Friday, November 5, 2010

Best Brownies

After the seriously decadent Viennese cake I made last month, I still had a bag of dutch process cocoa in the cupboard. It was only in there so long because I was a little hesitant to use it in a recipe that wasn't going to live up to the amazingness of DUTCH PROCESS cocoa. Seriously, that stuff is almost sinful. The craving for brownies hit last weekend so I searched for a recipe that would do the cocoa justice. I found that a lot of people look down on baking with cocoa. What?! Perhaps I just don't know, perhaps people are basing this opinion on lower grade cocoa, but whatever. I'll admit I wouldn't use it for all purposes, but seriously, brownies? 

I finally found one from Alton Brown that I felt would do the trick. The brownies that resulted are, I must admit, among the best I've ever had. Now, these are a little bit gooey, so if you like your brownies to have a more cake-like consistency, these are not for you. I'm personally a big fan of fudgy brownies, so they were right up my alley. Now, a word on the cocoa (another?! I know.... I'm sort of obsessed), it made these brownies extremely dark and rich. Rich enough that a glass of milk is not simply advised, it is absolutely mandatory. The only improvement I can think of for these brownies is the addition of walnuts. They were spectacular without, so maybe it should just be called a variation rather than an improvement.

As a funny addition: the recipe on the food network site has a bit of a typo that makes it look as though the recipe calls for 11/4 cup of cocoa. Now, most people would look at that and realize that it means a full cup plus a quarter, but some of the reviewers made the brownies with 11 quarter cups of cocoa. And got on the website to complain. Obviously, the recipe didn't work so well in those cases. Gotta love those concrete thinkers! 

Brownies (made with cocoa)

Soft butter, for greasing the pan
Flour, for dusting the buttered pan
4 large eggs
1 cup sugar, sifted
1 cup brown sugar, sifted
8 ounces melted butter
1 1/4 cups cocoa, sifted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Butter and flour an 8-inch square pan.
2. With a mixer, beat the eggs at medium speed until fluffy and light yellow. Add both sugars. Add remaining ingredients, and mix to combine.
3. Pour the batter into a greased and floured 8-inch square pan and bake for 45 minutes (I used a 9x13 rectangular pan just because we don't have a square one, thinner brownies, but still yummmy!). Check for doneness with the tried-and-true toothpick method: a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan should come out clean. When it's done, remove to a rack to cool. Resist the temptation to cut into it until it's mostly cool (the toughest part of the recipe!)

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