Brownie #3

by Katya Simkhovich

I have only eaten so many brownies in my life but as the name claims these brownies are truly quite amazing.  They were that perfect balance of chocolaty and buttery, exactly how you would expect a delicious brownie to taste.  I am only three brownies into my quest for the perfect one and all these delicious brownies are already starting to blur into one delicious, chocolaty, memory.  With all the recipes that claim to be fudgy, chewy, and chocolaty I am still determined to find the one that lives up to its name.  Why am I submitting myself to this torture? (if you can call it that)  Because once I find that perfect brownie recipe I will never again have to sift through the hundreds of brownie recipes I have bookmarked, contemplating which one will satisfy my craving for my perfect fudgy, chewy, chocolaty, dense brownie.  Hours in which I could be baking brownies will no longer be wasted sitting in front of my computer or flipping through cookbooks.  My perfect brownie will be just moments away, and this one is the perfect candidate so far.

Day 1:  The chocolate flavor was very pleasant and brownie-like.  It wasn’t too chocolaty ( I know!  How could I be saying this!) but it wasn’t too weak either.  I feel like a brownie has a distinct taste; when the chocolate flavor is too intense it feels like eating a chocolate bar, but if I wanted a chocolate bar I would go eat a chocolate bar. The texture was also much closer to what I am looking for.  The top was just crispy enough and the middle was just gooey enough.  It was definitely not as crumbly as the last brownies I made which I preferred and the crust was much chewier.  This brownie was also just dense enough.  Yum.

Day 2:  After being covered overnight the top became less crispy but the middle remained fudgy and soft.  It was also chewier the next day – another plus.  The flavor was pretty much the same but I find that I like baked goods more the next day because the flavors have the chance to meld together – these brownies were no exception.

Fudgy, Chewy, Cakey (not so much- maybe because I underbaked by five minutes?) Brownies (recipe at Baking Addiction, who found the recipe from Pam Anderson’s “perfect recipe.”)

Note: If you wait until toothpick inserted comes out clean, they’re overcooked. You want fudgy crumbs.

2/3 cup all-purpose flour – I used white whole wheat, per usual.
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
veg cooking spray
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 large eggs
optional: 3/4 cup toasted walnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, peanuts – I used chocolate chips.

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Whisk flour, salt and baking powder in a small bowl; set aside. Spray an 8-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Fit a sheet of foil in pan and up two sides, so you can use it as a handle to pull cooked brownies from pan (I used parchment paper). Spray sheet with cooking spray.

Melt chocolates and butter in a medium bowl over a pan of simmering water. Remove from heat; whisk in sugar and vanilla. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each one before adding the next. Continue to whisk until mixture is completely smooth and glossy. Add dry ingredients, whisk until just incorporated. Stir in nuts, if using.

Pour batter into prepared pan; bake until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in center comes out with wet crumbs, 35-45 minutes.

Cool brownies in pan on a wire rack for five minutes. Use handles to pull brownies from pan. Completely cool brownies on rack, at least three hours. Cut into squares and serve. If not serving immediately, do not cut brownies. Whole brownie cake can be wrapped in plastic wrap, then foil, and refrigerated for up to five days.