Tuesday, June 10, 2008


If you've been reading for a while you know that I'm a confirmed chocoholic, and that I've been searching for the perfect brownie recipe for some time now. I have to wait until we have company so that I have an excuse to bake, and so that Art and I don't eat the entire batch. (Yes, even if a recipe is deemed 'not quite perfect', it's STILL chocolate, and of all the recipes I've tried, I've never found one that wasn't edible!) So....

Several years ago I discovered that substituting (American-style) brown sugar for all or part of the sugar will produce a gooey brownie, and that's a good thing. Additionally the brown sugar's caramel-y taste adds an extra richness and depth, so when I saw that this recipe called for equal amounts of brown and white sugar I was hopeful.

My ideal brownie is intensely chocolate, slightly gooey on the inside but with a shiny, thin crust on top. This recipe ticked all the boxes for me, and for now, this is the one, the brownie recipe I'll use until someone can convince I need to try another one! I used a combination of chocolate: half 60% Ghiradelli and half Lindt 85% chocolate, just because that's what I had on hand. I think using all 85% chocolate might have been too intense, but as I type this, I can't believe what I'm saying! Too intense?? Hmmm....maybe the next time I'll use all 85% chocolate just to see. I've also thought about using the drier brown sugar we buy here in Italy, just to see how much the gooiness is affected. For this recipe I loved the extra intensity of the dark brown sugar rather than light brown.

Here's the recipe, which I'm going to call

The Best Brownies EVER!

2 sticks (8 oz.) butter, more for pan and parchment paper
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup flour

Butter a 13-by-9-inch baking pan and line with buttered parchment paper.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In top of a double boiler set over barely simmering water, or on low power in a microwave, melt butter and chocolate together. Cool slightly.

In a large bowl or mixer, whisk eggs. Whisk in salt, sugars and vanilla.

Whisk in chocolate mixture.

Fold in flour just until combined.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until shiny and beginning to crack on top. Cool in pan on rack.

Yield: 15 large or 24 small brownies.

As with most things chocolate, these are better if baked 1 day in advance.

Post script: I later tried this recipe with just 6 oz of butter and 6 oz of chocolate and the brownies were just as yummy...

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At 6/10/2008 01:36:00 PM , Anonymous Judith in Umbria said...

Half a pound of butter, half a pound of chocolate and a single cup of flour? I could melt this, spread it on my skin and get fatter!

At 6/11/2008 04:21:00 AM , Blogger Barbara said...

Not sure what you mean, but it sure tastes better if you put it in your mouth rather than just spreading in on your skin!


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