It is the third glorious day of brownie making! This time I tried out two recipes that weren’t on the best-loved lists, but looked irresistible (yes I judged the recipes by their covers, and I have no regrets).
The first, David Lebovitz’s recipe for “Helene’s Brownies” is apparently the French style of doing brownies (although from what my Parisian friends say, there’s no need for brownies when you have fresh, warm lava cakes). They’re the first brownies that I made which deviate from the usual- they include coconut flour and the potential to use 1/4 cup espresso (if you choose, which I didn’t because my espresso powder recently mysteriously disappeared. They’re also a little strange because they’re made in a pie pan, rather than a square pan (although you do you, if you really want your brownies square).
These ended up having a lovely, fudgy consistency and the richest, deepest chocolate flavor thus far. Still not my ideal brownies, though, they lacked hints of caramel and the slight tendency towards a more open cakey crumb structure. At their best, fresh out of the oven, I gave them a respectable 7/10. These were the madre’s favorites of the first three weeks.
The second batch of brownies was Cafe Delites’s Best Fudgy Cocoa Brownies. These were my favorite brownies thus far- gooey and dark, rich with all the benefits of brownie batter but the grab-ability of actual baked brownies. They had an indulgent chocolate flavor, and were absolutely delicious. Because I am (by this point) a brownie expert, the only other thing I could ask for is slightly more depth of flavor. Overall, I gave them a 9/10.
David Lebovitz’s “Helene’s French Brownies”
- 7 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (just over 2 bars of 65-75% chocolate)
- 1/4 cup water
- 8 Tbsp salted (gasp!) butter, cubed
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 4 medium to large eggs
- 2 Tbsp unsweetened, dried coconut flakes (or almond flour s’il vous plait)
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9″ pie plate, then dust with cocoa powder and tap out the excess.
- In a medium saucepan on low heat, constantly stir the chocolate, water, and butter together until smooth. Remove from heat, then stir in the sugar and flour until combined. Add the eggs, stirring them in one by one.
- Fold in the coconut and chocolate chips, then scoop the batter into the pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the center is almost set.
- Cool in the pan, then slice into wedges.
- This recipe makes 8-10 servings in about 2 hours
Cafe Delite’s “Best Fudgy Cocoa Brownies”
- 8 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1 Tbsp coconut (or olive) oil
- 1 1/8 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8×8″ pan with oil and line with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk butter, oil, and sugar together on high for about a minute. Add in eggs and vanilla, and beat for another minute until the batter is lighter and thoroughly combined.
- Add flour, cocoa powder, and salt, and lightly stir until just combined, so that 1-2 streaks of dry ingredients may still be visible.
- Pour the batter into the pan, smoothing the top, and bake for about 20-25 minutes until just about set.
- Cool the brownies in the pan until they are room temperature, then slice and serve!
- Beat as well as you can when combining the fats, sugar, eggs, and vanilla, but take care to mix as little as possible once you add the flour so that the brownies stay gooey and thick, rather than cakey.