Maida’s Palm Beach Brownies

For the real version, check Maida Heatter’s Great Book of Chocolate Desserts or try this version from The Washington Post which is almost verbatim. I typed the recipe as I made it and am keeping it as is. The brownies were amazing and I just love Maida Heatter even though I didn’t make the brownies exactly as she did.
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Here’s another brownie recipe adapted from Maida Heatter.  I made a half batch this morning and they are very good. They require a bit more mixing (10 minutes worth) than the Nancy Baggett’s and Alice Medrich’s brownies, but the mixing pays off if you like a very crispy crust. I think it must be a combination of the mixing and the high heat that makes these brownies crispy on the outside and soft and fudgy on the inside. If you make them, don’t make your final assessment until after you have cooled and chilled the brownies. Consider it a critical part of the directions. When I took my brownies out of the oven, they seemed grainy, bordering on cakey and overall unimpressive. After I plunged the pan in ice water, let them cool, then chilled them thoroughly, the brownies were outstanding.

Palm  Beach Brownies

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Maida's Palm Beach Brownies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A brownie with a thick crust and fudgy center
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter (8 oz)
  • 8 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • 3 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 2/3 C unbleached all purpose flour -- sifted
  • 2 cups walnuts, toasted and broken into pieces (I omitted)
Instructions
  1. Adjust an oven rack one-third up from the bottom and preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a 9x13x2-inch metal pan with nonstick foil or parchment paper.
  2. Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan. When almost melted, reduce heat to low and add chocolate. Stir until chocolate is very soft, then remove from heat and let chocolate melt in the residual heat of the butter.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs with the vanilla and almond extracts, salt, espresso and sugar at high speed for 10 minutes. On low speed, add the chocolate mixture and beat only until mixed. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the flour and the nuts.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 35 minutes, reversing the pan from front to back once to ensure even baking (Maida covers her brownies loosely with foil halfway through to prevent burning, but I didn't). At the end of 35 minutes, the cake will have a firm crust, but when tested with a toothpick will appear underbaked. Take them out anyway.
  5. Remove the pan from the oven and let stand until cool. Invert the brownies onto a cookie sheet and remove the foil. Cover with length of waxed paper and another cookie sheet..invert again. This cake is best covered and refrigerated for a few hours or overnight before it is cut into bars.
Notes
I baked half of the recipe in an 8x8 inch pan and omitted the walnuts. Mine were done in about 22 minutes. I plunged the hot pan in ice water to quick-cool for about 20 minutes, then transferred the brownies to the freezer for an hour or so, then put them in the refrigerator. The brownies were excellent

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Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    just curious on why you put the hot pan ice water… is it just to cool it quicker — so you can eat them quicker. They look so good. Or does it serve another purpose.

    Really enjoy your blog – can I move in!

  2. Maureen says

    Wow, the restaurant boasts a fairly impressive wine list for a dessert place.

    The brownies look yummy, but like Fuzz, a berry cake sounds even better. Let me know if you find it!

  3. Lindsay says

    I made these today with some Ghiradelli chocolate I had. I have to say I thought they were a disaster when I took them out, but they turned out fabulously. I only kept them in 30 min (they were starting to look burned on the top) and that was probably a few min. too long. I followed the “plunge and freeze” technuque and then cut the crusty, overdone edges off.

    These have excellent flavor…the espresso powder gives it a nice depth but is not overpowering at all. I will definitely make again, though I think I’m still a sucker for “cakey” brownies with rich chocolate frosting!

    One recipe note…the flour is mentioned in the ingredient list, but not in the directions. I threw it in with the rest of the ingredients– hope that was correct!

  4. Kelly says

    It turned out so so. This is a cakey brownie. I prefer fudgey. Yes, I wondered when to add the flour and I added after the chocolate mixture. I baked it 30 minutes and it seemed over done already. I also plunged the pan into ice water, but it’s not my kind of brownie.

  5. Anna says

    Sorry you didn’t like it, Kelly. I actually prefer fudgier brownies too. If you haven’t tried the Nancy Baggett brownie, I recommend it.

  6. David says

    you guys must all be doing something very wrong. i cant put my finger on it but if your palm beach brownies are coming out cakey and not fudgy you’ve gone wrong. i have been making these brownies for about ten years, and have always gotten rave reviews. they are they moistest, and fugiest recipe i know of. please check your techniques. when these brownies are made correctly, they are beyond heavenly!

  7. says

    David, I agree. Mine came out of the oven looking cakey, but they settled nicely into a fudgy type brownie. I thought they were excellent!

  8. Chloé says

    Hi, I am french and I love your website but I can’t find exactly the right equivalence for this recipe. Could you give me the metric version of Maida’s brownies, please.

  9. says

    Hi Chloe,

    Here are the metric measurements for the brownies. I hope you like them!

    Maida’s Palm Beach Brownies

    230 grams unsweetened chocolate
    230 grams unsalted butter
    140 grams walnuts (if using)
    5 Lg Eggs
    10 ml vanilla
    2.5 ml almond extract
    1.25 ml salt
    20 ml Powdered Instant Espresso
    735 grams granulated sugar
    210 grams all purpose flour

    Adjust an oven rack one-third up from the bottom and preheat oven to 218 degrees C. Line a 9x11x2-inch pan with foil. Brush well with melted butter. (I used parchment)

    Melt the chocolate and butter in the top of a large double boiler over hot water on moderate heat or in a small, heavy saucepan on low heat, stirring occasionally. When combined, remove from heat and set aside.

    Break the walnuts into pieces if necessary, trying to keep them fairly large. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs with the vanilla and almond extracts, salt, espresso and sugar at high speed for 10 minutes. On low speed, add the chocolate mixture and beat only until mixed. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the nuts.

    Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 35 minutes, reversing the pan from front to back once to ensure even baking. At the end of 35 minutes, the cake will have a firm crust, but when tested with a toothpick will appear underbaked. Do not be concerned, it is done.

    Remove the pan from the oven and let stand until cool. Invert the brownies onto a cookie sheet and remove the foil. Cover with length of waxed paper and another cookie sheet..invert again. This cake MUST be covered and refrigerated for a few hours or overnight
    before it is cut into bars.

  10. Alice Lanckton says

    425 seems too hot and my first batch seemed burnt when they came out.
    Any suggestions?

  11. says

    Have you tested your oven to make sure it is accurate? Maybe your 425 is actually more like 450? It is a high temp, though. If you are having problems with this recipe, you should just try another one.

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