The search for the perfect brownie continues.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve made some pretty tasty brownies, how could they not be tasty and delicious – Ina, Michael Smith, Nigella, Martha for goodness sake.  But, I bow down to the master of all things scientifically culinary – Alton Brown.  I just discovered – and subsequently made, this recipe from his site.

If you have ever been to one of my classes, you will have heard me speak of him.  He used to have this show – Good Eats, on the Food Network – brilliant.  Now he’s become a host on many food related reality shows.  Happy for him, but would much rather see him on the science of food show he had before.  His experiments on washing mushrooms, making the perfect mashed potato etc. are spot on and have worked for me every time and dispelled a few myths.  Naturally when I came across this brownie recipe, I had to try it.

And try it I did!  Chewy, moist, chocolatey, fudgy, delicious – well you get the idea.  I try and always remain true to a recipe the first time I try it.  With one major exception this time (I think it is major), I used Fry’s Premium Cocoa – the yellow tin in our grocery stores, it is Dutch processed, but the end result was still extremely favorable to us.  I didn’t have any natural cocoa powder.  If you happen to check out his site, you will notice in the picture of his brownies, they are much darker and flatter than mine.  My family loved the taste and texture, but I will hunt for natural cocoa powder and make these again.  There may also be versions involving other flavorings – nuts, chocolate chips, Maldon Sea Salt etc. the next time around, but very happy with these results.  The process of baking twice is what intrigued me.  You bake for 15 minutes, remove it from the oven for 15 minutes, and then continue to bake again for 30 minutes.  That’s what gives it density.  Almost like a biscotti, but not hard and crunchy, although that may yield interesting results as well (another experiment my family will have to live through!).  Do try these!

4 large eggs
7 ounces granulated sugar
6 ounces light brown sugar
5 3/4 ounces natural cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
2 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
7 ounces Churn 84, melted or 8 ounces butter melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Pre-heat the oven to 300f
Prepare an 8-inch square baking pan with non-stick spray and using a longer strip of parchment paper, create an overhang on two sides of the pan – this will allow you to lift the brownies easily out of the baking pan
Beat the eggs with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment at medium speed until fluffy and light yellow, 2 to 3 minutes
In a separate bowl, combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cocoa powder, flour and salt
Reduce the speed on your mixer to low and slowly add the flour mixture
Then add the butter and vanilla – continue mixing – this forms a thick batter
Pour the batter into the prepared pan
Bake the brownies for 15 minutes, then remove them from the oven for 15 minutes – please use a timer.  He doesn’t mess around with timing or results!
Put the partially baked brownies back in the oven until an instant-read thermometer (I’ve mentioned before, this is a critical piece of equipment for your kitchen – $10 – $15 in most stores, digital is best) inserted into the middle of the brownie, reads 195f (about 30 minutes – this timing is also pretty accurate – I checked at 25 minutes, then again at 30, it needed the extra 5 minutes)
Cool in the pan for 3 minutes (okay not so much precision on this timing – you can wait a bit longer)
Run the tip of a knife along the two sides where the brownie touches the pan to loosen, cool some more, then cut into squares – I got 16 smaller squares of this rich, moist dense brownie – big enough to enjoy and small enough that you can have 2 pieces without feeling guilty – he suggests 9 squares.  Either way, you are going to enjoy these brownies
As always – enjoy!