Hyperbole? Nope. This is hands down the best recipe for rich, chocolatey, gooey brownies with the classic crackly brownie crust that makes a brownie a brownie. Simple to make, the secret lies in the ingredients, the careful whisking and folding and the bake.
Like all baking, top quality ingredients are key. Don’t skimp and use everyday chocolate chips. It’s about 11 ounces (325 grams) of the highest quality of dark chocolate you can find, a cup of butter, five farm fresh eggs and a dash of espresso. What is not added is important too including no baking powder or baking soda.
They have a good bit of height given that they don’t have any leavening agents, so they aren’t thin, gooey and smooshed like some brownies (this is a good thing). They have substance and heft when you bite into them.
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
- 11 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 72 per cent cacao) coarsely chopped (I use Lindt)
- 1 cup unsalted butter cubed
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 5 large free-range eggs, at room temperature (important)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13 inch glass or light-coloured metal baking pan.
In a bowl, sieve together flour, salt and cocoa powder and then whisk together.
Put the chocolate, butter and instant espresso powder in a large non-reactive metal bowl and set over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth. Turn off the heat but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until combined, then remove the bowl from the pan.
Add the room temperature eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir. Do not overheat the batter or the brownies will be more cakey than gooey.
Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a spatula (not the whisk), gently fold the four mixture into the chocolate until just a big of the flour is visible. It is important not to overmix.
Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Bake in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes rotating your pan half way through. Insert a toothpick into the centre to check for doneness. It should come out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. An over-baked brownie won’t be a gooey one so carefully monitor the baking time.
Let the brownies cool. OK, maybe skip this step if you can’t wait.