Baked Brownies

Baked BrownieI’m a little late to the game. Since they gained fame several years ago from the praises of Oprah, the Today Show, and America’s Test Kitchen, everybody and their brother in the blogosphere has tried the "Baked" Brownie, from NYC's famed bakery, Baked. Except me. While I drooled over the recipe, I was always missing that one elusive ingredient that was supposed to set it over the top—espresso powder. I scoured the aisles in the grocery stores, but to no avail. Why, with so many recipes calling for it lately, was espresso powder so darn hard to find?? I finally stumbled across it at Williams-Sonoma and after laying down a Hamilton for it (is this stuff really worth 10 bucks?) I was ready to finally try this brownie I’d heard so much about.

I’ve tried my hand at brownies several times before. Once to good results, and once to... well… disastrous ends. But even those I did have luck with still didn’t compare to the box mix brownies I’ve grown to love. But these? Leave me alone with a pan full of these, and I can almost guarantee they’ll be gone within hours. You’ll probably find me curled up on the couch sleeping off a stomach ache, but trust me. It would be worth it. These brownies live up to all the hype. These are the brownies that will make me forget all about box mixes.

If there were only one word to describe these brownies, it would be “intense”. They’re dense and fudgy, with an incredible deep chocolate flavor. You can’t taste the espresso in it at all, but I’m sure it’s in there somewhere working its chocolate loving magic. My only *teeny tiny* complaint about them—using 70% cacao dark chocolate was a bit too intense for me. Everyone else said the darker the better, but for me, 60% is about my limit. But I didn’t let a little thing like that stop me from eating far too many of these anyway! It’s a good thing I made them to take to a housewarming party.

So if you’re still holding out on trying these brownies, what are you waiting for? Go! Do it! Now!

Baked BrowniesBaked Brownies
Adapted from Baked by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito
Makes 24 2-inch brownies

1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11 ounces dark chocolate (60% to 72% cacao), coarsely chopped (I used 70% which was pretty intense)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9X13 inch baking dish. Line with parchment paper, leaving a 2 inch overhang on either long side of the pan. Butter parchment.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside.
3. Put the chocolate, butter, and espresso powder in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove from the pan. The mixture should be at room temperature.
4. Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined.
5. Sprinkle flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula, rather than a whisk, fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour is visible.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 28-30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it.
7. Let brownies cool completely before using parchment overhang to lift out of pan. Place on a large cutting board and cut into 24 2-inch squares.
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Kiesha Jenkins-Duffy said...

I've never made brownies from scratch - I may have to rectify that soon with these ones...

Melanie A. said...

Do it, they were amaaaaaaaaaaazing.

oneordinaryday said...

You're right about this recipe. I've made them and they are delicious. I'll admit that I subbed the espresso powder with some instant coffee and I thought they tasted great. I know it's kind of a cheat, but like you said, espresso powder isn't exactly a run-of-the-mill item.

mom2ross said...

King Arthur Flour sells an excellent espresso powder and it's one of their free shipping items. As in, even if you only buy one jar, it'll be at your door for free. Espresso complements and enhances anything with chocolate in it. I'm glad you finally tried these brownies, they are incredible.

sarahe said...

I just got this book a few weeks ago and can't wait to make these! they look fabulous!

Lisa said...

Mmmm, what fudgy looking brownies. My mouth is watering already.

Stef said...

So I can find espresso powder even at our No Frill's which is like the cheap of the cheap grocerie stores around here... Whenever a recipe calls for espresso, I usually use a rich instant coffee as I like the taste better.

tease-spoon of sugar said...

Just stumbled on your blog...love it! Am now a loyal follower! I've heard a lot about these brownies lately, and I missed the Oprah show that everyone's talking about. I will definitely be trying these out. They look amazing!

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