Friday, September 9, 2011

More Brownie Testing...

I've been continuing my ongoing quest for my go-to brownie recipe, one that neatly straddles the line between fudgy and cakey, not too wet and not too dry, rich without being cloying.

I've learned a few things.

First, I don't like brownie recipes that use brown sugar instead of white sugar, like the brownie on the right in the picture. That recipe came from Nick Malgieri's excellent cookbook, The Modern Baker. I was intrigued by it because it contained sour cream, which I'd used in chocolate cake but never in brownies.

I didn't love this one, though not because of the sour cream but because of the brown sugar, which somehow made the brownie taste less than chocolatey.

The other problem with this and other brownie recipes I've tried was that it called for baking in a 9 x 13 pan. Maybe it's just me, but every time I've done that, I end up with brownies that are overdone on the edges and soup in the middle.

I much preferred this recipe, sent to me by poet Jeanne Marie Beaumont, one of my favorite baking partners (we do holiday cookies together every year). She got it from the Nestle Chip Bag, though I make it with Ghirardelli chocolate.  So far, this is the best
recipe I've tried, rich, satisfying, easy to put together, and reliable.  What I like about it (in addition to the use of white sugar and a square baking pan) is the addition of chocolate chips to the batter:

Double Chocolate Brownies
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Step 1
3/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp  baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
Combine in a small bowl and set aside.
Step 2
In small saucepan, combine 1/3 cup butter, 3/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons of water, and bring JUST to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in 6 oz (1 cup) of Nestle’s Semi-sweet chips (ie, 1/2 a 12 oz bag) AND 1 tsp of vanilla. Stir until chocolate melts and it’s all smooth.
Step 3
Transfer to a mixing bowl and add 2 eggs, one at a time, beating well after each (I hand mix, no need to use electric beater). Gradually blend in flour mixture. Stir in remaining bag (6 oz/1 cup) of chips. Spread into a greased 9 inch square pan.
Bake about 30 minutes (35 max). Don’t overbake; these should be moist. Cool completely before cutting into squares. 

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