Don’t these brownies look fantastic?
They’re different to the ones I usually bake, but they are just so pretty. My personal preference is for a fudgy brownie rather than a cakey one – these are halfway between, with a texture reminiscent of a fallen souffle cake or devil’s food cake.
The recipe comes from Fran Bigelow’s Pure Chocolate, and it’s the very first one in her book. Amazon tells me that I’ve had this book for ten years in April, and it’s probably been nearly that long since I last made these brownies. These days I have access to unsweetened chocolate, but back then I used 70% dark – the result was a tiny bit sweeter but otherwise completely fine. I’ve also added a pinch of salt this time, which I found deepened the flavour even further.
- 240g bittersweet chocolate (70% dark)
- 60g unsweetened chocolate (I used Callebaut Cocoa Mass, but substitute more 70% if you don’t have any)
- 250g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 210g dark brown sugar
- 110g white sugar
- 6 large free range eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I used homemade)
- 150g plain (AP) flour, sifted
- pinch fine sea salt
- dutched cocoa, for dusting
1. Preheat the oven to 160C or 150C with fan. Line a baking tray (23cm x 33cm or 9″ x 13″) with parchment. I used my small Nordic Ware quarter sheet pan…
2. Melt both the chocolates in a heat-proof bowl, either in the microwave (on high in 30 second bursts, stirring in between) or over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until smooth and set aside to cool.
3. In a stand mixer, beat together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until light and fluffy. This might take a few minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stop periodically and scrape down the sides of the bowl as required. Add the vanilla and beat for a few more minutes.
4. Scrape in the cooled chocolate and beat until smooth. Finally, add the sifted flour and gently fold it in with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon until all the flour has been incorporated. Be careful not to overwork the batter.
5. Pour and scrape the batter into the prepared tray and bake for about 30 minutes until the top sets and is firm to the touch.
6. Allow to cool in the tray, then lift out (using the parchment paper) onto a cutting board. Dust with cocoa, then cut into 24 large squares.
Once cool, the brownie slab slices beautifully into even, sharp-edged pieces. Fran Bigelow describes them as a cross between a brownie and a truffle (hence the name), but I find them a bit more cakey than that. They’re dark and richly flavoured, with a textbook flaky top…
These brownies made a lovely change to the ones I usually bake. Apart from tasting delicious, they make a most attractive gift – I’ll be including them on our chocolate birthday platters from now on!