Double Chocolate Brownies for Debate Watching
For the first presidential debate, we had some friends over for a potluck dinner and debate watching. Everyone brought a little something to eat and drink, but I was adament that a fresh batch of brownies be present. I don’t care how enthusiastic you are about this election or how diligently you take notes as the candidates speak, there reaches a point right around the middle of the debate in which everyone needs a good hunk of chocolate. Enter brownies.
I originally found this recipe on one of my favorite baking blogs, Bake or Break. I made them once before during a sudden need for something warm and chocolatey, so I was happy to return to the recipe for another go. Now I know everyone has a different brownie preference and in order to classify this recipe for you, I will break down the brownie types into a few distinct categories:
1. The Cakey Brownie – less dense, light and fluffy, with some bounce
2. The Mostly Raw Brownie – practically uncooked and runny in the middle, very gooey and messy
3. The Dense Brownie – small, compact and moist, with a crusty shell
This recipe falls into category #3, my personal favorite. (On a side note, I thought I liked category #2 brownies until I made a recipe recently that was just horrid. Not even worth sharing. Blech.) But this recipe is quite simple, rich and wholeheartedly satisfying. To give you a nice visual image, I sat on our couch, sandwiched between two friends with the plate of brownies in front of me and managed to polish off close to four brownies by the time the debate was over.
I highly recommend this recipe. It is quite rich, but it’s perfect for chocolate lovers. A scoop of vanilla bean ice cream wouldn’t hurt either. I do have one word of caution that may just be an unspoken habit of brownie baking, because I had yet to be clued in. Apparently there are many steps to cooling brownies.
As instructed, I had lined my baking dish with a piece of parchment paper with some hanging over the sides to lift out the brownies. When they were done baking and had cooled in the pan for 15 minutes, I neatly lifted the brownies out of the pan and onto my cooling rack. But when I tried to slide the parchment out, it wouldn’t budge. Ok. So I grabbed a spatula and slid it between the paper and the brownies, hoping to ease the paper out. This did work for the most part – with a few cracks in the large square of brownies. Great. Paper gone. But when I went to slide my spatula out from under the brownie, it was stuck. Hmph. At this point I was a little exasperated and decided to leave the spatula under the brownies until they had cooled a little more. Eventually, I was able to maneuver the spatula out from under the brownies without causing too much permanent damage. Crisis averted!
So take my advice and invite some friends over tonight, plop yourselves in front of presidential debate #2 and chow down on some homemade brownies. You’ll thank me somewhere around minute 47.
Adapted from Double Chocolate Brownies on Bake or Break.
6 Tbs. unsalted butter, plus more for pan
6 oz. semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 C. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C. sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare an 8-inch square baking pan by buttering the pan, then lining with parchment paper. Leave a few inches of paper on either side to lift out the brownies later. Then, butter the parchment paper.
In a double boiler, combine butter, chocolate and cocoa until melted. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
With an electric mixer, combine sugar, eggs and vanilla with the whisk attachment. Mix on medium speed until the mixture is a pale yellow, about 3-4 minutes. Add chocolate mixture and mix to combine. Reduce speed and add flour mixture until combined.
Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth evenly. Bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean, with a few crumbs, but not wet.
Let cool 15 minutes in pan, then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.