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Entries in Devishly Chewy Brownies (1)

Saturday
Oct062012

Devishly Chewy Brownies

For nearly a year, my cousin Leslie and I were in a brownie bake-off to try and find the best brownie recipe.  We agreed that brownies had to have four great characteristics: 

 

1.  They had to be chewy.  Not fudgy, not cakey.  Chewy.
2.  They had to have great taste.  Very chocolatey, but not too sweet.
3.  They had to have a shiny, crackley crust on the top.
4.  They had to have walnuts.

We experimented with a brownier recipes, and while we got great flavor and nuts, we couldn’t replicate the crusty, chewy texture of the boxed brownie mixes.  Eventually we gave up.  I moved on to my next perfect recipe, and she went back to the Ghiradelli Brownie box mix.

Until now.  I found it.  And, I found out the secret.

Turns out, it is the ratio of fats that gives brownies their texture, and America’s Test Kitchen solved the equation.  You can access the recipe and article on their web site (The Secret to Chewy Brownies), but here I give you my version, adapted by replacing the boiling water with brewed coffee, thereby eliminating the espresso powder, and the addition of walnuts.

Further, I use two, very high quality, non-stick baking pans which are 9 inches square.  I butter and flower the bottom and sides of the pans.  That also eliminates the necessity of the foil sling.  These brownies will turn right out of the pan onto a cutting board in one single piece.

I’ve also perfected the “one bowl” mixing method, making these brownies a snap to make as well.

Makes 32 2-inch brownies

Ingredients

1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
½ cup plus 2 Tbs brewed coffee, heated to just boiling
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
4 Tbs (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch slices
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 tps vanilla extract
2 ½ cups sugar
1 ¾ cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
¾ tsp table salt
1 ½ cups roughly chopped walnuts

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Convection if you have it.  Butter and flour the bottom and sides of two 9” inch non-stick baking pans.
  • Place the chopped chocolate and the butter in a metal bowl.  Sift in the cocoa powder.  Add the hot coffee and stir until completely melted.
  • Add the vanilla, oil, and whisk until smooth.
  • Add the eggs and egg yolks and whisk until smooth.
  • Add the sugar and whisk until smooth.
  • Sift the flour into the batter, and whisk again until just smooth.
  • Adds the nuts, and stir with a spatula to spread through the batter.
  • Divide the batter between the two pans, and bake on the middle rack of the oven for about 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out just barely clean.
  • Allow to cool in the pans completely.  Turn the brownies out onto a cutting board, and leave until they are completely cool.  Then cut into squares.
  • They freeze well if wrapped in waxed paper and foil.  Unfortunately, they taste just as good frozen, so if you think hiding them in the freezer will keep them from being gobbled up all at once, you are kidding yourself.