So, these Cocoa Brownies have been making their rounds across the internet for a while now. Desserts for Breakfast added black cocoa powder to make Midnight Cocoa Brownies, The Sophisticated Gourmet made a slightly healthier version by using whole wheat flour and sugar cane juice, and Honey & Jam‘s was the one that I liked best because…well…because it used ingredients that I had on hand and the baking instruction, for once, finally said I could use a microwave instead of a double boiler.
After a week of literally daydreaming about making them, I finally caved in on Wednesday night and whipped up a batch after dinner. I cut down the amount of sugar, which was unnecessary but it did make me feel less guilty, and threw in some dark chocolate chunks. As everyone has been saying, these cocoa brownies are moist, rich, and not at all sweet. They were a perfect late night dessert served with a glass of cold milk OR green tea. (Seriously, green tea and chocolate? So good. A piece of brownie fell in my mug and I’m now on a quest to infuse green tea with a chocolate dessert). My family and I ate them while watching a pre-recorded episode of Survivor. (Boston Rob, still a hunk!) It was a good night.
Just an aside: Even though I knew I had enough light, I stupidly decided to set my camera at 800 and 1600….Ugh. Now I can’t get rid of the graininess and it’s really bothering me because I can’t do too much editing without it being super noticeable.
Recipe under the cut.
Best Cocoa Brownies
Adapted from Alice Mendrich’s Bittersweet via honey & jam
Makes 16 larger or 25 smaller brownies, 8 x 8″ pan
Oven at 325 F, 25-30 mins
- 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks, 5 ounces or 141 grams) unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups (9 7/8 ounces, 280 grams) sugar (1 cup of sugar)
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2 7/8 ounces, 82 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, cold
- 1/2 cup (66 grams, 2 3/8 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup walnut or pecan pieces (optional) (I added chocolate chunks instead)
Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8″ square baking pan with parchment paper or foil. Leave an overhang so you can lift up the brownies after they’ve been baked.
In a microwaveable bowl, combine the butter, sugar, and salt and microwave for 1 to 1:30 minutes. When you remove the bowl, the butter should have pretty much melted or almost melted an stir until the mixture is smooth and consistent. It will look a bit gritty. Set the bowl aside and let it cool until it is warm to the touch. Add in the vanilla and stir to combine.
Add the eggs one at a time, beat quickly and vigorously after each one.
Add the flour and stir until it is well blended and incorporated into the chocolate batter. At this point, it will have thickened. This should take about 40 strokes or less. Stir in the nuts or chocolate chunks and spread evenly in the lined pan.
Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter. Let cool completely on a rack.
Lift up the ends of the parchment or foil liner and transfer the brownies to a cutting board.