What I really love about baking is that even if you don’t get the exact result you are going for, you sometimes get a nonetheless marvelous different result. That’s what happened with these brownies, which I intended to be the epitome of chewy chocolate YUM.
Well, they aren’t one bit chewy, unless you count the beautifully shiny, crackled top crust. That has some lovely chew to it. However, as I was bemoaning the unfortunate overall unchewiness, I noticed that I was also going back to the baking pan for my third, my fourth, and then my fifth brownie–just to “make sure I don’t like them.”
Ha! Of course I like them! The truth is, I say I’m NOT a fudgy brownie lover and usually that’s true. But maybe I should amend that now to say I’m not a HEAVY fudgy brownie lover. I don’t like brownies or cake that feel like sodden paste in my mouth. Do you know the texture I’m talking about?
MauiJim says these brownies have the flavor of dark chocolate fudge with the texture of the truffle-like chocolate confection known as Frango Mints. Interesting description. It’s true that these brownies are surprisingly light and melt-in-your-mouth. Plus the balance of flavors is divine. The creamy, bittersweet chocolate flavor is given needed dimension by the inclusion of unsweetened, acidic, natural cacao. A generous hit of espresso powder deepens the flavor further, vanilla lends a creamy floral note, and salt keeps the taste buds at full attention through every bite.
- Well, they aren’t one bit chewy, unless you count the beautifully shiny, crackled top crust. That has some lovely chew to it. However, as I was bemoaning the unfortunate overall unchewiness, I noticed that I was also going back to the baking pan for my third, my fourth, and then my fifth brownie–just to “make sure I don’t like them.”
- Although these silky, mouse-like brownies are not produced with the classic dump-and-bake method, I think you will agree that the result is worth the little extra effort.
- LunaCafe OtherWorldly Silky Fudgy Brownies
- This is the chewy brownie flop that converted me, after decades of fudgy brownie aversion, to fudgy brownie LOVE. The different between this fudgy brownie and most other fudgy brownies I have sampled over the years is that this one is ethereally light, almost mousse-like in texture. While this may not be the ultimate CHEWY brownie that I was attempting to create, it’s a winner in its own right.
- TESTING NOTE Because the flour amount here is minimal, it’s important to actually beat the flour into the brownie batter for a full minute to activate just enough of the gluten to create some structure. No delicate folding needed! Also, you will note here that egg yolks are not specified. I tested with and without egg yolks and found the without version to be just a bit lighter.
- 2 teaspoons unsalted butter and 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour to coat the baking pan
- ¾ cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 6 ounces best-quality 62%-72% bittersweet bar chocolate, roughly chopped or wafers (In tests, I used Scharffen Berger 70% cacao bittersweet bar chocolate and E. Guittard 72% cacao bittersweet chocolate wafers; both are excellent)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1½ cups superfine sugar
- ¼ cup premium quality unsweetened, natural process cocoa (not alkalized Dutch process( (In tests, I used Askinosie and Scharffen Berger, which are both excellent)
- 4 large egg whites, cool room temperature
- 1 cup King Arthur unbleached, all-purpose flour
- Set a rack in the upper middle of the oven and preheat to 375°.
- Lightly butter an 8- by 8-inch, light colored, metal baking pan and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon flour. Tap out the excess flour, making sure that all inner surfaces are evenly coated with butter and flour. Reserve.