For the full original version of Maida’s Palm Beach Brownies, check Maida Heatter’s Great Book of Chocolate Desserts (#ad)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. Palm Beach Brownies are amazing, and I just love Maida Heatter even though I’ve made little changes to her recipes over the years.
Here’s another brownie recipe adapted from Maida Heatter. I made a half batch this morning and they are very good. They require a good bit of mixing, but the mixing pays off if you like a very crispy crust. Of course the very high heat also contributes to the crust. Maida Heatter calls for a heat of 425, so what you end up with are brownies with burnt edges that need to be trimmed (which she notes in the book). They are characterized by being very fudgy in the center and very crisp on the top and bottom. 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.
Maida's Palm Beach Brownies
- 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 brownies will have a firm crust, but when tested with a toothpick will appear underbaked. Take them out anyway.
- 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.
Thanks for leaving me a nice note about Maida’s brownies. Let me know if you need recommendations for recipes that aren’t as sweet :).
The brownies are very nice and tasty. I baked pies, cakes, cookies and pastry for a friend who has type 2 diabetes. So I had to reduce the sugar to 1 1/2 cups. He enjoyed it very much, a lot better than bought brownies which are usually too sweet and not recommended for diabetic people.
Can I come to your place and try them Maureen? I love a fudgey brownie.
Maureen | Orgasmic Chef
I’m in a brownie mood today and this recipe hits the spot!
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.
425 seems too hot and my first batch seemed burnt when they came out.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
wow these look yummy! i have to try these sometime 🙂
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!
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!