I’m savouring these brownies with a tall glass of cold milk and a book. At the moment I’m reading Ian McEwan’s latest novel Sweet Tooth. How could I possibly resist a spy tale with that title? Montreal is experiencing an odd winter this year. For a while January felt like early spring, and now we are back to the familiar harsh -40 winds whipping our faces and numbing us when we step outside. So this is the perfect time to curl up and stay warm with an intriguing storyline and these delectable brownies.
Dark, rich and fudgy, these thick brownies have a luscious velvety texture. The three types of chocolate used in this recipe leave you with an intensely deep chocolate flavour. The unsweetened chocolate serves as the foundation, while the dark chocolate (I used 70% instead of semisweet) adds a touch of sweetness. The complexity of the cocoa powder balances out the whole. The amount of flour used helps achieve the desired chewy texture. Melting the butter instead of creaming it results in a dense and fudgy brownie.
Recipe adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
Yields 9 portions
5 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used 70% chocolate)
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
8 3/4 ounces sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 ounces all-purpose flour
1) Place the oven rack on the lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 350F.
2) Butter an 8-inch square pan and line it with parchment paper.
3) Melt both chocolates and the butter in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water.
4) Add the cocoa powder and whisk until smooth.
5) Remove the bowl from the stove and set it aside.
6) In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, mix the eggs, vanilla, salt, and sugar until combined.
7) Pour the warm chocolate into the bowl of the stand mixer and whisk.
8) Use a spatula to gently fold in the flour, mixing only until incorporated.
9) Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth the surface.
10) Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the centre has puffed up and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with a few moist crumbs.
11) Set the pan on a wire rack to cool to room temperature.
Wrap the brownies in plastic wrap and refrigerate them for up to 3 days.