brilliantly-chocolate brownies

batter

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cake flour
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened alkalized cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt, preferably fine sea salt
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to tepid
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled to tepid
7 large eggs
3 cups granulated sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract

finish

confectioners’ sugar, for sifting over the baked bars

procedure

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Lengthwise and widthwise, line the inside of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking pan with sheets of release-surface aluminum foil, pressing in the foil release side-up and leaving 2 inches of foil to extend on all four sides. Film the inside of the pan with nonstick oil spray.

For the batter, sift the all-purpose flour, cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt onto a sheet of waxed paper.

In a small mixing bowl, thoroughly whisk the melted butter and melted unsweetened chocolate. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs just to mix. Add the granulated sugar and beat until incorporated well, using a whisk, about 2 minutes. Blend in the melted butter-melted chocolate mixture and vanilla extract, mixing just until incorporated. Resift the flour-cocoa powder mixture over the chocolate mixture. Whisk slowly to form a batter, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl with a rubber spatula to keep the batter even-textured. The batter will be moderately dense.

Scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth it into the corners, using a narrow offset palette knife.

Bake the sweet in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until just set. The top will have puffed slightly and a few hairline cracks will appear here and there.

Cool the sweet in the pan on a cooling rack for 2 hours. Refrigerate for 6 hours, or until firm enough to cut. Gently lift out the large block, using the foil sides to remove it. Peel away the foil from the bottom and sides of the brownie block, then set the sweet on top of it. Cut the block of brownies into bars, using a chef’s knife. Store in an airtight cookie tin with parchment paper separating the layers.

For the finish, sift confectioners’ sugar over the tops of the bars just before serving.

creates

four dozen small bars

store

up to one week in advance, stored in an enclosed container (in hot and/or humid weather, refrigerate or freeze the brownies)

notes

◊ the combination of all-purpose flour and cake flour creates a tender, but chewy, brownie
◊ my a favorite brand of alkalized cocoa powder to use in this recipe is Droste
◊ for the best texture, sift the granulated sugar before adding it to the beaten eggs
◊ just for fun and to enrich the brownies further, you can fold through 1 1/4 cups diced dark chocolate-covered caramel and vanilla nougat candy bars (Mars Milky Way Midnight Dark Candy Bars) to the batter after the flour-cocoa powder mixture has been incorporated
◊ never consume raw batter