Let me first say, I am NOT a professional cook or baker. I just really enjoy fooling around in the kitchen and seeing what comes out. Fortunately for my family, my first attempts usually turn out really well; not so fortunately is the second try; which is never as good as the first try. That is because I don't use recipes or measure quantities; however this brownie recipe evolved over the past 15 years and I have the quantities sorted out for the most part. There is always room to tweak here and there. Shopping List: 4 large eggs 2 cups vanilla-ized super fine ground sugar 2 sticks salted butter 7oz Callebaut chocolate 1/2–3/4 cup flour vaniila (Madagascar bourbon)
What & how to do it: Preheat oven to 350 degrees (Fahrenheit) butter a 9 x 13 glass baking dish
Eggs: Always use fresh ones. I whip these up fluffy, and then add in the sugar, after combined it should be a rich lemony color.
Sugar: I keep a sealed container filled with sugar that has stripped vanilla beans in it. The beans are mixed into the sugar, the pods also stay in the sugar jar. I constantly refill the jar with sugar as it gets used up and add new beans and stripped pods to the sugar jar depending on how much baking I am doing. The sugar I use is made by Domino, they have something called superfine, it is like castor sugar, it is a very fine ground. It combines very quickly with the eggs and other ingredients making the batter smooth, not gritty.
Butter: I use salted butter (Kate's is a great brand) and then don't add in any additional salt. Melt butter and chocolate in a double boiler. Let it cool a bit and add to the eggs & sugar incrementally. If the chocolate & butter are too hot they will scramble the eggs. Be careful.
Callebaut chocolate: This chocolate is so wonderful. It comes in various levels of sweetness. I prefer using a mix of semi & bitter sweet which falls into the 65% range. Remember I am not a professional, I like to experiment. If you want a less sweet taste use a higher percentage chocolate (and/or use less sugar). If you like a sweeter taste then use a lower percentage of chocolate. A lesser quality chocolate does not yield as rich a chocolate flavor.
Flour: I use an all purpose flour (King Arthur organic…) that I fold into the eggs, sugar, butter, chocolate, vanilla mixture. More flour means a cakier finish and using less flour gets you a moister brownie that is less like cake, less crumbly, less powdery. I judge the amount of flour based on the color of my batter. You can start w/ 1/2 cup and go from there. I do not recommend more than 3/4 cup of flour, these will become too cakey. But for cutting into heart shapes you may need to go the full 3/4 cup.
Vanilla: Sometimes I add this to the egg & sugar mixture, sometimes I add this at the end to the batter, in any case give the whole thing a really good mix. This does get some air into the batter. I don't mind. This is a dense recipe.
Baking: When my house fills up with the smell of chocolately goodness I know re are getting close to being done. Usually it takes around 30–40 minutes for these to bake. The gooeyness in the center depends on the amount of time in the oven. More time= less gooey and more cakey. Less time = more gooeyness, and a richer flavor. You can test doneness with a toothpick. For cutting these into heart shapes, you will need to cook slighlty longer and add the max flour.
..…have lots of milk on hand, enjoy.
Jane Taylor janetaylor.com