The Baked Brownie!! {brownie quest}

This is the start of my {brownie quest} and what a great place to start! What am I talking about you may ask? Well, I would pass up any other sort of ‘bake’ for a perfect brownie. I have tried a lot of brownie recipes already that just are good or okay. So, I am going to give myself a monthly challenge! It’s a going to be a hard challenge, but someone must do it!

This is how it’ll work: I am going to bake a different brownie recipe every month and rate it on a scale of 1-5: one being awesome and 5 being terrible. (I hope to never encounter a 5!) I will also judge the brownie on texture as well as taste!

The plan is to learn how to allow everyone to link a brownie recipe to the post! I don’t think I will ever run out of brownie recipes, but I would love for people to share their ultimate brownie recipes!

I have a handful of brownie recipes already posted and I don’t plan to go back and give them a rating, but I may re-make some of them in the name of research!

I just had to have Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito after finding out  that it claimed to a recipe for the “Best Brownie as rated by American’s Test Kitchen.” That’s a pretty big claim!!

So, being the nice person that I am (along with a lot of other bloggers) I tested it out for you! 

the baked brownie:

1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11 ounces (325g) dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup (2 sticks/228g) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup packed light brown sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9×13-inch glass or light-colored baking pan. I used my brownie pan, which is just shy of this size, and it worked just fine.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and cocoa powder together.
Put the chocolate, butter and instant espresso powder in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, and then remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be room temperature.
Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.
Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula (not a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Let the brownies cool completely before cutting into squares and serve.
Tightly covered with plastic wrap, the brownies keep at room temperature for up to 3 days.
A few tips from Matt and Renato: use a dark unsweetened cocoa powder, make sure your eggs are at room temperature and do not over beat them in the batter, and check your brownies often as they bake. No one likes over baked brownies!

the verdict

I might not need to go on this brownie quest I just prattled on about above! These are very rich, very moist, and very good! I give it a 1 over-all, on texture, and on taste! 

Oh and just a side note for my UK bakers, it's an American book, based on an American bakery so you will need cups! Easy to buy anywhere now! 

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