Monday, February 27, 2012
Dark Chocolate Brownies
I like to say I haven’t had any weird pregnancy cravings, and for the most part that’s true. However, there was one night we were on the couch watching tv, and I instantly needed a brownie. I think someone on Twitter or Instagram mentioned brownies, and it was just like BAM! I MUST HAVE A BROWNIE TOO! I did a quick search of my bookmarked recipes, and zeroed in on one pretty fast. These brownies really didn’t take much time to whip together either. The hardest part was waiting for them to bake, and then waiting for them to cool. It was torturous!
The wait was well worth it. These brownies truly were rich & flavorful, with the perfect balance between fudgey & cakey. As stated by The Craving Chronicles, these are the perfect brownies for an adult palate, as they aren’t overly sweet. I’ve made these with both Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder, and also with my Scharffen Berger cocoa powder, and could taste the difference when I used the Scharffen Berger. So if you’ve got some good cocoa powder on hand, use it! Another thing that stepped these brownies up into extra amazingness is the sprinkling of fleur de sel I added. Fine sea salt has really become a pantry staple I keep on hand for desserts. It brings out flavors exquisitely.
Dark Chocolate Brownies
Yield: 9-12 brownies in an 8×8 pan
Prep Time: 12 min
Cook Time: 20 min
Total Time: 32 min + cooling time
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 heaping (a little more than) cup sugar
2 large eggs
scant (a little less than) 3/4 cups 100% dark cocoa (I used Hershey’s Special Dark)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ tablespoon vanilla extract
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1½-2 ounces of dark (60-70%) chocolate, chopped (or about 1 cup dark chocolate chips)
pinch of fleur de sel (or finest sea salt you have)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 8″ x 8″ pan, or line with parchment paper.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat (or in the microwave) then remove from heat. Add the sugar and stir to combine. Return the butter mixture to the heat (or microwave) briefly, just until it’s hot, but not bubbling. It will get shiney as you stir it. (According to King Arthur’s Flour, this step will dissolve more of the sugar, creating the crackly shiny crust on top of your brownies.)
In a smaller bowl, crack 2 eggs and beat them with the cocoa, salt, baking powder, and vanilla till smooth.
Stir the hot butter mixture into the egg mixture until smooth.
Stir in the flour and chocolate chunks (or chips) until just combined. (Note: If you want the chips to remain intact in the baked brownies, rather than melting in, let the batter cool in the bowl for about 20 minutes before stirring in the chips.)
Pour the batter into a lightly greased 8″ x 8″ pan, sprinkle with fleur de sel, and bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean, with some moist crumbs but no loose batter. Cool on a rack before serving.