Sometimes there is a recipe that seems to be really popular, and is getting rave reviews, so you just can't resist making it just to see what all the fuss is about. That is exactly what happened with The Baked Brownie. If you aren't familiar with the name, let me fill you in on the details. First of all this is a very famous brownie. It landed a spot on the prestigious "Oprah's Favorite Things List", and who am I to argue with Oprah? I also read that it was voted best brownie by America’s Test Kitchen. So I think you can understand why I was getting very curious.
I followed the instruction very carefully, because I really wanted to make it right. No shortcuts. I actually started making the brownies at about 9pm, so I did not taste them until the morning. I don't know how I was able to be so strong and resist. You learn new things about your self everyday! Fast-forward to the morning, and I finally tried a brownie, and then another one. OH MY GOD they are so good. The flavor is rich and the texture is very dense. The brownies are kind of in between fudgy and chewy, which is awesome. My sister said they were the best brownies I've ever made! This says a lot, because I've made plenty of brownies. I am still debating which brownie I like more the Tartine or Baked. I probably need to make both at the same time if I want to come to a decision. All I know is they were both amazing.
The Baked Brownie
Yield: 24 brownies
Baked Note: A great brownie is easy to make, but you have to be aware of several factors. 1. Use a dark cocoa powder, like Valrhona. A pale, light-colored cocoa does not have enough depth. 2. Make sure your eggs are room temperature and do not overbeat them into the batter, and 3. Make sure you check your brownies often while baking. Once the brownies have been overbaked slightly, they have reached the point of no return.
1 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons dark cocoa powder
11 ounces quality dark chocolate (60-72%), chopped coarsely
8 ounces butter (2 sticks), cut into 1 inch cubes
1 tsp instant espresso powder (I left it out)
1 ½ cups sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
5 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter the sides and bottom of a glass or light colored metal pan 9x13x2 pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, the salt, and cocoa powder.
Configure a large sized double boiler. Place the chocolate, the butter, and the instant espresso powder in the bowl of the double boiler and stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and combined. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water of the double boiler and add both sugars. Whisk the sugars until completely combined and remove the bowl from the pan. Mixture should be room temperature.
Add three eggs to the chocolate/butter mixture and whisk until just combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until just combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not over beat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.
Sprinkle the flour/cocoa/salt mix over the chocolate. Using a spatula (DO NOT USE A WHISK) fold the dry into the wet until there is just a trace amount of the flour/cocoa mix visible.
Pour the mixture into the pan and smooth the top with your spatula. Bake the brownies for 30 minutes (rotate the pan half-way through baking) and check to make sure the brownies are completely done by sticking a toothpick into the center of the pan (I would check the brownies about 20 minutes in, because mine were done soon after that). The brownies are done when the toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
Cool the brownies completely before cutting and serving.