Aug 6, 2010

brownie quest

i have been on a brownie quest all week. you see, i had a sudden craving for brownies last week. this is unusual as i am more in the savory camp than the sweet tooth camp, and yet, there it was. an intense desire to eat the perfect brownie. this was probably due, in no small part, to my children who adore the brownies from le pain quotidien. which are very good. but sometimes they can be a bit stale, on an off day, and oh, that is almost too much disappointment to bear when you are in the mood for a really good brownie. it was clear, we had to find a reliable in-house source to fulfill our brownie requirement.

what did i want in a brownie? something rich, substantial, dark, flavorful, but not too sweet. there is an outrageous amount of sugar in some brownie recipes (2 cups of sugar and more). and i just can't have that.

my quest process went something like this: first, i researched brownie recipes from my past, recipes i had used before, i checked out the lpq recipe also, which i plan to try one day, but the idea of making two separate batters and then combining them was too complicated for me in summertime. so then i consulted the recipes of some of my favorite baking experts. i took a few ideas from each. i baked a batch nearly every day. (making my family very happy in the process). tweaking the recipe, changing a few things. 

i have come up with a recipe i love. one that is perfect for me. my son loves it too. perfect with a glass of milk. it is dark and rich and velvety. paired with vanilla ice cream and warmed chocolate sauce, it is some kind of taste of heaven. my husband and my daughter, they maybe want something a little sweeter. not bad, they say. so thankfully, the quest continues. it is hard work, but someone's got to do it.

rich velvety double chocolate brownies
10 TBSP unsalted organic butter (1 stick plus 2 TBSP)
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate broken into pieces (best chocolate you can find, organic green&blacks is nice)
1 cup + 1 TBSP organic sugar
4 large eggs, whisked
1 TBSP vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (i used green&black's cocoa powder as well)
1 cup sifted organic flour

preheat the oven to 350 degrees. line a 13 x 9 baking pan with parchment.

melt the chocolate pieces and the butter in a glass container in the microwave or over a double boiler. i like to use the microwave for this as it takes 1 minute 30 seconds at most. often less. allow the butter and chocolate mixture to cool for 5 minutes. stir until smooth. add the vanilla extract and stir in the sugar.

whisk in the 4 eggs, the cocoa and the salt. stir until combined. now gently and swiftly add the sifted flour, stirring only as much is absolutely necessary to combine.

pour the batter into the parchment lined pan. bake until set, only about 15 to 20 minutes. 17 minutes worked for me. simple, dark, rich, velvety brownies in half an hour! cut into squares while still warm. a fine accomplishment during one sultry week in august.


  1. Brownies are delicious, and a perfect end to grilled meal...Yours look so rich and chocolatey.

  2. thanks indie.tea, they really are the perfect end to a grilled meal, great suggestion. i suppose that is one reason why brownies always seem to show up at picnics in the park as well. these are pretty chocolatey on account of using both chocolate and cocoa, which works so well, i think it is now a requirement for me and brownie baking.