September 20, 2010

My Quest for the Best Brownies Volume 3: Magical Fudge Brownies

It has been a while (almost one month) since the last Delectable Kitchen post.  Shameful!  But the time away has yielded another step in my continuing quest to find the best brownies.  A friend sent me a link to this recipe, originally posted by Food and Wine Magazine, and I was daring enough to serve it to another friend without trying it first.  This recipe employs a mysterious alchemy.  After cooling, the brownies go into the refrigerator to chill, followed by a rewarming to room temperature.  These last two steps seem to be crucial.  We tried the brownies soon after they came out of the oven.  Verdict?  Meh.  But after we chilled them and tried them again – oh boy!  Talk about a fudgy brownie!  Even better, the sea salt plays so nicely with the not-too-sweet chocolate.  I used more sea salt than the recipe called for (I covered the entire surface with salt flakes), and it made a wonderful difference.  This recipe is definitely a keeper.  Just make sure to leave enough time for the magic to transform these from average to delectable!  You won’t be disappointed.

Magical Fudge Brownies
via Food and Wine Magazine
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350°.  Lightly grease a 9-inch square baking dish.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter with the unsweetened chocolate over very low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat. Whisking them in one at a time until thoroughly incorporated, add the cocoa, sugar, eggs, vanilla and flour. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Sprinkle the salt evenly over the batter. Using a butter knife, swirl the salt into the batter.

Bake the fudge brownies in the center of the oven for about 35 minutes, until the edge is set but the center is still a bit soft and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out coated with a little of the batter. Let the brownies cool at room temperature in the pan for 1 hour, then refrigerate just until they are firm, about 1 hour.  Cut the brownies into 16 squares. Serve at room temperature.  Delicious!

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