Friday, January 4, 2013

The Baked Brownie

I needed a special brownie for a special occasion, and let me tell you: this is the brownie.

I don't think I've ever tasted a brownie so rich or so fudgy in my life. I'm a believer in the Baked Brownie!

But it definitely needs ice cream because this thing is RICH. Hmm. What's with the ice cream flavor?

Half Baked?

Here, is this more obvious?

This was taken at 20 weeks preggers, aka, when our little nugget was half baked. I'm 39(!!!) weeks at the time I'm actually typing this and have a much bigger basketball under my shirt now. :)

Exhibit A
We had our parents over for the big gender reveal (boy, by the way), and this was the dessert we served them. Whether it's a special occasion or a night in front of the TV, please consider making this your new go-to brownie! Thanks to Miss Menagerie for alerting me to it!

The Baked Brownie
makes 24 (but I prefer fewer (but larger) brownies at size "go big or go home")
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 t. salt
2 T. dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11 oz. dark chocolate (60 to 72%), coarsely chopped
1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 t. instant espresso powder
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
2 t. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9 x 13 glass or light-colored metal baking pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and cocoa powder together.

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. (Longtime blog readers will know that I prefer using a good nonstick saucepan on low, stirring constantly.) 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. The mixture should be room temperature.

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. ("An even slightly overbaked brownie is not a Baked Brownie.")

Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible.

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 cut them into squares and serve.

Tightly covered with plastic wrap, the brownies keep at room temperature for up to 3 days.
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