Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Just Right {The Baked Brownie}

Okay, I confess.  I love boxed fudge brownie mix.  The kind from BC in the red box.  It's what I grew up on and they have never failed me.  The few times I have made homemade brownies I have always been disappointed.  I even hate my grandma's homemade brownies which are usually made from the recipe on the cocoa container.  They're just so dry and icky.  Not enough chocolate flavor and just downright disappointing.

When trying to find a great brownie recipe it's important to consider what you like the final product's texture to be.  I adore fudgy.  Cake and chewy brownies just don't turn me on like the semi-liquid custard like insides that can be found in the perfectly baked fudge brownie.  I usually achieve this by under baking the boxed brownie otherwise you end up with a chewy brownie.

For some reason anytime I have chili I have to have a brownie for dessert.  Last week I made chili, but uh-oh!  No BC brownie mix!  Oh the horror!  I fortunately had all the ingredients on hand to make a brownie recipe I remembered seeing on the Brown-Eyed Baker.  She raved about this recipe and it had a lot of positive comments so I decided any brownie is better than no brownie.

As I made them I remembered all the reasons why I don't make brownies from scratch.  Quite frankly it's a pain in the butt especially when you like the boxed kind just fine.  A lot of melting of chocolate and dirtying multiple pans etc.  I think licking chocolatey spoons, whisks and bowls could make up for that though.  I swear I gained 5lbs just licking the bowl!  I'm lucky I didn't get sick.  5 raw eggs in the batter.  You have been warned!

I have to say I was disappointed when I first too these out of the oven.  They smelled good but they just didn't have that familiar crackly topped appearance I expect in a good brownie.  I immediately tried to cut into them but knew as soon as I made the first cut that I should wait until they cool completely.  Glad I did!  They stabilized a bit more and that crackly beautiful crust appeared.  They cut beautifully.  And the taste.  OMG!

Yeah, these are a bit of a pain to make but oh so worth it.  Bye-bye BC.  I can't wait to make these again and splurge on some fine chocolate to put in them  They are so rich!  I only had a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1 bar of Ghirardelli 60% dark.  Next time I want to go 100% dark.  I was afraid that they wouldn't be sweet enough because typically I am not a fan of dark chocolate. After searching high and low and then getting in a red box rut I have finally found the recipe that is just right.

If your craving brownies and your not afraid of a messy kitchen and using some elbow grease I recommend you make these brownies!  I posted the recipe as I made them.  If you want the definitive recipe visit Brown Eyed Baker's blog.  I changed the ingredients a bit because that is what I had on hand.  Directions remain the same.  I also really recommend the cookbook this recipe originally appeared in.  Lots of yumminess there!

The Baked Brownie
adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking


1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
5 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9×13-inch glass or light-colored baking pan. Line the pan with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and cocoa powder together.

Put the chocolate and butter  in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined (it may still be grainy), then remove the bowl from the pan. Let the mixture come to room temperature.

Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not over beat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.

Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Let the brownies cool completely, then lift them out of the pan using the parchment paper. Let cool completely. Cut into squares and serve.

Store at room temperature in an airtight container or wrap with plastic wrap for up to 3 days.

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