For me, a brownie has to be fudgy and chewy. In my opinion, if it's cakey, then that makes it a chocolate cake, and not a brownie. Secondly, brownies have to have a good chocolate flavor to them, and the more the better. I'm not a chocoholic by any means, but when it comes to brownies, I say go big or go home.
So, I've compiled a collection of what I feel are the best brownie recipes out there. You've probably heard of some of them, and there may be a few new ones. I've broken them up into three groups based on the ingredients in them.
- Group 1 = uses only cocoa powder
- Group 2 = uses only melted chocolate
- Group 3 = uses cocoa powder + melted chocolate
I'm curious to find out which combination will yield the ideal brownie. Can cocoa powder alone really do the trick or is melted chocolate absolutely necessary for awesome gooey-ness? Who knows, the results may surprise you. I also promise to keep these brownies as cost-effective as possible. Of course, if you just happen to have Valrhona or Scharffen Berger or any of that really good stuff in your kitchen, feel free to use it. But, for me, it's gonna be Hershey's cocoa powder and Trader Joe's chocolate (72% pound plus Belgian - only $4.99) all the way.
At the end of this quest, I may not ever want to see another brownie again (or at least for a month), but I'm willing to make the sacrifice in the name of science. So, let the brownie baking begin!