Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Best cocoa brownies

Best cocoa brownies / Brownies de cacau

I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve made this recipe – my 16 year old sister loves these brownies and was surprised by how easy to put together they are the first time she saw me making them. It was a hit with my brother and at work, too. I left a comment on Chuck’s post on June, 2008 – that was the first time I baked these.
So why on earth did I wait so long to post such a great recipe? Because every time I made these brownies they disappeared so fast I could never get them photographed. :)

Best cocoa brownies

10 tablespoons (140g/1 ¼ sticks) unsalted butter
1 ¼ (250g) cups sugar - I used vanilla sugar
¾ cup + 2 tablespoons (80g) unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cold large eggs
½ cup (70g) all-purpose flour
2/3 cup (74g) walnut or pecan pieces (optional)

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F. Line the bottom and sides of a 20cm (8in) square baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides. Butter the foil.

In a medium heatproof bowl, add the butter and set on top of a large sauce pan with barely simmering water. Melt the butter, then add sugar and salt, and stir until well combined. Next add the cocoa powder and stir until mixture is smooth and hot enough that you want to remove your finger fairly quickly after dipping it in to test. Remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot.
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, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack.
Lift up the ends of the parchment or foil liner, and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Cut into 16 or 25 squares.

Chuck’s note on chocolate: any unsweetened natural or Dutch-process cocoa powder works well here. Natural cocoa produces brownies with more flavor complexity and lots of tart, fruity notes, which maybe more exciting for you. Dutch-process cocoa results in a darker brownie with a mellower, old-fashioned chocolate pudding flavor, pleasantly reminiscent of childhood.

Makes 16 large or 25 smaller brownies


Paula said...

you exactly know what I like!

Suelle said...

Another wonderful photo - where do you get the patience to wrap individual brownies? I think it's good to have a few recipes which use cocoa rather than chocolate - cocoa is a storecupboard ingredient, whereas I do occasionally run out of chocolate. I intend to try these soon.

Finla said...

I saw this in your place today and I went straigt to my kitchen and made this. So wanted to tell you this is one of the best brownie I have made and had. At the moment my daughter is enjoying them fully. I took picture if the picture is good i will post them next week.

WendyinKK said...

I've been thinking of making brownies.. and boy, this looks good!!

Unknown said...

They look gorgeous and your presentation is flawless

Alexandra said...

yum! i need a good brownie recipe that only uses cocoa. its going into my bookmarks to try!

Lori Lynn said...

The brownies sound terrific, love the photo, especially how the straws match the little ribbons! Adorable!

Leanne said...

These look fantastic! Thanks for sharing :)

Elyssa said...

These brownies look absolutely gorgeous (and delicious, of course).
I had to show them off on my blog! I gave you a shout out:)


Ube said...

This is a brownie recipe I have been looking for (use of cocoa powder). Thanks for sharing.

Valerie Gamine said...

These are the 'little black dress' of brownies. :)

Megan K. said...

I have a very similar recipe. I use Pernigotti cocoa for my brownies, any other suggestions for cocoa? I
love the dark rich flavor, but always looking to try something new.

Anonymous said...

Yes please! These look amazing - especially with a nice big glass of milk.

Jessica said...

These look awesome! Wonderful photo!

My Little Space said...

Oh Pat, the texture of the brownie looks so moist and yummy! A must try recipe indeed. Thanks for sharing. Have a nice day!
Cheers, Kristy

Lori said...

They do look good. It looks like the texture of these is what I like in a brownie- fudgey.

Anna said...

Thank you for a easy recipe, I have tried to bake brownies quite a few times and it's always a fiasco. I can never get the right texture. The gooey creamy texture. I'll try your recipe, it looks delicious.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

They looks scrumptious! Love that styling Patricia1 It's so very Donna Hay! :D

Friday Delights said...

I love brownies,Mmmm!!! They look so good!!!!

The Urban Baker said...

these look amazing! you are amazing! I am going to whip these up immediately...

Bakericious said...

the brownie looks so chocolately and rich, yummy!

Lisa said...

Wow, these look so so amazing. I love the dense and fudgey texture -- definitely my kind of brownie! I want to whip these up tonight!

Anh said...

So funny! I've planned to bake these brownies this weekend!!!

Rach said...

I love your blog! The photos are amazing and all the desserts look delicious!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Paula, I'm glad! :)

Suelle, thank you! I think that patience is something I've been learning over the years. :)
Hope you like the recipe!

Happy Cook, that is wonderful news! I'm so glad to know your daughter liked the brownies, yay! :)
Tks for letting me know - and I'll be delighted to see them on your blog!

Wendy, thank you!

Jennifurla, thank you!

Alexandra, thank you for stopping by!

Lori Lynn, thank you for visiting! I'm glad you like the styling. :)

Leanne, thank you for visiting!

Elyssa, thank you for the link!

Ube, thank you for stopping by!

Valerie, I agree with you! :)

Megan, I'm in Brazil and used a national brand. I have never tried Pernigotti - now you've got me curious! :)

Alicia, thank you, sweetie!

Jessica, thank you for stopping by!

Dear Kristy, thank you! I'm so glad you like them!

Lori, thank you! They're really moist.

Anna, thank you, darling! Hope you give this recipe a go!

Lorraine, thank you, sweetie!

Butterfly, thank you!

Susan, thank you - you are so sweet! xoxo

Jess, thank you!

Lisa, go ahead, darling!

Ahn, we're half a planet away but in sync, dearie!

Rach, thank you for stopping by! I'm glad to hear that!

Katie said...

