Saturday, February 27, 2010

Deep dark brownies

I've been dying to make brownies for weeks now. I can't explain this urge other than stating the obvious: my body has been struggling with a chocolate deficiency. This recipe from Alison Nelson's Chocolate Bar cookbook was the perfect solution. (I was surprised to learn the Chocolate Bar storefront in the East Village has now closed, very unfortunate. Buy this book before it goes out of stock!! Aside number two: I made the peanut butter chocolate cupcakes illustrated on the cover one time for friends in Boston but made the mistake of using reduced fat peanut butter. Big. Mistake.)

Ah yes, as I was saying, chocolate..
It is not that I am addicted to chocolate exactly... I don't like milk chocolate, so I use a dutch process cocoa powder whenever anything calls for cocoa. I used chocolate chunks instead of chips becuase I like bigger melty pockets but to each his own.
I'm storing the leftovers in our fridge with parchment paper in between the levels.

The recipe is below if you are so inclined. Enjoy! xN

Chocolate Bar's Deep Dark Brownies
3/4 c flour
1/4 t salt
1 T cocoa powder
4 oz (1 stick) butter
3/4 t espresso powder (recipe called for instant but I used Lavazzo, result was delish)
5 oz semisweet chocolate
3/4 c granulated sugar
1/4 c light brown sugar (I used dark and it was not overpowering)
3 large eggs
1 t vanilla extract
3/4 c (4.5 oz semisweet chocolate chips) This is optional and I only used 1/4 cup. These are already rich!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (325 if using a dark colored baking pan). Butter (or lay parchment in) an 8" square pan.
Sift the flour, salt, and cocoa powder together into a bowl, set aside.
In a medium-large heavy saucepan, combine the butter and espresso powder and stir over low heat until the butter is melted. Add the chocolate, sitirring constantly until the mixture appears completely smooth, approx 2 min.
Take the chocolate mixture off heat and add the sugars, mixing until combined.
Add the eggs and vanilla and continue stirring until they are evenly incorporated and the mixture does not appear grainy.
Sprinkle the sifted flour over the mixture and stir just until blended. Stir in the chips if using.
Pour the batter into the greased pan and smooth the top. Bake the brownies for 28-30 min or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Do not overbake. Cool completely on a wire rack.
A few notes from the book on brownie etiquette: Icing on a brownie is disturbing and unnecesary and signifies that you are trying to hide something. If you crave a cakey consistency, bake a cake. If you crave a fudgy consistency, make fudge. Do not attempt to achieve either of these extremes by over or under baking the above. If you insist: to make brownies more cakey, add a hint of baking powder and baking soda, an egg or two, and a bit more flour. For fudgier than above, remove an egg and do not overbeat the batter (reducing the air that makes brownies cakier).


  1. Umm...yum! I will definitely be making these! Thanks, Niki :)

  2. And you're shipping a batch to your BFF in Boston. We appreciate that. ;)

  3. OOH I really should to make up for those shoddy cupcakes. Gross, I still have nightmares and will only buy full-fat PB for ever after since that nightmare. Anto let me know if you made them and if you like them! xx to you both :-)