For these brownies, I used John's Favorite Brownies recipe from the Scharffen Berger website. This recipe yields brownies that are moist and chewy when you first bit into them, but also feel like they melt in your mouth due to the high chocolate content.
Start by assembling 6 ounces (170 g) 70% cacao content chocolate (could be marked "dark" or "bittersweet"), 6 ounces (170 g) butter, 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour, 1-1/2 cup (300 g) granulated sugar, 3 large eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
Break the chocolate into chunks. Cut the butter up and place both the chocolate and the butter into a double boiler or a metal bowl set on top of a pot with simmering water. Chocolate melts fairly easily, but can seize and burn when heated too high. Melting it over steam is an easy way to keep the temperature at a moderate level. Be careful not to introduce steam into the chocolate because too much water can also cause the melted chocolate to seize.
Stir gently while the chocolate and the butter melt to help even melting. When all the chocolate and butter have melted, turn off the heat but keep the bowl over the hot water to keep the mixture warm and easy to work with. Stir to completely mix the butter and chocolate together.
Add the sugar to the chocolate and stir in.
Lightly beat the eggs and the vanilla extract together. Add the eggs and vanilla extract to the mixture and stir and fold until the eggs are blended into the chocolate. This step takes a little longer than the others because the egg will seem to try its best to stay separate from the chocolate. Using fast strokes to mix in the egg in the center of the bowl followed by a folding action to bring more egg into the center of the bowl works best for me. You also don't have to worry about the eggs curdling because the melted chocolate isn't that hot. Usually, when you introduce eggs to a hot liquid, you want to temper the eggs first (adding a little of the hot liquid to the eggs to help gradually bring the temperature of the eggs up) to prevent getting bits of scrambled eggs in your mix. With melted chocolate, this isn't a problem because the chocolate usually doesn't get hot enough.
Add the flour to the batter and stir until all the flour is integrated. If desired, up to one cup of chopped nuts can be stirred in with the flour.
Pour the batter into the buttered (and floured) baking pan. Using a smaller pan (such as an 8-inch square) will produce thicker and chewier brownies. The baking time may need to be adjusted to achieve the desired texture.
The batter will be fairly thick, so you may need to help spread it with a spatula. Place the baking pan on a rack in the center position of the oven and bake for 35 minutes.
To check if the brownie is done, insert a toothpick into the center of the brownie. It should come with with brownie crumbs on it and no batter. (If your toothpick comes up clean, then you might have over baked it. Remove, cool, cut, and call them Chocolate Brownie Cakes.) Let the brownies cool in the pan before cutting them into 2-inch (5 cm) squares. Because these brownies have a tendency to stick to your knife as you cut, use a little bit of (melted) butter on the blade to keep the brownie from sticking. If any chocolate does start to stick, wash the knife and reapply butter. If you don't, then more and more chocolate will stick to the knife and you'll end up tearing whole chunks of brownie up as you slice.}?>
Dark Chocolate Brownies (makes 24 squares)
|Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C) and butter a 9x13-in. baking pan|
|6 oz. (170 g) 70% cacao chocolate||melt in double boiler||stir in||stir in||stir in||bake 325°F (160°C) for 35 min.|
|6 oz. (170 g) butter|
|1-1/2 cup (300 g) granulated sugar|
|3 large eggs||lightly beat|
|1 tsp. (5 mL) vanilla extract|
|1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour|