Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Homemade brownies from cocoa powder

I am almost ashamed to admit that, until last night, I had never made homemade brownies from scratch. I knew it could be done, but had never done anything other than mix up a batch from a box.

Never again... the brownies I made last night were fantastic, with a rich chocolate taste and a dense, cake-like consistency.

Here's my recipe:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cold large eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup walnut pieces (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8" baking pan with parchment paper.
2. Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a stainless steel mixing bowl and set the bowl in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir until the butter melts. The mixture will come together like a dough and will look a bit grainy. When all the butter is melted, remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside briefly to let the mixture cool a bit. It should be warm, not hot.
3. Add the vanilla and stir with a wooden spoon. 
4. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring to combine completely after each one. 
5. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir vigorously until it is completely blended in. Stir in the nuts, if using. 
6. Spread evenly in the lined pan.
7. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until the blade of a paring knife comes out slightly moist with batter.
8. Cool completely before cutting.
Lift up the ends of the parchment or foil liner, and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Cut into 16 or 25 squares.

(My version is amended from this Epicurious recipe.)

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