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Author Notes: I think these brownies are the perfect combination of fudgy and cakey. Intensely chocolaty and moist. Pure dark chocolate bliss. I scoured the Internet to find this wonderful brownie recipe from the Joy of Baking. I tweaked it a little bit, adding more full fat Dutch process cocoa powder. Also, two kinds of sea salt, both coarse and fine, are used in the recipe, both in the batter and on top of the brownies as they cook. The sea salt enhances the dark chocolate flavor in such a gloriously, delicious way. Someone pinned on Pinterest that these were hands down best brownies she ever made in her life. My family and coworkers love them too. Hope you'll give them a try!
I'm going to blabber on a bit now. Forgive me for my ramblings. A sprinkling of coarse sea salt is the magic ingredient here. Salt makes brownies taste even more chocolaty. Trust me on this one. A finish of coarse sea salt when they're done will bring out the glorious, deep, dark chocolate flavor.
I use my vanilla bean sugar. But regular, white sugar will work just fine. If you use regular white sugar then bump up the vanilla extract to one teaspoon.
I use High Fat Dutch Process Cocoa from Penzeys Spices in this recipe. Use quality dark chocolate bars that you'd eat out of hand for this recipe too. Go for the good stuff here, both in the cocoa powder and the dark chocolate. I've done this with two kinds of dark chocolate bars. I've used Newman's Organic Super Dark 70 Percent Cocoa Chocolate Bars and Green and Blacks Chocolate. Ghirardelli 60% Cocoa Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Bars are found in most markets and are completely wonderful too!
You don't have to be an accomplished baker to make good brownies. But, you do have to buy good chocolate. The better the chocolate, the better the brownies.
This, my friends, is an inspired brownie recipe that I'm gladly sharing with you. I'm sure there will be many more recipes to come. But this one is special. Thank you Joy of Baking for providing the inspiration!
Makes 1 pan
- 5 ounces best quality dark chocolate, chopped. Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Bar are divine here.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 3 tablespoons Dutch cocoa powder
- 1 cup vanilla sugar or regular white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- pinches coarse sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place the rack in the center. Spray with nonstick cooking spray, butter or oil an 8 inch square baking pan and place a piece of parchment paper on the bottom of it. Oil, butter or spray the parchment paper too.
- In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate and the butter in the microwave being careful not to burn the chocolate. Stop and stir it as it melts. It will take seconds to melt. Maybe a minute at most. When the chocolate and butter are melted, stir in the cocoa powder and sugar. Add the eggs, one and a time and incorporate them into the batter. Add the vanilla extract. Add the flour and fine sea salt and stir to combine.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and quickly add a scant sprinkling of the coarse grain sea salt. Bake for about another 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a little bit of batter or moist crumbs on it. Do not over bake or your brownies will be dry (very important). Remove from the oven and immediately add another sprinkle of coarse sea salt. Let cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!
- Serving Suggestions: Warmed in the microwave, they're divine, leading to my downfall into brownie-breakfast-obsession this past week. They take on a more fudgy texture when chilled. They're also great with ice cream. They freeze well, making them a good choice for company. A warm-brownie-ala-mode with a drizzle of chocolate sauce has a real wow factor. The sea salt will enhance the ice cream's flavor too. Brownies with fresh whipped cream and raspberries or sliced strawberries is also a winning combo. A simple platter of brownies, dusted with powdered sugar is a crowd-pleasing dessert.