Brownies are controversial territory to chart: Some like them cakey and light in flavour—more of a snack than a rich dessert; some like them moist and chewy; and others, the biggest chocoholics, like them to be purely decadent—almost as dense as fudge and deliciously dark.
We wanted to make sinfully rich brownies that would be a chocolate lover’s dream, so we started by using three forms of chocolate: unsweetened chocolate for intensity, cocoa powder for complexity, and bittersweet or semisweet chocolate for moisture and well-rounded flavour.
Melting butter along with the chocolate was the key to a fudgy texture, and a generous three eggs contributed richness and structure. In addition to providing a clean sweetness, granulated sugar gave the baked brownies a delicate, shiny, crackly top crust.
We found it best to cut these brownies into small bites rather than big bake-sale squares—a little goes a long way. Tasters preferred the more complex flavour of bittersweet chocolate over semisweet chocolate, but either type works well here, as does 5 ounces of bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips in place of the bar chocolate.
Start to finish: 1 hour
5 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa 7/8powder
1 1/4 cups (83/4 ounces) sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 F. Make foil sling for 8-inch square baking pan by folding 2 long sheets of aluminum foil so each is 8 inches wide. Lay sheets of foil in pan perpendicular to each other, with extra foil hanging over edges of pan. Push foil into corners and up sides of pan, smoothing foil flush to pan. Grease foil.
Microwave bittersweet and unsweetened chocolates in bowl at 50% power for 2 minutes. Stir in butter and continue to microwave, stirring often, until melted. Whisk in cocoa and let mixture cool slightly.
Whisk sugar, eggs, vanilla, and salt in large bowl until combined. Whisk chocolate mixture into sugar mixture until smooth. Using rubber spatula, stir in flour until no dry streaks remain. Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth top. Bake until toothpick inserted in centre comes out with few moist crumbs attached, 35 to 40 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking.
Let brownies cool completely in pan on wire rack, about 2 hours. Using foil overhang, remove brownies from pan. (Uncut brownies can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.) Cut into 36 squares before serving.
Fudgy Triple-Chocolate Espresso Brownies:Whisk in 1 1/2 tablespoons instant espresso powder or instant coffee powder along with cocoa.