When I first started off with this baking thing, my brownies turned out cakey. Not bad to taste, but not fudgy and chewy like a brownie should be, you know?
And that just wasn’t acceptable. Brownies should be moist and fudgy, with perfectly crackly tops. A really good brownie doesn’t need vanilla ice-cream or chocolate sauce or whipped cream on top. It should be unbelievably good just by itself.
And. I did it. I made that brownie. Or Martha Stewart did. Since then, I’ve made this recipe so many times, I’ve lost count. Over the years, I’ve made little changes here and there till I found the perfect texture and flavour combination. I’ve made them extra dark and even added peanut butter and they never go wrong! I decided to update this post with fresh photos and a video (just before the recipe).
(Some day I’ll learn to cut perfectly equal sized brownies!)
The one thing I really had to get right with brownies was the crust. That thin, light-brown, crackly, flaky crust that forms on top. I had no idea how to guarantee it till I came across this valuable tip. Beat the eggs and sugar like your life depends on it and before you add anything else to the mixture. It guarantees a lovely wafer-like crust to complement the chewyness.
You must, must make these. This is one of the most popular recipes on this blog, for good reason because they’re no fail brownies! I hope this video helps you 🙂
Please read the recipe notes before beginning.
- 6 tbsps butter, cubed, at room temp (85 gms)
- 170 gms dark cooking chocolate, chopped into small pieces, at room temp
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp baking powder (see notes)
- ¼ tsp salt if using unsalted butter
- ¾ cup caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 and ½ tsps vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 175 C. Line an 8" square pan non-stick baking paper, leaving a little overhang. If using a 'not non-stick baking paper', you will need to lightly grease it.
- In a bowl placed over a pot of simmering water, melt the butter, chocolate and cocoa until you have a smooth mixture (see notes). Let this cool while you get the rest of the batter ready.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt, if using, in a bowl and set aside.
- Beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl till pale, about 4 minutes. This is where you're ensuring a crust forms, so beat away! An electric mixer will get the best results.
- Add the cooled chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and beat again till combined.
- Finally add the flour mixture and stir until well combined.
- Pour into the prepared dish, smoothen the top and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes till a toothpick poked in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs.
- Allow the brownies to cool completely at room temperature before slicing. Best stored at room temperature in an airtight tin for 2 days in humid environments, after which they can be kept in the fridge for a week, or even frozen for a month. Happy baking!
*The eggs are what contribute to the flakey crust so I can't suggest a substitution but the Internet is filled with vegan recipes and I've heard flax eggs/chia eggs work, but I've not tried them myself.
*Feel free to stir in about ⅓ cup of chopped walnuts or chocolate chips into the batter, if you like a little something extra in your brownies.
*Make sure you don't overheat the chocolate. I've landed up with a too-thick batter which results in brownies with lumpy tops, usually because I left the chocolate on the heat too long. If the chocolate is almost melted through, but has some larger chunks still left, take it off the heat and stir vigorously. It will melt completely in the heat of the bowl itself.
*I've also used a shallow 9x5 rectangular pan to bake these brownies. They will take a few minutes more to get done, and will be a little thicker, as you can see in the recipe thumbnail.
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