Considering that Alton Brown is THE man when it comes to recipes, I just had to put his recipe for Cocoa Brownies into the lineup.
I have to admit that I didn't totally follow his method for making them. Instead of adding the sugars to the eggs, I added them to the butter. Then, I mixed in the cocoa powder (which takes care of any lumps without having to sift it first), and then I added in the beaten eggs and so on. I'm not saying that using my method versus his will make them turn out any better; it's just how I like to do things.
The brownies took 1 hour to bake in my oven and they were still just a little gooey in the middle (which is perfection in my opinion). They did puff up a little high in the oven and I worried that they would end up cakey, even though I made sure not to overbake them. But, I needn't have worried. As they cooled, the brownies flattened down nicely and turned into a dense slab of pure chocolatey fudgy insanity.
Holy smokes! These brownies are rich! They are not for the faint of heart. No, these are for the hard-core chocoholics. The intense fudginess factor just blew my mind. Having eaten boxed mix brownies for most of my life, I had no idea that brownies could even be like this. And to think, they turn out this way without having to add any melted chocolate to the batter - just cocoa powder. All I can say is wow! Alton Brown, you really are THE man!
Alton Brown's Cocoa Brownies (from Food Network)
4 large eggs
1 c. sugar, sifted
1 c. brown sugar, sifted
1 c. butter, melted
1 1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. flour, sifted
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Preheat oven to 300F. Butter and flour an 8-inch square pan (I lined mine with foil).
In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the eggs at medium speed until fluffy and light yellow (I just whisked mine by hand till they were combined pretty well). Add both sugars. Add remaining ingredients, and mix to combine.
Pour the batter into a greased and floured (or lined) 8" square pan and bake for 45 min. (mine took 1 hour). Check for doneness with the tried and true toothpick method: a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan should come out clean (I took mine out of the oven while they were still slightly gooey in the center). When done, remove to a rack to cool. Resist the temptation to cut into it until it's mostly cool (this is crucial - you want the brownies to cool some so they become all dense and fudgy).
- I didn't sift any of my ingredients.
- I whisked my eggs by hand just till they were well combined.
- I melted the butter, then added the sugars and vanilla. Then, the cocoa powder and salt (which takes care of the lumps without sifting). Then, I added the eggs and finally folded in the flour just till combined.