I’ve eaten more brownies than I care to admit over the years, and I’m sure that I could’ve done without the vast majority. It took a long time, but a few years ago I realized, with at least one exception, I don’t care for them.
But because they are my husband’s favorite dessert – served warm and à la mode, please – I tend to bake a batch regularly. It’s not big deal, since brownies are typically straightforward: Two bowls, no whipping, stir, and bake. It’s challenging because though he’s not particular about most foods, he is pretty selective about brownies of all things. Must be super chocolatey (no problem), shiny and crisp on top (check), and, here’s the hardest part, a hybrid fudgy-cakey texture.
It’s impossible, I tell you. Impossible! Somehow my brownies all turn out dense. Sure they are chocolatey and have a shiny, crackly top, but they’re always super rich and too fudgy it seems. And I’ve tried at least a dozen recipes, not counting the boxed stir-and-dump mixes. I just can’t get it right. I don’t over-mix, I’ve used cocoa only, unsweetened chocolate only, cake flour combined with AP, no leavener, with leavener…
Yesterday I even tried a recipe from one of my most reliable recipe sources, King Arthur Flour, whose fudge brownies are described as the perfect balance between fudgy and cakey. I assure you they are not. I should’ve known from the name that this would be the case. On the bright side, my husband absolutely loved them. And I should be satisfied, but that would be too easy. Sigh.
Anyway, I’m writing this to ask for help. Do you have a brownie recipe that falls somewhere between fudgy and cakey? I beg you, please send me your recipe.
Husband’s current favorite, King Arthur Flour’s Fudge Brownies
Yield: Two dozen 2″ brownies
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa or Dutch-process cocoa
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 cups King Arthur unbleached AP flour
- 2 cups chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ pan
Crack the 4 eggs into a bowl, and beat them at medium speed with the cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla for about 4 minutes. You can do this while you’re melting your butter (next step).
In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, or in a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine. Or simply combine the butter and sugar, and heat, stirring, until the butter is melted. Continue to heat (or microwave) briefly, just until the mixture is hot (about 110°F to 120°F), but not bubbling; it’ll become shiny looking as you stir it. Heating the mixture to this point will dissolve more of the sugar, which will help produce a shiny top crust on your brownies.
Add the hot butter/sugar mixture to the egg/cocoa mixture, stirring until smooth.
Add the flour and chips, stirring until smooth. Again, adding the chips helps produce a shiny top crust.
Spoon the batter into a lightly greased 9″ x 13″ pan. Bake the brownies for about 30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, or with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it. The brownies should feel set on the edges, and the center should look very moist, but not uncooked. Remove them from the oven and cool on a rack before cutting and serving.