. The texture is dense, yet retains that brownie 'cakiness.' (Is that even a word?) In short, these have a powerful chocolate/fudge flavor that is intensified by the addition of the espresso powder. Even better, they are easy. One bowl and you're done.
The Recipe: The Best Brownie Ever
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli 60% Cacao -- my favorite for baking)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 9x13 inch pan.
In a large-sized microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine. Return the mixture to the microwave briefly, just until it's hot, but not bubbling; it'll become shiny looking as you stir it. Heating the butter and sugar a second time will dissolve more of the sugar, which will yield a shiny top crust on your brownie.
Stir in the cocoa, salt, baking powder, and vanilla. Add the eggs, beating until smooth; then stir in the flour until combined. Feel free to add the chocolate chips now if you want a smoother texture (no chocolate chunks), but keep in mind that if you wait just 20 minutes, or so -- the chocolate chips will remain intact. I prefer to have a nice chunk of chocolate to bite into. Spoon the batter into a prepared pan.
Bake the brownies for 28-30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out dry (though it may have a few crumbs clinging to it). The brownies should feel set both on the edges and in the center. Remove them from the oven, and after 5 minutes loosen the edges with a butter knife; this helps prevent the brownies from sinking in the center as they cool. Cool completely before cutting and serving.
Source: Adapted from King Arthur Flour
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! See you next week!