New Bittersweet Brownies

As a birthday present, my mother gave me Alice Medrich’s new book, Chewy, Gooey, Crispy, Crunchy, Melt-in-Your Mouth Cookies. It has some interesting recipes, but the one I had to try first was “New Bittersweet Brownies”.   Alice’s description of “brownies with a texture between very moist cake and rich chocolate mousse” which she goes on to call “an altogether new scheme for a new kind of brownie” sounded a lot like Miles of Chocolate, a very popular dessert here in Austin which you can buy at Central Market or H.E.B.. The brownies come pre-cut and refrigerated and while they look like ordinary brownies, one bite says otherwise.

After making the brownies and pondering over the idea of “newness”, I went on the Internet and found that this recipe was actually from Alice’s 2008 book, Pure Desserts. The recipe had been posted a couple of times, and a few people compared it with a similar recipe by Dorie Greenspan called French Brownies.  And here I thought I was being innovative back in 2006 trying to clone Miles’s recipe using Julia Child’s technique.

New bittersweet brownies

Anyhow,  I’m now the owner of some really good brownies which I plan to share with my crafty friend, Catie.   I hope she likes them.   Compared with Miles of Chocolate, I think the top is a lot flakier than Miles’s and the brownies seem a little sweeter.

It almost goes without saying, but this is one of those recipes where your results will be only as good as your chocolate, so use the good stuff and at least 70% cacao. As much as I love chocolate chips, they’d be too sweet here and the texture would be off, so I wouldn’t advise substituting chocolate chips even if you’re desperate and they’re all you have around.

 

New Bittersweet Brownies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Very rich brownie recipe
Author:
Recipe type: Brownies
Serves: 16
Ingredients
  • 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate (70% cacao), coarsely chopped
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into several pieces
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • Scant 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (1.75 oz) all-purpose flour
Instructions
  1. Preheat to 350˚F. Line bottom and sides of 8-inch square baking pan with foil. I spritzed the bottom of the pan with a little cooking spray.
  2. Place chocolate and butter in heatproof bowl and set in wide skillet of almost-simmering water. Stir frequently until mixture is melted and smooth and quite warm. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl (preferably bowl of a stand mixer) beat the eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla with a hand-held mixer on high speed until the eggs are thick and light colored, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the warm chocolate. Fold in the flour.
  4. Scrape the batter into the lined pan and spread evenly. Bake on center rack until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely in the pan on a rack.
  5. Invert the brownies on rack and peel off the foil. Turn right side up on cutting board and cut into sixteen 2-inch square (or 9!). I cut mine into giant squares, but they’re pretty rich and 16 would be better.

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Comments

  1. says

    My mouth is watering! I want to try these, but I think I would try to cut the sweetness just a touch, as you said they are a bit sweeter. I love the crispy tops and the really dense fudgy look of the brownies.

  2. says

    Oh my goodness, these look amazing. For some reason I’ve had an aversion to making brownies with melted chocolate (not sure why xD), but I think I’ll have to try these.

  3. Louise says

    Anna, Are these overly sweet, or just sweeter than the Miles of Chocolate that you buy? I’m thinking that when I make them, I’ll swap out 1 oz. of 70% for 1 oz. of 85% chocolate. That should keep the chemistry about right. Dory Greenspan’s recipe is basically the same except twice as much butter, plus 2/3 cup nuts, so that would cut the sweet.

  4. says

    I’m curious about these, too. I’m actually not a huge brownie fan – don’t like fudgy, and if they are too cakey,well, they might as well be cake. Also don’t like too sweet.

    But very moist cake verging on mousse, that is intriguing. Is that accurate for these, rather than fudgy? And I’m also interested in cutting the sweetness, as others are suggesting.

    I have some organic Green & Black 72% Baking Chocolate, might that work for these?

    Thanks and Happy New Year!

  5. Maria says

    This comment is unrelated to these delicious-looking brownies…I have a full carton of egg nog in the refrigerator that needs using up. What is your favorite egg nog-using recipe?

  6. ~hula~ says

    hi anna!

    hope you had a wonderful (and non-traumatic) birthday! what a lovely gift from your mom!

    the brownies look heavenly – will have to give them a try.

    wishing you, the hubby, fuzz & lizzie a healthy, happy, prosperous new year filled with fun adventures (that you will, of course, report on) and chocolate, chocolate chocolate!

    best reagrds –

    ~hula~

  7. Candace says

    I tried making a milk-free, gluten-free version of these last night, and they were fabulous. Instead of the AP flour, I subbed 1.75 oz brown rice flour, and 1/8 t. xanthan gum; I used margarine instead of butter.

    Gluten-Free Girl has a brownie recipe using the old Alice Medrich recipe as the inspiration, so this wasn’t exactly an original idea, but they turned out really well and I thought they were better than the Gluten-Free Girl recipe. I made them for a friend’s birthday and she is allergic to milk and wheat. Now I’m going to have to try the non-GF version.

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