This brownie recipe has long been one of my most closely guarded secrets – that is, until now. The recipe has been in my repertoire since culinary school, when it was gifted to me from another chef. It’s made so special by the use of melted chocolate instead of the more common cocoa powder; the result is super fudgy and intensely chocolatey.
Be sure to buy good-quality chocolate labeled as 100-percent unsweetened for these brownies, as semi-sweet or dark chocolate will make them too sweet. Like vanilla extract, espresso extract adds distinct flavor to baked goods. Look for espresso extract in specialty grocery stores or online.
Yields | 1 9-inch square pan |
- nonstick cooking oil spray
- 6 oz unsweetened 100-percent chocolate, roughly chopped
- 1 cup unsalted butter, cubed
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- ¾ tsp kosher salt
- 4 eggs
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1½ tsp espresso extract (optional)
- 1¾ cups cake flour
- 1¼ cups semi-sweet chocolate chunks or toasted walnuts (optional)
- ½ cup powdered sugar (optional)
| Preparation | Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a 9-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking oil spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large saucepot over medium heat, bring about 2 inches of water to a simmer. Place a heatproof bowl over pot and add chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula just until melted. Remove from heat and whisk in sugar and salt, then eggs, vanilla and espresso extract, if using.
Using a hand-held sifter, sift cake flour over top of melted chocolate, working in 2 batches; whisk well to combine. Add chocolate chunks or toasted nuts, if using, and stir with a spatula. Spread into prepared pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until edges start to crack. The center should still be fairly soft. Once pan comes to room temperature, refrigerate brownies for several hours, preferably overnight. Remove from pan, cut into 9 to 12 brownies using a sharp knife and dust with powdered sugar. Serve.