I love chocolate… Like, really, really love chocolate. I probably weigh 5 (harumphh… er perhaps 10) pounds more than I should because of chocolate. But that’s OK. My love is true, my love is pure.
I also love a little magazine called Cooks Illustrated. Every recipe I’ve tried from them has been top notch, and this one is no exception. So here you have it, the Classic Brownie!
1 cup pecans or walnuts , chopped medium (optional) ***I used walnuts
1 1/4 cup cake flour *** I used regular flour (1 cup of all purpose flour minus 2 tablespoons is = to 1 cup of cake flour)
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking powder
6 oz. unsweetened chocolate chopped fine
12 tbsp. unsalted butter ***I used salted so I omitted the earlier addition of salt
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 lg. eggs
1 tbsp. vanilla
1. Adjust your oven rack to the middle position. Heat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Cut a pice of tin foil 18 ” long and fold lengthwise to an 8″ width. Fit the foil into the length of a 13×9″ pan. Allow excess to fold over the edges. Now cut a 14″ length and fold to a make the width 12″ then fit into the pan going the other way. Kind of hard to explain so look at the photo and try to figure it out…
Spray with some cooking spray like Pam.
3. Spread your chopped nuts on a baking sheet and toast for about 5-8 minutes in the oven.
4. If you don’t have a double boiler (and I do, I just can’t find it after I moved) you can just simmer some water in a pot and put a heat resistant bowl in it to melt your butter and chocolate. It might burn if you put in on direct heat.
5. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and add the sugar. Whisk it in until it’s dissolved and smooth.
7. In a separate bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt together. Add the flour mixture to the chocolate in three additions, folding with a rubber spatula (rather than madly mixing it.) Fold it gently until it all comes together into a nice gooey chocolatey batter.
8. Pour the batter into your prepared pan. Spread the batter into the corners and smooth out the top. Sprinkle the toasted nuts on top. Pop it into the oven for about 30-35 minutes. Stick a toothpick in. You’ll know it’s done when a few moist crumbs come out on the toothpick. If it comes out wet and sticky, it’s not done!
9. Remove brownies from foil once they’ve cooled about 2 hours (if you can actually wait that long) and cut into 2″ squares.
It’s a very fine brownie indeed!