On the fourth day of Brownie month (and beyond), I tested out Ina Garten’s Outrageous brownies and the Baked brownie. Both of these have been held up as some of the best recipes out there, but it was pretty clear immediately- Ina Garten is the queen of brownies. I absolutely loved her recipe. Rich, dense, and nutty with a light caramel flavor, these brownies were even more amazing because the walnuts became tender and almost crystallized in the batter and the chocolate chips add that light boost of pure chocolate. I would have to rank these at 9.5/10, missing the last .5 only in case I one day taste brownies that literally sound the hallelujah choir.
But what about the Baked brownies?, you’re probably saying. Well, I won’t lie and say that they’re as perfect as the outrageous brownies. They’re more purely chocolate in flavor, and definitely cakier than the fudginess of the others. If you want a richer chocolate brownie with a supremely moist cake texture, and you aren’t a big fan of nuts, these may just be your soulmates. For me, though, they were a respectable 7.5/10. Enjoy!
The Baked Brownie
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Dutch-process for the darker color and richer taste)
- 1 tsp salt
- 11 oz dark chocolate (between 55-75%), darkly chopped
- 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 5 eggs, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease the sides and bottom of a 9×13″ pan, and line with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, and salt together.
- In a double boiler, large bowl over simmering water, or in the microwave (stirring between sets of 30 seconds), heat the chopped chocolate and butter together*, stirring until completely melted and smooth. Quickly add in the sugars and stir until totally incorporated.
- Add three eggs to the chocolate-sugar mixture, and whisk until totally combined, then add in the remaining eggs, whisking again until smooth. Add the vanilla and stir again.
- Sprinkle the flour mixture from the second step, and use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to gently fold the two together until just combined- it’s okay if there are still visible streaks of flour.
- Pour the batter into the pan and smooth out the top. Bake for 15 minutes, then rotate, and bake for another 10-15 minutes until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
- Cool the brownies to room temperature in the pan, then cut into squares and serve or store at room temperature for up to three days.
- *If you want to enrich the taste of the chocolate and add dimension to the flavor of the brownies, feel free to add in 1 tsp espresso powder here, being sure to stir until smooth.
- **Do not overmix here, or your brownies will be overly cakey and dry.
Ina Garten’s Outrageous Brownies
- 16 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into smaller pieces
- 2 1/2 cups chocolate chips, divided
- 3 oz unsweetened chocolate
- 3 large eggs
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp flour, divided
- 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts (if desired)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a 9×13″ pan.
- Melt together the butter, 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips, and unsweetened chocolate either in a double boiler, in a pan over simmering water, or in 30 second intervals in the microwave. Stir until smooth, then allow to cool slightly.
- Stir together eggs, vanilla, sugar*. Add in the warm chocolate mixture, and combine completely. Set aside to cool further.
- While the chocolate mixture is cooling, stir together 1/2 cup flour, baking powder, and salt. Add into chocolate mixture and stir until just combined.
- In a small bowl, stir together remaining 1 cup chocolate chips, 2 Tbsp flour, and walnuts. Add into the batter and mix gently.
- Pour batter into pan and smooth the top. Bake for about 15 minutes, then take the pan out of the oven and rap on a counter to knock out air bubbles between the brownies and the pan. Place the pan back in for another 10-15 minutes, or until just set and the toothpick comes out clean.
- *As with the Baked brownies, to enhance the depth of chocolate flavor, you can add 1.5 Tbsp instant coffee powder here, just be sure to fully incorporate.
- Be careful not to overbake! The key to fudgy, delectable brownies is taking the brownies out just before they seem fully cooked, and allowing them to finish cooking in the pan.