Brave Tart's Glossy Brownies
I'm the first to admit, being a stay at home mom is not easy. It's kinda sucked the life, out of my life! I'm not saying that I don't love my children and don't enjoy being with them more now than I did before, but it is exhausting! Then on top of that I decided to add a part time job to this mix, and well that just adds to my potent mix of anxiety, stress and exhaustion! So if you've noticed, I've been a bit MIA recently. I took a week off from baking and now I'm trying to catch up on all the things that I have made and haven't had the time to write about. Because lets face it, it's easy to bake, but hard to find the time to edit the photos and write about them! I've also come to a bit of a road block in my mind. I've been having a hard time finding inspiration for bakes. I've scoured Pinterest, scrolled through Instagram and flipped through magazines trying to find that spark...that bit if lightening that I get when I want to eat or bake something and I just got nothing! Until... This. I walked into an Amazon book store (I had no idea that they existed until I stumbled into one!) And I found Brave Tart's cookbook. Flipping through it I was mesmerized by all the luscious, creative and interesting desserts she's come up with. And then I found these Glossy Brownies. They looked like a dream, and I knew right then that this was one I had to try.
The brownies that I typically crave are embarrassingly the boxed brownie mix from my childhood. So easy and they always came out with that paper thin crust, chewy and perfectly fudgy. But alas, I recently tried to relive those memories and failed. It seems that all the modifications that companies have been doing with their packaged foods to make them healthier, have also changed the flavor. I brought home a box mix with high expectations, only to be disappointed by both the texture and the flavor. They were cakey and didn't have enough chocolate flavor.
But these brownies...these brownies are seriously luxurious. They are not for the faint of heart either. Packed with chocolate both in bar (I used chips because who has time to stand there and chop chocolate!?) and cocoa form. They have a fantastic flavor, a gorgeous shiny crust that crackles just enough to make them alluring and a deep deep fudgey flavor. They are chewy and a bit dense. But if you're looking to satisfy that brownie craving these are it.
I also have to admit that these brownies are not your typical one bowl recipe. This recipe is for the person who desperately wants the perfect brownie. It requires the melting of chocolate, The whipping of eggs in a mixer until incredibly light and fluffy (that is how you get that glossy paper thin crust on top) and the meticulous folding in of ingredients at the end. It takes some time, but the results are glorious.
Another thing I do like about this recipe is that it makes a big 9X13 pan of brownies. Not a measly 8X8" square. If I'm going to invest my time into making these brownies, I better have a a lot to go around...or at least enough for myself! But if you're willing to share... then hooray for that too!
Brave Tart's Glossy Brownies
*Recipe taken from Serious Eats
- 3 sticks unsalted butter
- 6 ounces finely chopped dark chocolate (I used a dark chocolate chip)
- 16 ounces white sugar (about 2 1/4 cups; 450g)
- 2 ounces light brown sugar (about 1/4 cup, packed; 55g)
- 1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 6 large eggs, straight from the fridge
- 1 tbsp ounce vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 4 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup, spooned; 125g), such as Gold Medal
- 4 ounces Dutch process cocoa powder (about 1 1/3 cups, spooned; 115g)
Adjust oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 350°F. Line a 9- by 13- by 2-inch anodized aluminum baking pan with foil to cover the bottom and long sides of the pan (it's all right to leave the short sides exposed). Spray foil and pan with cooking spray.
In a pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. When completely melted, increase to medium and simmer, stirring with a heat resistant spatula while the butter hisses and pops. Continue cooking and stirring, scraping up any brown bits that form along the pan, until the butter is golden yellow and perfectly silent. (This sound cue is actually really helpful!!) Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate; it will seem quite thin.
Combine white sugar, brown sugar, salt, eggs, vanilla, and instant espresso in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium-high until extremely thick and fluffy, about 8 minutes.- I waited the full 8 minutes and it was worth it! The eggs become fluffier than I've ever seen them before!
Meanwhile, sift together the flour and cocoa powder. When the foamed eggs are fluffy and thick, reduce speed to low and pour in the warm chocolate-butter. Once incorporated, add the cocoa-flour all at once and continue mixing until roughly combined. Finish with a flexible spatula, scraping and folding to ensure the batter is well mixed from the bottom up.
Pour into the prepared pan and bake until the brownies are glossy and just barely firm, about 30 minutes or to an internal temperature of 205°F (take care that the probe is inserted at a sharp angle to avoid touching the bottom of the pan). The timing of this recipe is based on anodized aluminum, and will vary significantly with glass, ceramic, or non-stick pans, materials that will also affect the brownie's consistency.
Cool the brownies to room temperature to allow their crumb to set before slicing. Slide a butter knife between the brownies and the short ends of the pan; gently tug on the foil, then lift to remove the brownies from the pan. Cut into twenty four 2 1/2-inch squares, and store in an airtight container with a sheet of wax paper between each layer, about 1 week at room temperature.