The Perfect Brownies

This recipe is all about chocolate so splurge on the good stuff. The better the chocolate, the better your brownies will be. Brands like Guittard or Valrhona are excellent options, if you can get your hands on them. Ghiradelli is also a good value option. I’m using dark chocolate with a cacao percentage between 60% and 72%. It gives the brownies a richer and more complex flavor. A big splash of vanilla extract highlights the rich and distinct chocolate flavor. Vanilla actually makes chocolate taste more chocolaty. These perfect brownies feature a moist, dense crumb, with a fudgy texture and a glossy, crackly layer on top.

The Perfect Brownies

Recipe by Anna BembryCourse: DessertCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Medium
Servings

16

brownies
Prep time

20

minutes
Baking time

35

minutes
Resting time

15

minutes

These homemade brownies are a chocolate lover’s dream.

Ingredients

  • 340 g / 12 oz high-quality dark chocolate, such as Guittard or Valrhona, 60-72% cacao

  • 2 sticks (that’s 8 oz or 226 g) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch slices

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/2 teaspoon table salt

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 5 large eggs

  • 3/4 cup / 130 g / 4.6 oz packed dark brown sugar

  • 1 cup / 190 g / 6.7 oz granulated sugar

  • 1 1/4 cups / 170 g / 6 oz all-purpose flour

  • Cooking or baking spray

method

  • Preheat the oven to 350F / 175C and adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Line a 9-by-13-inch metal baking pan with parchment paper, leaving some overhang so the brownies can be easily lifted from the pan. Spray lightly with cooking or baking spray.
  • If using dark chocolate bars (as opposed to baking wafers of chips), chop finely 2/3 of the chocolate (8 ounces) using a serrated knife and place in a large, heatproof bowl. Chop remaining ⅓ (4 ounces) into ½-inch chunks. Set chocolate chunks aside in a small bowl.
  • Add butter to chocolate in a heatproof bowl and melt over a water bath. To melt chocolate over a water bath: Add 2 inches of water to a pot and bring it to a simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to low and place a heatproof bowl on top. (Make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the simmering water; otherwise, the chocolate might burn and the texture will become grainy instead of melting into a smooth emulsion.) Stir occasionally with a rubber spatula until melted. Once the chocolate is melted, stir in salt and vanilla.
  • In a large bowl, combine eggs and both sugars. Whisk vigorously until homogenous. While whisking, drizzle in melted chocolate, and continue whisking until combined. Sift in flour, and whisk until just combined. Stir in reserved chocolate pieces.
  • Pour brownie batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean, save for some melted chocolate, about 35 minutes.
  • Remove brownies from the oven and place on a cooling rack until cool enough to handle, at least 15 minutes. Lift brownies out of pan with parchment paper and cut into squares before serving.

Notes

  • Stored in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic, brownies will stay fresh for a week if refrigerated or about 4 days if left at room temperature.

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