Brownie, Chocolate, Traybake

The Darkest Chocolate Brownie

“I favor the darkest chocolate brownie I can find,” said a colleague of mine when I asked her preferred baked good.

Challenge accepted.

The Darkest Chocolate Brownie

  • 6oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped and divided
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp instant espresso
  • 1/4 cup cocoa*
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup bread flour
  • 1  tsp salt

Melt 4oz of the chocolate and place the remaining 2oz in a small bowl. Set both aside.

In a pan set over medium heat, melt the butter. Once the butter is melted, whisk in the cocoa and espresso powder, heating until fragrant, about a minute more.

Remove from heat and whisk in the sugar and 4oz of melted chocolate. Let cool for 15 minutes. While it’s cooling, prepare an 8×8 pan by lining it with parchment. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (or 325 for dark pans).

Whisk the eggs into the cooled butter mixture until combined and homogeneous. Fold in the flour and salt. Finally, fold in the finely chopped chocolate.

Pour into prepared pan, and bake at 350 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes until set at the edges and just barely set in the middle. Let the brownies cool in the pan. Refrigerating the brownies after they have cooled completely makes slicing easy.

For a double recipe, suitable for a 13×9 pan, I extended the bake time to 25-30 minutes, but otherwise, all of the ingredients doubled beautifully.

*I used Hershey’s Special Dark which – after a little research – I discovered, is just a Dutch process cocoa powder. Other changes that make this recipe especially dark compared with other brownie recipes:

  • Many recipes I found online use anywhere from 1 1/4 cups to 1 1/2 cups sugar for an 8×8 pan. Recipes that used only a cup tended to contain something like additional semi-sweet chocolate or chocolate chips. Less sugar makes for a deeper, bitter chocolate flavor.
  • Espresso powder shouldn’t be a surprise to most bakers as coffee enhances the flavor of chocolate.
  • I omitted vanilla that’s typically found in every baked good recipe: if it’s not intended to taste vanilla, I tend to not use vanilla extract.
  • Bread flour, dark brown sugar, and melted butter are standard in all of my baked goods where I want a chewy texture.


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