Subtitle #1: "The crack bacon of pastries"
Subtitle #2: How to turn your microwave into a double boiler
When you read food blogs enough, you notice when recipes go viral. Ever since Baked (a bakery in Brooklyn) released this cookbook I had seen their brownie recipe touted all over the blogosphere. Claimed far and wide to be the best brownie ever, it was only a matter of time until I made it.
After reading the ingredient list, I was satisfied I could successfully recreate the brownie in my own kitchen. The ingredients aren't particularly different than what you would expect in a brownie: flour, sugar, eggs etc. It has both cocoa powder and chocolate, and intense flavorings like instant espresso powder and vanilla. I gathered all the ingredients one evening and began by preheating the oven, buttering the pan and mixing the dry ingredients together. Everything was going smoothly. That is, until I realized I needed a double boiler to melt the chocolate and butter. The only bowls we have are plastic, and thus obviously not suited to being put over a pot of simmering water. Never one to be stopped en route to brownies, I decided to try out the microwave. I crammed all the chocolate, butter and espresso powder into a 2 cup glass measuring cup and zapped it for 25 seconds, stirred, and repeated multiple times until everything was melted and smooth. I went slowly because I was afraid of burning the chocolate. When it was done, I poured it over the sugars in a bowl and proceeded with the recipe.
I added the 5 eggs, stirring just until combined as to prevent cakey brownies (the horror!), and then the vanilla. The recipe then directs you to "sprinkle" the dry ingredients the fold them into the wet until just specks of flour remain. It all goes into a 9x13 pan and into the oven for 30 minutes. Be careful not to overcook, fudgeyness is the key here.
Did they live up to the hype? Unfortunately for our waistlines, yes. Sarah dubbed them the "crack bacon" of pastries. They were intensely fudgey and powerfully chocolaty. They also kept for a few days very well.
The Baked Brownie
1-1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder (they suggest dark, I just used regular)
11 ounces 60-72% cacao chocolate (I used 60%) chopped
2 sticks butter, cut into pieces
1 tsp. instant espresso powder
1/2 light brown sugar
5 large eggs at room temp.
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9x13 inch glass or light metal baking pan.
2. Mix together the flour, salt and cocoa powder together in a small bowl.
3. Put the chocolate, butter and espresso powder in a large bowl over simmering water and stir until everything is melted. Turn off the heat, and whisk the sugars into the mixture. Remove from the pan.
3. Place the chocolate, butter and espresso powder in a microwave safe dish. Microwave in 15-25 second intervals, stirring in between, until smooth. Place the sugars in a bowl and pour the chocolate mixture on top, whisking to combine.
4. Whisk 3 of the eggs into the mixture until just combined. Add the remaining eggs, followed by the vanilla. Do not over mix.
5. Sprinkle the dry ingredients on top. Fold into the wet ingredients with a rubber spatula until only specks of flour are visible. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs. Cool, then cut into 24 pieces.