I rarely meet a brownie I don’t like. Anybody else out there in love with a fudgy, gooey hunk of baked chocolate delight? Get ready to enjoy these ones.
Maybe you like your brownie more cakey or thicker or thinner: there’s a bazillion and a half ways to make a fabulous brownie.
They bake in one dish, solve a chocolate craving and usually the home cook has all the ingredients to make some sort of brownie in the house. All these reasons (and dozens more) make brownies one of my favorite dessert indulgences.
When I discovered Rick Katz (Boston pastry chef who ran Julia Child’s cooking kitchens for one of her books, Baking with Julia) made a special brownie recipe for Julia, I just had to try it.
Rick’s recipe is interesting not because of the ingredients, but because of the technique. It kinda reminds me of a soufflé. Don’t get scared off by the word soufflé- they’re really not as complicated as they sound. In the third Chocolate Croissant novel, A Conference Conundrum, Melody learns how to make a soufflé and it’s so, so, so much fun. More recipes to come.
But I digress.
The reason why Rick Katz’s brownies are so amazing is the blending of eggs and sugar to make a light, fluffy texture. After beating part of the egg-sugar combo together for three minutes, the now very-light-and-fluffy sugar and eggs are reconstituted with the chocolate mixture carefully, creating a light texture brownie when baked.
After it’s baked, it’s so very gooey. I thought I hadn’t baked it long enough and stuck my 9×9 dish back in the oven. I took it out ten minutes later and the sides were deliciously chewy, but the center continued to be pretty moist. After doing more research, I discovered from Dorie Greenspan (Julia Child’s recipe writer for Baking with Julia) this particular brownie is supposed to be gooey in the center.
One more note: you’re also not supposed to cut them before they cool to room temperature.
That instruction is akin to telling my three year old nephew not to play with his food. He can’t help pretending the noodles are snakes he needs to eat. I can’t help digging into a warm, freshly made brownie.
It doesn’t look like a different brownie, but the texture is unique and the taste is rich and decadent. A little scoop of vanilla ice cream is the ideal companion for this chocolate dessert.
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours and Julia Child’s Baking with Julia.
2 sticks of butter
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a non-stick spray into a 9×9 baking dish.
Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of gently boiling water. (I use a Pyrex mixing bowl). Melt the chopped chocolate and butter, stirring frequently. Once it is almost melted, turn off the heat. Add one cup of sugar and whisk it until just blended. Remove the bowl from the pan of water. Stir in the vanilla.
At this point, add the above mixture to a larger mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl, add the other cup of sugar and the eggs. Beat them together. Add half of this mixture to the chocolate whisk quickly, just until blended.
Beat the remaining sugar-egg mixture on high for about three minutes; it will grow in size and get fluffy. Add this to the chocolate, again, folding it in until just blended. Sprinkle the salt and flour on top and fold together until the flour just about disappears into the blend.
Pour the mix into the 9×9 and bake for 35 minutes. Don’t cut until cooled.
This is where I mess up! I can never wait and cut into them when they are still warm…and very gooey. Just so you know!
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