I’ll have you know that as of the writing of this (not necessarily as of the publishing of this–they are all gone now. Don’t show up wanting some), these brownies came out of the oven just under an hour ago and five minutes ago I went back to the kitchen to cut them and take a few photos of them and, ok, sample a few bites. And I immediately came and started typing this out because I could not wait to get down on paper how wonderful they are.
I’m not sure when exactly I stumbled across this recipe. But as with so many other things (as in hundreds), I’ve had it bookmarked for awhile now (which is probably a phrase you could google in order to find this blog now) and had largely forgotten about it. And then other day Gerrit and I were having a conversation that somehow led us to gluten-free diets and Gerrit looked at me, as if I am all-knowing about all-things food now since I cook a lot and watch Food Network all the time (which, btw Chopped All-Stars? I am SO glad they have another season of it on right now), and said, “Is gluten-free really healthier for you?”
I didn’t really have an answer to this. Obviously there are health benefits to cutting out some of more processed foods when you are trying to eat less gluten, although I can guarantee that if these brownies are the kinds of gluten-free things you are making, it is probably not beneficial at all. But I do know that gluten-free desserts are often amazing, because without all that flour in there to distract from the sweetness, the richness if often just shy of overwhelming (which I tend to prefer). Kind of like how vegan chocolate is often the best. It doesn’t have all that milk to distract from the chocolate flavor.
And in the midst of this conversation, I remembered these brownies and how, hey, I should probably make those soon. And oh. my. goodness. I don’t know that I’ve ever had such chocolatey rich brownies. They are full of gooeyness, which to me describes the perfect brownies, or really the perfect dessert of most types, and really, I am not kidding here, they are probably some of the best brownies I have ever had. Way better than their gluten-full counterparts. And I’ve had (and made) some pretty good brownies in the past.
So regardless what your stand on gluten is, whether you welcome carbs and flour and wheat or your diet necessitates that you do without, you need to go in your kitchen and make these right now. And afterwards they will probably inspire you to sit down and write down how you feel about them, or at least call your best friend and pass the recipe along (but not necessarily share the brownies themselves, because hey, we are greedy with our desserts around here).
adapted from David Lebovitz
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes
Wait Time: 30 minutes
Makes about 12-16 small (but very rich) brownies
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped*
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
3 tablespoons corn starch
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup toasted, chopped nuts (optional)**
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8-inch square pan with tinfoil, allowing the edges to hang over the sides of the pan so that the brownies can easily be pulled out later. Lightly grease the foil with non-stick cooking spray or butter.
2. In a medium-sized saucepan, melted the butter, chocolate, and salt together over medium heat, stirring constantly until smooth.
3. Remove from heat and add the sugar, stirring until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, stirring after each addition.
4. Sift together the corn starch and cocoa powder and add to the chocolate mixture. Beat the batter vigorously for at least 1 minute, until the batter is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the pan. (The original recipe also says it should no longer be grainy. Mine never quite got there, but it didn’t seem to cause any texture problems in the final product either.)
5. Stir in the vanilla and the nuts, if you’re using them.
6. Pour the batter into the tinfoil lined pan, making sure that it spreads out evenly.
7. Bake for 30 minutes, until the brownies are just set in the center. Remove from oven and allow to cool before cutting and serving (at least about 30 minutes).
*I just used a variety of chocolate odds and ends I had in my pantry, and it turned out great.
**I didn’t use nuts (not a big fan of them in brownies), but I do think some chocolate chips folded in would create an even richer brownie, if that’s possible.