Sunday, September 14, 2014

Cravings - Deep Dark Chocolate: Easiest Dark Chocolate Brownies

Making Dark Chocolate Brownies is almost as easy as using a mix
Photo: NK 
Recently, I had the overwhelming urge to bake something extra decadent. Brownies are my usual choice, since I tend to have better success with them, but I did want to do something to make these Brownies really,really special. For me, that means chocolatey. Rich, Dark Chocolate, to be exact. 

The recipe I've adapted below is wonderful because it's nearly as simple as using boxed brownie mix. Combining chopped Semisweet Chocolate with Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa adds a hint of interest to the chocolatey goodness and well-balanced richness. A touch of Salt makes these Brownies not too sweet. Note: the recipe I adapted had a cook time of 25-30 minutes. My oven had these coming in closer to 35 minutes. **** I would recommend checking them at 30 minutes and doing a toothpick test until you are satisfied with the result. They need to be served fully cooled and they cut best when they are right out of the fridge. We hope you enjoy Dark Chocolate Brownies as much as we did! 

Dark Chocolate Brownies
Adapted from Cocoa Brownies, Bon Appetit Magazine
Makes 16 Brownies

Equipment: 8x8x2 Glass Baking Dish and Aluminum Foil 

Nonstick Vegetable Oil Spray (or butter)
2 Ounces Semisweet Chocolate Finely Chopped (we used Ghirardelli)*
1 stick Salted Butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/4 Cup Sugar
3/4 Cup Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa Powder (or regular Dutch Red Cocoa, or a blend!)
1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt (plus an extra sprinkle)
1 teaspoon good quality Vanilla Extract
2 large Eggs
1/3 Cup All-Purpose Flour

*For an extra rich, chocolate-lover's brownie, you can use bittersweet Chocolate instead of semisweet as above. For this, we buy Scharffen Berger Bittersweet Chunks or the bar chopped into small chunks. So good 

1. Preheat the oven to 325.

2. Line an 8x8x2 glass baking dish with foil, pressing it firmly into the pan with a few inches of overhang. Spray liberally with the cooking spray or butter and set aside.

3. In a small pan, melt the Butter and allow it to cool slightly.
4. In a medium bowl, mix the Sugar, Cocoa, and Salt.Now pour the melted Butter into the dry ingredients, whisking constantly to blend well. Add the Vanilla Extract, followed by the Eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition (be sure to beat well). 

5. Add the chopped Semisweet Chocolate to the wet ingredients and then add the Flour and stir gently until combined. Take care not to over mix. 
Transfer batter into prepared pan and smooth the top. 

6. Bake until the top of the Brownies appear firm and a toothpick inserted in the center emerges with a just a few moist crumbs stuck to it - about  35 minutes (check progress at about 34 minutes as oven temps can vary significantly).

7. Place Brownie Pan on a wire rack for at least a half hour to fully cool. Using the foil, lift Brownies carefully from the pan and cut into 16 squares. Serve and enjoy! 

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