Skip to content

intense brownies

April 22, 2010

The hunt for the perfect brownie recipe is a lot like finding the perfect chocolate chip recipe, it’s a personal quest and seemingly never-ending.  Now that I feel like I’ve found my own personal favorite for chocolate chip cookies and even conquered the ever-popular compost cookie (which, not surprisingly, drives the majority of the traffic to my little blog), I’ve set my sights on finding my favorite brownie recipe, starting with these.

Featured on CHOW, these brownies are described as “chewy, cakey, fudgy–a recipe for brownie purists”.  Now, this begs the question, am I a brownie purist?  Maybe not.  I found the brownie to be…fine.   Not exactly what I would call intense.  Maybe I need a wow factor from my brownies–who knew?

A good friend calls white cake with chocolate frosting “typical cake”.   If that is “typical cake”, then I imagine this brownie should be called “typical brownie”.  I’m happy I sprinkled a little fleur de sel on the batter before popping it in the oven.  I was happy to have a little salty surprise in each bite.

Verdict:  Overall, this is not my holy grail brownie recipe and my search continues (woe is me).  But, it’s a good go-to recipe if you’re ever in the market for a “typical brownie”.  If you fancy yourself more of a brownie purist than I, by all means give this a whirl and tell me I’m all wrong and this is the holy grail of brownies.  Otherwise, stay tuned as the search continues.

“intense” brownies
adapted from


  • 6 ounces (170 grams) bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened and preferably at least 60% cacao)
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick or 113 grams)
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (225 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coffee liqueur (or brewed espresso)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (110 grams) all-purpose flour
  • fleur de sel for sprinkling


  1. Chop chocolate into small pieces.
  2. Over medium-low heat, melt butter and then add chocolate bits to melt down.  Remove from heat and allow to come to room temperature.
  3. While chocolate/butter mixture is coming to room temperature, combine eggs, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla, coffee liqueur and sugar.  Whisk until uniform.
  4. Add cooled chocolate and whisk together.
  5. Sift flour into mixture and slowly whisk together.
  6. Marvel at the beauty of brownie batter and resist the temptation of skipping the baking bit.
  7. In a cake pan (recipe calls for 8*8, but I used an 11*7 and lived to tell the talk), lined with foil, pour in mixture.
  8. Optional: Sprinkle the top of the batter with fleur del sel.
  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes in an oven pre-heated to 350°F/176°C or until your brownies pass the toothpick test.
  10. Allow to cool and then cut into desired pieces.  I came out the other end with 15.
  11. Enjoy!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Jaime permalink
    April 22, 2010 4:37 pm

    Is there a reason to line the cake pan with foil?

  2. April 22, 2010 5:37 pm

    Foil in the pan means more brownies in your belly rather than the cake pan. In other words, it keeps it from sticking to the pan. Parchment paper would work just as well, I imagine.

  3. April 23, 2010 11:20 am

    I’m also on the quest for the perfect chewy, fudgy, brownie and I tried these too. I agree, they are not perfect and were too crumbly for my taste. Buy I love that you sprinkled sea salt on top! That will make any brownie perfect for me!

    • April 23, 2010 11:25 am

      Salt and chocolate should never go anywhere without each other, in my opinion. Let me know if you find the “perfect” one, there’s a CI recipe that I want to try as well as the popular recipe that was allegedly a favorite of Julia Child’s. I have to admit these quests are so much fun, part of me doesn’t ever want to find the “perfect” one.

  4. April 25, 2010 2:35 pm

    Salt and chocolate were made for each other. When ever I use chocolate I add extra salt. These brownies look really good!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: