As a pastry chef I spend my days thinking about desserts. Contemplating what makes a great dessert, envisioning how to reconceptualize a classic, and devoting a lot of my time to sourcing new and inspiring ingredients. The recipes I come up with for my day job are born of time and energy, and a sincere desire to give my diners a unique culinary experience. This recipe is not the result of those hours spent. Sometimes a recipe is born out of dire necessity, and sometimes you’re lucky and blindly stumble into something amazing. This particular recipe was the end result of a desperate hunger for a chewy brownie, and a debilitating laziness preventing me from walking the four blocks to the grocery store.
In my profession it’s pretty essential to have a good brownie recipe; in fact, many good brownie recipes. Brownies fall into one of three categories: cakey, fudgy or chewy. Each of these categories has its own band of die-hard subscribers. Thus, I have a recipe for each of them, but when I bake these devilish treats for myself, I always go the chewy route. There’s just something about that paper thin skin on the top, followed by the chewy, bordering on gooey, interior that’s just impossible to beat. So, when I woke up the other morning absolutely needing a brownie to survive the day, I reached for my trusty notebook to retrieve my go-to recipe and, horror of all horrors, realized I didn’t have everything I need to sate that yearning inside! Good god. Kill me. But, I pulled myself together and said, “This is what you do for a living girl! Figure it out!” So I did. And thank goodness for happy accidents. I had to increase the ratio of semi-sweet chocolate, due to a lack of Baker’s chocolate, which I offset with additional flour. I used the dark brown sugar I had on hand mixed with granulated sugar to achieve that skin-on-top-and-chewy combo I desired. And on a whim I mixed in some chocolate chips to the finished batter before baking…just because. The result was a decadently rich chocolate flavor, coupled with the perfect amount of chewy texture and crisp edges. In short, I’ll never touch my old standby recipe again. So, here you have it. Not exactly where I thought I would go, but definitely where I wanted to end up.
Chewy Double Chocolate Brownies (Yield: 1 8″x8″ pan)
5 oz. butter
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate
107g dark brown sugar
2 ea. eggs
1 ea yolk
1 tsp. vanilla
100g A.P. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
115g chocolate chips
1.Preheat your oven to 350F. Butter an 8″x8″ pan with butter.2. In a medium pan, combine chopped chocolate and butter and melt, stirring often, over low heat.3. Mix the granulated and dark brown sugars into the chocolate mixture until incorporated. You can do this right inside the original pan.4. Whisk in the whole eggs, yolk and vanilla.5. Fold in the flour, baking powder and salt.6. Fold in the chocolate chips and pour the mixture into the greased baking dish. Spread and even the surface with a spatula.7. Bake the brownies, with the oven rack in the middle position, ~25-35 minutes, depending on your oven. When done, the edges should feel done to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center should come out with a few moist crumbs attached.
8. Now this is important: place the brownies directly from the oven into the refrigerator and chill for an hour. I know it’s crazy to ask you to delay your satisfaction, but trust me, it’s totally worth it. This step helps to ensure the chewiness of the brownies and halts the cooking in its tracks. (An overvalued brownie is not a chewy brownie!)9. Slice and consume with a tall glass of ice cold milk. You’re now eating the best chewy brownie ever.
Due to the cooking time involved with making brownies, the chocolate chips in these don’t stay intact like they would in a chocolate chip cookie, which you typically only have to bake for 8-10 minutes.You will, however, come across the occasional bite that has that extra-chocolatey goodness and some of the meticulous grainy texture that chocolate chips traditionally impart. If you’d like to forgo the chips, just take them out. The brownies will bake up exactly the same with or without them (texturally, that is). You may notice that I didn’t instruct you to line the pan with parchment, which is usually the way to go with brownies. You absolutely can take this step, but I actually found that allowing the crust of the brownies to cook in the butter greasing the pan imparted to the mix afforded them an extra chewiness that I wouldn’t recommend missing out on. And they came right out of the pan after slicing; no corners left behind!
What is your favorite type of brownie? Any fudgy brownie devotees out there? Cakey converts? If so, I’ve got a couple more recipes you might be interested in. If you give this one a try, let me know what you think!
In my happy place – Cassie