I have a confession…. I use brownie mix when I make brownies.
And I don’t mean sometimes… like all the time…. And then pretend that they were homemade.
Well I did make them at home right? I made brownies from a box because they didn’t seem special enough to put the extra effort into to make them from scratch.
They were delicious, but nothing special. I didn’t think I could really improve upon the basic chocolate mix that Pillsbury provided. A brownie is a brownie right?
A couple weeks ago I discovered the magic of coarse sea salt in baked goods (
More on that in a future post – hint hint – The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies in the World). If you haven’t tried coarse sea salt on your dessert you need to do it right away. And start with this recipe for Fudgy Salted Brownies. Big chunks of salt on a dense chocolaty brownie takes your average brownie to another level. If boxed brownies are a 5 years old birthday party, then these Fudgy Salted Brownies are a sophisticated Gala at the Met.
So why didn’t I just sprinkle some sea salt on top of my boxed brownie mix? When I made boxed brownies they would usually end up way to sweet and way too soft. I would have a couple of decent brownies around the sides of the pan (that I would give to others) and a gooey mess in the middle (that I would lap up in with a giant spoon). Just adding salt to them wouldn’t work; they already had enough salt and sugar.
Let’s get to the other factor that makes these brownies so special. They are Fudgy Salted Brownies, we already coved the salted part, now let’s talk about the fudgy part. What exactly makes these brownies so fudgy? Well the answer is two-fold. First it has to do with the dense batter and second is how you bake them.
Let’s examine the batter first. It’s mostly chocolate. There is not a lot of flour in there. That’s what makes these brownies so rich – and the difference between the boxed variety. The amount of high quality chocolate make these taste more like a dense chocolate torte than like their boxed cousins.
The other reason these brownies are so rich is because of the way they are baked. This may sound kind of crazy, but trust me on it. Bake your brownies 10 minutes, then take them out of the oven. They will not be done. Let them rest for 10 minutes, then put them back into the oven for another 10 minutes to finish baking. By doing this you stop the cooking process temporarily. The brownies that were just starting to rise sink down into themselves. What results is fully cooked, yet remarkable smooth, thick, and undeniably fudgy brownie.
This recipe makes a small amount – 8 fudgy beauties . Perfect for date night – or alone night, I’m not judging. You can easily double or triple it to make more. Pair them with a glass of wine and feel fancy. Who needs boxed brownie mix?
- 3 oz (6 tablespoons) good quality semi-sweet chocolate
- 3 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon good quality cocoa powder
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon coarse sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling on top
- Preheat oven to 325º F. Spray a 9x5 loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a medium sized microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate in microwave stirring every thirty seconds until melted.
- Add butter and stir into chocolate until completely melted and smooth. If necessary put back in microwave for another 30 seconds.
- Stir in sugars, egg, and vanilla. Mix well until everything is smooth.
- Sift cocoa powder, flour, and baking powder into chocolate mixture. Add sea salt. Stir to combine.
- Pour batter into loaf pan. Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven. Sprinkle top with a little sea salt. Wait 10 minutes. Put back in oven and bake another 10 minutes or until completely cooked.