I have a secret baking confession. Despite being very OCD about using the best vanilla, whole milk, and good cocoa I always make brownies from a box. Well, always until this week.
The modifications I made on this recipe was this: it called for 11 ounces of dark chocolate. Dark chocolate means 60-85% cacao. For me I thought it would be much easier on me (and my wallet) to buy one 11.5 ounce bag of bittersweet (60%) chocolate chips. I bought Ghirardelli since that is the best brand I can find in Salisbury and they are better than most. And that extra half ounce? An extra half ounce of chocolate never hurt anyone! For the dark cocoa I used Hershey's Special Dark that I already had on hand. Oh, and that little tip about buttering your pan, then lining it with parchment paper? Best trick ever.
I'm completely won over. Goodbye little packets of syrup. And in case you still aren't convinced to make these brownies, they are on Oprah's List of Favorite Things. Isn't that enough?
The Baked Brownie - Adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11.5 ounces (1 bag) dark chocolate chips
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
5 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9×13-inch glass. Line the pan with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and cocoa powder together.
3. 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. Cool until room temperature.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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. Cut into squares and serve.
7. Store at room temperature in an airtight container or wrap with plastic wrap for up to 3 days.