Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Fudgy, Gooey Brownie - Which Camp Are You In? + Recipe

There seem to be two types of people out there...

You know, the brownie lovers who prefer cake-like crumb, or those who yearn for the fudgy variety. I do like to be able to hold my brownie in my hand, but it should be dense, moist and decadently fudgy.

No, I don't mean under cooked. There is definitely a difference between the two schools of brownie making.  And though I enjoy a nice slice of chocolate cake, it is not what I want my brownie to resemble.

I wouldn't call myself a brownie expert, but I have come a long way with my treats. Brownies were not something we made at home very often. I remember more than one pan of brownies turning into impromptu topping for vanilla ice cream. Though, I am sure we didn't waste a chocolaty morsel it was not brownie-worthy.

When I was first married I always kept a box handy to make for a late night treat. Then we upgraded to the multi-packs from Costco. It never even dawned on me that brownies would be so simple to make from scratch.

A few years ago I finally took my baking to a head-to-head challenge. Our beloved box vs. a one pot brownie recipe. The color, the texture and, of course, the flavor were so different. Is it hard to bake these beauties from scratch? Not at all. There are a few tips and tricks I can share to get you going.

This recipe combines espresso powder, to really bring out the chocolate flavor, extra chocolate chips and calls for a parchment lined dish to help easily remove this soft brownie from the pan. Nothing earth-shattering, but all helpful just the same.

Though I do love toasted walnuts, this version proved sometimes you just don't feel like a nut. No worries, add them if you like. It is your brownie, right?

Fudgy Brownies
adapted from King Arthur Flour

You Will Need:
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 c. sugar
2 tsp. espresso powder
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
2/3 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. bittersweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut parchment paper to fit into your 8"x8" brownie pan. I cut two pieces that overlap and hang over the sides so I can easily pull it out of the pan. Spray the paper with a little non-stick spray.

2. In a medium, microwave-safe bowl add the butter, cocoa, sugar and espresso powder. Heat on medium till the butter is melted. I start with a minute, but watch the mixture closely. It should not be bubbling. Stir to dissolve the sugar and cocoa. The batter should be smooth and shiny.

3. Now add the remaining ingredients. Lightly beat the egg and vanilla before adding. Stir to incorporate all the ingredients.

4. Pour into your brownie pan and bake for about 30 minutes. The edges should be set and the middle should be setting up, but not dry. I always watch the top of my brownies. The very top should be dry and starting to crack a little.

5. Let the brownies cool completely and then lift the parchment paper and brownies out of the pan to slice.

Enjoy with plenty of brownie solvent... i.e. a tall glass of cold milk.

So my question is, which camp are you in? Are you a cake-like brownie fan? Or a fudge-like brownie fan?

Can I tempt you over to the dark side?
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