These look wonderful! So moist and fudgey and what a deep dark chocolate colour. Yum

Chef Dennis Littley said...

who doesn't love brownies!! Yours sound heavenly, and I love how you have them wrapped so nicely!
Glad to have found your wonderful blog!

The Urban Baker said...

You are so right...these are the perfect brownies. Made them yesterday for last nights dessert and they were devoured as I was cutting them. Gorgeous photo!

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

Oh this recipe has been making the rounds lately, hasn't it? With your yummy photos, how can I resist any longer? :)

Daniel - TheTeenCook said...

Gotta love a good browny, these look great!

Patty said...

I love the simplicity of this recipe! Since there's only 1/2c flour, they could easily be made gluten-free (with a gluten-free flour mix) too. Very pretty presentation as well Patricia. :)

Patricia Scarpin said...

Katie, thank you, sweetie!

Chef Dennis, thank you! I'm glad you like the blog!

Susan, you made my day, darling! I'm so glad to know you like the recipe, yay!

Xiaolu, it's so good - everyone is loving it, I guess! :)

Daniel, thank you for stopping by!

Patty, you are far too sweet, darling! Thank you!

eatme_delicious said...

Drooooooooool these look SO good! I can see why your sister loves them.

Finla said...

Remember me telling you I made the brownie the day you posted it self, just posted them in my place I totally agree this is the best ever brownie i have ever made. I am sure this will be made over and over in my place. Thankyou for sharing such a good recipe.

Shabs.. said...

Hi, came thru happy cooks blog and how glad am i to have discovereed such an awesome looking blog..loved loved loved ur blog and ur site brownies....and teh presentation....I am following you. WOuld love to have u at my space and hear any suggestions.


Patricia Scarpin said...

Happy Cook, of course I remember - I was so glad with the news! :)
I'm off to your blog right now - thank you for letting me know!

Shabs, thank you for stopping by!

Litldove7 said...

Do you think it's possible to come out with just a good of a brownie if I used whole wheat flour? That's all I have on hand at the moment...

Patricia Scarpin said...

Litldove7, I think it would make the texture rather heavy... :(

Alexandria said...

So I've never made brownies from scratch before or with cocoa powder and I was a bit hesitant to try these but I did and oh my goodness... They are SO good. I feel like going out and buying cocoa powder in bulk so I can make these any time, they're that delicious. It's like brownie fudge, yum yum yum. Thank you so much!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Alexandria, that is GREAT news! I am so happy to hear that - thank you for letting me know!

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for posting this. This photo and the coloring somewhat reminds me of Christmas. I truly do love brownies and I'd eat them nonstop. Sickening, I know..but that is LOVE. LOL Been a while since I've swing by your blog. Hugs to your blog and thanks for keeping it wonderful.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Ja9, thank YOU for stopping by! You are just far too kind!

Amanda said...

Hey, thanks for the recipe! Just made these tonight for a party and everyone loved them. They really were easy to put together and came out great, even though I misread the directions a little and think I over-baked them :)
Added chopped Reeses and that was good too.
Will definitely keep this recipe!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Hi, Amanda! Thank YOU for letting me know how they turned out! Love the idea of adding Reeses - yum!

rachel bee said...

just came across this blog, and love it! i came by way of foodgawker, looking for the perfect cocoa brownie recipe, and i have found it. i followed every direction to the gram, and they are perfect! fudgy, in the middle (my fave part), chewy on the edges, and crispy on the top. would have waited for them to completely cool through, but my two-year old came by and took a handful out of the middle. heavenly! have a lovely day!

" faith " said...

WOW... I've never seen such a great foodblog that has so much to offer - especially on the sweet side. I'm so addicted to these brownies...just took out a new batch from the oven now... GOT MILK?

I don't think I've ever followed a foodblog other than yours... my sister is a fan too - she tasted the first batch I made and asked for the recipe, which I referred to your site. Oh yes, I am also copying the way you wrap these brownies for the holidays...THANKS!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Hi, Rachel! I'm so glad to know you and your baby liked the brownies - tks for letting me know!
Happy Holidays!

Fides Nuqui, you are far too kind! Thank you! I'm glad to know you're enjoying the recipes here!
Thank YOU!

omai said...

Hi! Thank you very much for the recipe.
And could you please tell tell me whether I must butter parchment baking paper or not if i use it instead of foil to line the pan? Is it stick if I don't? (I just started with baking, so I don't have much experience with it).
Thank you!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Hi, Omai!
You should butter the parchment paper, too, otherwise it will stick.
I hope you like the brownies!

Hollums02 said...

These were rich and wonderful, moist and fudgy. :)

Patricia Scarpin said...

Thank you for letting me know how the brownies turned out!

Anonymous said...

My younger sister who is also an excellent cook & a baker by hobby was responsible in pointing me to this website for the no fail, moist chocolate brownie recipe that I have been searching for. This has been my go to recipe whenever I need to bring some over at work or to a holiday party. I sometimes add 1tbspn of espresso powder with this recipe. and as a shortcut, I just melt the unsalted butter in the microwave and use a whisk to prepare all of the ingredients. It always comes out moist & chewy, just like a prefer my brownie. Thank you for sharing your recipe. I'm a big fan!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Hey, you!
I am so glad to hear you like the brownies - they're my sister's favorite!
Thank YOU for letting me know how the recipe turned out. Hugs to you and your sister! <3

Lara Cachia said...

Thank you for the inspiration Patricia! What beautiful photos!

I have adapted this recipe to make Caramel Brownies which have turned out delicious! I have posted to my blog and linked in your post! I hope you don't mind!

Lara x

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