Back when I was a little girl someone gave me a cookbook called Kid’s Cooking: A Very Slightly Messy Manual. In it there was a recipe for “Disgustingly Rich Brownies.” They lived up to the name and were amazing! I made them for years and years and even gave them away as Christmas gifts on occasion. They were the best brownies I’d ever had.
In March, my boss had to order some sweets for a meeting she was having with foreign clients. I called Essential Baking Company and ordered a few things: cookies, pastries, and their fudge brownies. After my boss’ meeting, she put the uneaten treats in the employee kitchen for us to eat. As a chocolate-lover, the clear choice was the brownie. I took a bite.
I had to sit down. It was the BEST BROWNIE EVER. It was dense, moist, and super chocolatey. I ate another. I ran extra hard that night, but they were totally worth it.
In the days that followed I tried calling EBC with a variety of ploys to get their recipe. The first time when I just asked, I was met with laughter. Undeterred, I called again the next day citing vague allergy problems as my reason for needing to know what was in them. They didn’t tell me. I called the EBCs in other neighborhoods. No dice. I even bought lots of the brownies to try and pin-point the ingredients… for science!
I decided if I was going to get the brownie recipe, I’d have to find it myself, through trial-and-error. I compiled a list of brownie recipes on Pinterest called “The Brownie Face-Off” for this very reason. My goal is to try every recipe and declare a winner. The winner needs to be as good as, if not better than, the EBC brownie. Here are my parameters:
- Moistness – I don’t like cakey brownies. The denser, the better!
- Chocolatiness – Must be ultra chocolatey to win my seal of approval.
- Lack of coffee – SO MANY recipes call for espresso powder in their brownies. I don’t like this.
- Ease – I don’t want anything ridiculously hard to prepare.
That’s it! I will give each parameter is grade of 1 – 5. The higher the score, the better.
Now, I should say, my Pinterest board has a lot of different types of brownies – not just basic ones like the EBC one. I love all brownies, though (except ones with nuts in them, yuck.), and will not discriminate! The more, the merrier, I say!
The first in my Brownie Face-Off is the Supernatural Brownie.
from Chocolate: From Simple Cookies to Extravagant Showstoppers by Nick Malgieri
2 sticks unsalted butter (I only had salted butter on hand, so I omitted the salt called for below)
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I used semisweet)
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
One 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan, lined with parchment paper and greased with butter or nonstick cooking spray
- Set the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
- Melt butter and chocolate over a double boiler.
- Whisk eggs together in a large bowl, then whisk in the salt, sugars, and vanilla. Stir in the chocolate and butter mixture, then fold in the flour.
I like to have a snack on hand when baking so I don’t eat all the batter. (Full disclosure: I still ate some)
Vanilla and eggs partying.Dry ingredients. This picture sort of hurts my eyes.Eggs and vanilla, meet dry ingredients!Everyone getting along!
- Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for about 45 minutes, until top has formed a shiny crust and batter is moderately firm. Cool completely in pan on a rack. If not serving right away, wrap pan in plastic wrap and keep at room temperature or refrigerated until the next day.