Food + Wine

Super Chocolate Fudgey Brownies

Maybe I can distract you with chocolate and you won’t recall that I haven’t been here in 2 months.  Chocolate seems to have that magical power.

More specifically- rich, fudgey and supremely dense dark chocolate brownies that try ever so hard to stick to the roof of your mouth and insides of your teeth and scream out that a cold glass of milk is not only desired, but demanded.

I wrote this recipe yesterday morning after being awake since 3 a.m.  Just one of those phases I go through, which generally means my life is busy and chaotic.  I’m in a wonderful place right now in my life.  I just turned 37 a couple days ago, had one of my best birthdays ever (thanks to the best husband on the planet), I am healthy, as are my family and friends that surround me, I am finally in my dream home, and I have taken on a new title at Summit Coffee Co. as their Director of Food.

I have been busier than ever, and never happier.  Working with that company, with those people, doing what I love to do the most, has been such a fulfilling reward for the hard work I’ve put into it.  It’s worth the lack of sleep.  It’s worth the sometimes unpredictable schedule.  It’s worth any and all of it, because

I . Love . It .

The one supposed downside of the job is that I do not have nearly the time to do what my old job was – mainly keep up this website.  All of my creativity is currently being channeled in that direction, and soon that will level out.  But this is why you haven’t seen me here in 2 months.

I’ve been quasi active still on Instagram, so if you’re really missing me, come look for me there and maybe you’ll catch me 😉

In the meantime, as I mentioned before, you will no longer recall that I’ve been absent when I introduce you to my new best friend :

The Best F’n Brownie On Planet Earth

(title tbd)

These brownies are for those of you (myself included) who demand their brownies be nothing like a piece of chocolate cake.  If I want cake, I will have cake.

If I want a brownie, that sucker better be thick and sticky and heavy as hell.

Or as my OG dark chocolate lover friend said when I was describing them to her last night:

“Like fudge without the disappointment that it’s just fudge and not a brownie?”

Exactly, Beth.  Exactly.

For those of you who do love more of a cakey brownie, I think you’ll love these too!! There’s something about them that I just know won’t leave you disappointed.

Because it’s not just fudge!!

I almost lost it trying to get this pic for ya’ll.  But LOOK AT IT.

goop and goodness.

But this recipe somehow manages to be all of that desired heaviness, so to speak, yet also have a tenderness to it that feels like you need to quickly devour it before it looses it’s shape.

It’s soooo moist.

This is all because I played around with a few tricks while I was brain-baking first thing this morning.  Brain-cooking : this is how all my recipes come to me.  I cook them in my head, write it down, sometimes doodle and sketch, and then I get in the kitchen to test it out.  This was a one-try success.  Considering the 3 a.m. internal alarm clock, I’d say I can brag about that today.

So.  Let me get nerdy on you real quick.

1) There are no chemical leaveners in this recipe, only a precise amount of eggs to give them structure. (Too many eggs can create a more cake-like texture, but too little can result in something without any shape whatsoever.  So, with the lack of baking powder or soda (or yeast, for that matter), the brownies aren’t force to rise. Basically, when you’re making a batter of any kind, you’re already creating air pockets when you’re ‘creaming’ your ingredients (naturally, by the air you’re incorporating while whisking / beating), but what baking powder and sometimes baking soda does, is they simply make those air pockets / bubbles larger… therefore creating height and lightness in a baked good.  (Yeast is a whole ‘nother thing that makes things rise by fermentation while it eats the sugars in a recipe, forming carbon dioxide… but I digress)  I did not want that here… I wanted as little air as possible and the most space for more chocolate!

2) There is a fairly small amount of flour in this recipe, and it’s not all purpose… and it’s certainly not cake flour… it’s bread flour!  (Surprise!!)  Bread flour has extra gluten and gives the brownies more of a chew.  It’s fairly unusual to find it in desserts, but I knew what I wanted here and I was gonna work hard to get it. So I cut back on the flour and also added an equal amount of cocoa powder to bump up the chocolate-ness to a super high degree.  Cocoa powder has a similar job that flour does in baked goods, but it also has a higher nutrient content, SO… guess who just made your fudgey brownie healthier??

