Start to Finish: 1 hour Servings: 16 2-inch-square brownies Difficulty Level: Beginner
A fudgy brownie is intense, moist and gooey. Good quality chocolate, a metal pan and a strong mixing hand contribute to well-made fudge brownies. These treats are best kept simple, with no add-ins, because they're rich enough on their own.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Cooking spray
Chop the chocolate coarsely, and cut the butter into cubes. Place them together in the top of a double boiler over low to medium heat. Stir the chocolate and butter as they melt, being careful not to overheat them. Remove the pot from the heat once the mixture is fully melted, about 5 to 7 minutes. Allow it to cool for another 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and spray a 9-by-13 baking pan with cooking spray.
Stir the sugar into the cooled chocolate mixture and add the vanilla. Mix thoroughly. Beat the eggs in using a wooden spoon. Sift the flour and salt together in a separate bowl, and then fold it into the chocolate mixture. All the ingredients should be incorporated and the batter rather thick.
Spread the batter into the greased pan and smooth out the top. Place it in the oven to bake for approximately 40 minutes. Start checking the brownies at about 30 minutes -- overcooked brownies may burn on the edges and have a dry interior. You'll know it's done when a toothpick inserted in the center of the brownies comes out with just a few crumbs sticking to it.
Allow the brownies to cool for 10 to 20 minutes. Run a butter knife around the outside of the pan to loosen the edges, and then invert the entire batch onto a clean cutting board. Cut into 2-inch squares.
About Double Boilers
A double boiler is easy to craft on your own if you don't have one. Simply place a large bowl over the top of a pot of simmering water. The water should come about halfway up the sides of the bowl. Melting chocolate with this method is safer and more reliable than shortcut measures such as microwaving.
Nuts and Cleanup
While chips or marshmallows may be too much in these decadent brownies, adding about 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts to the batter at the end of the mixing process provides texture to the finished treat. This addition is a matter of personal preference, though.
For easiest removal of the brownies and a snappy cleanup, line the pan with a sheet of parchment paper instead of using cooking spray. The brownies slide right out without any chance of sticking.