the baked brownie

I’ve heard about these brownies for ages. I’ve seen them all over, on my favorite food blogs, in magazines, even on the food network’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate. And goodness knows, I’ll eat anything that the food network even mentions. It’s kind of embarassing.
I got the original Baked cookbook for Christmas, and since then I’ve developed a sort of…obsession with the book. I’ve never actually been to the bakery to try the treats in all their 1 1/2 hour trip-to-get-there glory, but I’ve flipped through it enough times to (for the purpose of sparing my dignity, we’ll say almost) memorize the table of contents. I was determined to go this week while I had off from school; since my mom is also off, I figured we could make a day of It and drive to Brooklyn, hitting up some of the bakeries and authentic pizzeria’s I’ve been wanting to visit along the way. But then we got snowed in, and instead I’m going to the dentist. It’s a bit anticlimactic, I know.

To satisfy my sweet tooth, I baked up a batch of the Baked brownies, which Oprah caused a frenzy over by putting on her list of favorite things (although she should really be open to suggestions). While I don’t know if they are my ultimate favorite recipe out there (I have a whole world of brownies to try), they’re definitely up there. These brownies are more about the flavor than than ultimate fudgey,gooey, messy experience that we normally associate with brownies. They taste fudgey and fluffy, if that even makes sense, and have a deep chocolate intensity that I can only assume is from the use of all dark chocolate. No frosting, chocolate chips, or messing around. Except for the nuts we added, because we have a nut-brownie thing at Piece of Cake. In short? Their grownup taste is dangerously growing on us, one bite at a time.

The Baked Brownie
From Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11 ounces dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9 x 13 glass or light-colored metal baking pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and cocoa powder together.
Put the chocolate, butter, and instant espresso powder in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be room temperature.
Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.
Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Let the brownies cool completely, then cut them int osquares and serve.
Tightly covered with plastic wrap, the brownies keep at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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4 Responses to the baked brownie

  1. april jaffe says:

    Dear Emily, Thanks for sharing. Sorry you did not make it to Brooklyn. These look amazing I might even have to try baking them. Happy New year. Look forward to reading your blog in 2011.

  2. Gerald Berliner says:

    Most excellent, looks and sounds delish :)

  3. Anna says:

    You were a good sport about going to dentist instead of Brooklyn :) I promise we will get there soon!
    At first I was skeptical about these brownies, they are a little more well… sophisticated for my palette. After a few bites though, I was hooked! They are delicious, deeply chocolate-y and flavorful. Thanks for adding the nuts :)

  4. Pingback: baked, finally |

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