<this girl>

3) There is also a surprisingly low amount of added sugars considering what we’re dealing with, and I’m using both white and brown – brown, for the chew factor again and the added moisture it always brings (thanks, molasses!)… and white, because too much molasses with chocolate is off-putting… (settle down, molasses).

4) There is a mixture of oil and butter- butter for flavor, oil for texture.  All butter would make the brownies too cakey and drier, but without it, you’d miss out on what we all love about butter! So the combo of both is perfection…

And they’re really quite easy to make! It’s gonna look like ALOT when you get to the recipe.. but it’s really not!  I’m just super thorough on instructions 😉 You’re really just melting some stuff and then stirring in some other things, one at a time to ensure proper dissolving of each… plus, the more you’re whisking, the more gluten you’re developing in the flour.  So, just grab your ingredients, follow along and have some fun before you get to devour some warm, straight-from-the-oven, dense and fudgey brownies.

Psshht.  You’ve got this.

Now GO!

SUPER CHOCOLATE FUDGEY BROWNIES

makes 9 large brownies

You will need:

  • 1 + 1/4 cup chocolate chips, separated, and another 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips – 
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (a.k.a. 1/2 pound or 1 stick), cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup bread flour / high gluten flour
  • 1/2 cup good quality cocoa powder, unsweetened
  • 2 tablespoons espresso or instant coffee
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line a 9×9 inch glass pan with parchment paper, letting two sides hang over for easy removal later.

Grease the parchment for extra insurance.

In a large microwavable glass bowl:

(or please use a doubler boiler if you’re microwave-phobic! Place what I’m about to tell you in a glass bowl that you can situate over a smaller pot of simmering water, so what’s inside will gently heat and melt)

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

(*note you will be adding another 1/4 cup to the melted mixture and then will need another 1/2 cup to stir into the batter later…)

1/2 cup unsalted butter / 1/4 pound / 1 stick, cut into small pieces

Combine the butter pieces and the 1 cup of chocolate chips in the bowl.

Microwave this for 1 minute.  The butter should be completely melted at this point.

Stir the chocolate chips into the melted butter and then they will melt

(you do not want to melt chocolate too quickly… or it will seize up and become very angry. The cocoa butter will heat quicker than the cocoa powder and sugar, and will scorch- creating a grainy consistency.)

Once you’ve stirred the chocolate chips into the melted butter and it’s become a smooth consistency, you can now add:

the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips 

(this insures you bring the temperature of the cocoa butter down and is a great trick to quick temper the chocolate in the microwave)

Stir until they’ve melted.

Add in:

1/2 cup vegetable/canola oil

Stir again until you have a smooth and cohesive mixture.

Then, while whisking, add…

1/3 cup white sugar

1/3 up light brown sugar

Mix well.

Then, while whisking, add…

3 eggs, one at a time…

Whisk until the eggs have fully been incorporated.

Then add:

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 tablespoons espresso (instant coffee can be subbed)

Whisk well to dissolve.

Then whisk in:

1/2 cup bread flour / high gluten flour

Whisk well until you no longer see flour.

Next whisk in:

1/2 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)

Cocoa powder can clump, so mix well.

Stir in the extra:

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Pour your batter into the parchment lined pan and spread evenly.

Place in the 350 degree preheated oven on the center rack.

Bake for 40 minutes.

*Since I don’t know your oven, I would maybe suggest you check after 30*

The center should have a stiff jiggle to it when you shake it, but not appear liquidy.  And when a toothpick is inserted into the center, you should have some moist chocolate crumbs but no batter.

Allow them to cool as long as you can take it before slicing into 9 squares.

Ice cream sort of strongly recommended.

And then a long nap.

thanks for reading, y’all. love x

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