I always get excited when I see brownies being offered because I happen to love brownies. However, I am also usually disappointed after I grab one and discover that they are dry and don't offer much chocolate flavor. Most people I know seem to think that you can get decent brownies out of a box which is pretty tragic because brownies aren't actually all that hard to make. The tough part is finding a good recipe for deep, rich, fudgy brownies since like many other basic baked goods (think chocolate chip cookies) it is easy to find okay recipes and difficult to find really great recipes.
This is a really great recipe. This is a swoon-worthy recipe. This is everything a good brownie should be. The tops are crackly and shiny and almost shatter a little bit as you bite into them. Underneath that top is some of the richest, densest, moistest chocolaty goodness that you can find on the planet. The only change I made to the recipe was to throw a generous cup of walnuts into the recipe (they would have been better toasted) just because I like walnuts in my brownies.
The recipe came from the Baked book which I talked about here, here, and here. Unlike the other recipes which I was only so-so about (apparently I am the only food blogger on the face of the planet who is not completely in love with the book), this recipe alone was worth the price of the book. Of course that makes perfect sense considering that the Baked Bakery is known for their brownies and their Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake which is high on the list of things I want to bake but won't get to for some time because it's a more complicated recipe than cookies and quick breads.
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 72% cacao), coarsely chopped
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9 x 13 glass or light-colored metal baking pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, cocoa powder together.
Put the chocolate, butter, and instant espresso powder 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, then remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be 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 overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.
Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a 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 cut them into squares and serve.
Tightly covered with plastic wrap, the brownies keep at room temperature for up to 3 days.