Its easy to sell these moist and delicious Cocoa Brownies to a chocolate-lover like me. But even if you do not have a particular penchant for Chocolate, which, by the way, is hard to believe, you will still fall in love with this amazing recipe. I have tried several recipes for the same, but either they were too chewy, or too moist, like eating molten chocolate, or sometimes they were just not the right cocoa flavor. This recipe comes from a colleague’s wife, who is a great baker!I used to shy away from making these Brownies as I could never get them to be as good as hers, despite all that cocoa and butter that goes inside! But Rachel’s call for Adventurous Desserts, as she hosts this month’s SHF-65, an event started by Jennifer from The Domestic Goddess, and a strong desire to tame this demon and perfect the recipe, I gave it one more shot, this time with a few changes, and as you can see, they turned out Perfect (at least for me and my family!)
This amazing recipe has been modified a little from Alice Medrich’s Bittersweet cookbook. Soft and airy, just like a cake, yet loaded with cocoa flavor which is not the same as eating a Chocolate cake, these ultimate Cocoa Brownies promise to be a hit at potlucks and parties!
Ultimate Cocoa Brownies
Makes about 16 large brownies
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, cold
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup walnut or pecan pieces (optional)
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.
Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and set the bowl in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and hot
Remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot. You could also use the microwave for this procedure instead of a double-boiler.
Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Stir in the nuts, if using. Spread evenly in the lined pan.
Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, about 25-30 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack. You can even refrigerate them for about 7-8 minutes, as this will make it easy to get smooth non-crumbly brownie slices. (As you can see in the picture, I did not have the patience to wait 10 more minutes, so I didn’t get smooth cuts:))
Transfer the brownies to a cutting board and cut into as many squares as you like.
These moist, cake-like brownies are super-rich and really nice and soft. You could add more butter for a more ganache-like texture, but I prefer sponginess like cake, unless I am baking my fudgy brownies, which is an entirely different recipe that I will be posting soon!
Enjoy these Cocoa Brownies with a cup of warm milk as they melt in your mouth! Off goes this post to Kids Cooking Thursday, celebrated every week at Dragon Musings!
I grew up helping my mom in the kitchen, and baking Brownies was my favorite kitchen activity, especially as I got to lick off some batter before it went into the oven! I baked these for my 8 month old daughter, and gave her a teeny-tiny bit, just to taste! I hope she grows up to enjoy cooking and helping me in the kitchen, just as I did with my Mom!