Cocoa Brownies 2.0

Cocoa Brownies 2.0

Proof positive that technique is just as important as ingredients. This is version 2.0 a change up in the baking time creates an ooey-gooey brownie, different than the original recipe.

Cocoa Brownies 2.0

  • 4 large eggs
  • 7 ounces granulated sugar
  • 6 ounces light brown sugar
  • 5 3/4 ounces natural cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
  • 2 1/2 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 ounces unsalted butter (melted)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Crank the oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Lube an 8-inch square baking pan with non-stick spray. Trim a piece of parchment paper so that it fits just inside the baking dish with overhang on two sides and place it inside the pan.
  3. Beat the eggs with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment at medium speed until fluffy and light yellow, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cocoa powder, flour and salt. Drop the mixer speed to low and slowly introduce the sugar mixture. Follow with the butter and vanilla. Continue mixing until you’ve got a nice, smooth goo.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  6. Bake the brownies for 15 minutes, then remove them from the oven for 15 minutes.
  7. Put them back in the oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the middle of the brownie, reads 195 degrees F (about 30 minutes).
  8. Cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then lift the brownie out using the parchment paper as a sling.
  9. Cut the brownies into 9 pieces using a pizza wheel and move to a rack to cool completely.


Add yours
  1. 4

    For the people wondering what the difference between the cocoas is… natural cocoa is acidic and will react with the baking SODA, Dutch process is not acidic and needs an acid, baking POWDER, to react. Regular Hershey’s Cocoa is not acidic. Special Dark Hershey’s is a blend. Dutch Processed cocoa has a very dark, rich taste and, in my opinion, has a superior chocolate flavor, but it needs the adjustment of the acid for the chemical reaction to get the desired rise. You cannot use baking soda without an acid (brown sugar, buttermilk, etc.) to react with it and cause the chemical reaction. You can always substitute, you just need to adjust accordingly.

  2. 6
    Kristen Stokely

    Keri– the recipe states to NOT to use Dutch process cocoa. Hershey’s cocoa is Dutch process. What this requires is cacao (natural cocoa)

  3. 7

    I love these brownies. I will say that I would like to know why dutched process cocoa is so hard to find. I have only found it in the bulk bins at Sprouts and Winco. I have seen it on Amazon, but I needed it now and couldn’t have my patience rewarded.

  4. 8

    Oh my my, more cocoa than I’ve seen in a recipe from any other source. If you like decadent chocolate this is your brownie. I don’t keep all purpose flour on hand (I use self rising for most quickbreads and bread flour for raised breads) so I used bread flour since there was no leavening in the recipe. I hate to try a recipe with a substitution, but I assumed it was ok with the small amount of flour. It took a bit longer to bake than the 15+30 minutes. I didn’t get all the way to 195 but I live at altitude and nothing gets that hot without being baked to death. I toothpick tested until it came out fairly clean. These are not brownies you can eat and eat and eat, but in fact brownies that are so rich and chocolatey that 1 square satisfies completely. Next time I make them I might cut into 12 or16 smaller brownies because of the richness.

  5. 9

    valerie and everyone else who thinks these are too bitter:
    I just watched Good Eats:Reloaded where he cooked a version of these brownies. I think the reason your edition came out bitter might have been, you probably used Natural Cocoa Powder rather than Dutch Cocoa Powder. My own suggestion is: if you find using Standard Cocoa Powder makes for bitter brownies, then next time use the same recipe substituting Dutch(ed) Cocoa Powder for the Standard. Or if you can get it, try using Alkali Water in place of Standard Water (since Dutch Cocoa Powder is just Natural or Standard that’s been treated with Alkali to make it dissolve easier).

  6. 10

    I will try to answer a few of the questions I see in these post.
    1st – ounces are weight, as in there are 16 ounces to 1 pound (think of setting on a scale to check your weight – which is measured in pounds).
    2nd – a cup is volume. It is difficult to convert ounces to volume. There a days when I bake bread that my flour will weight more not less than the previous day. I don’t know the scientific reason for this, perhaps researching in a search engine will provide a good explanation.
    3rd. Dutch cocoa need baking powder in order for it to work in a recipe. Again, there is a scientific reason for it. Someone posted the reasons for using Dutch cocoa vs. regular cocoa on Facebook. The writer also included information on baking powder’s reaction with Dutch cocoa and the use of baking soda with regular cocoa..
    I hope this helps.

  7. 11
    Zach J

    Use a quality cocoa powder and vanilla extract. Best brownies I’ve ever had. Not sure if it is even close to anything else. For my tastes, of course.

  8. 12

    This is the volume version he provided on Reloaded:
    1 1/4 cup of natural cocoa powder
    1 cup brown sugar
    1 cup sugar
    1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    8 oz. melted butter
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    4 large eggs

  9. 14

    I thought these brownies were too bitter for my preferences. If you enjoy dark chocolate more than milk chocolate, then these brownies would be perfect for you.

  10. 18
    John C

    Cocoa Brownies 2.0 are just wonderful, Practically Perfect in Every Way ala M. Poppins ;-). Very rich and chocolatey.
    Sweetness was perfect for us, not sure how some found it bitter unless they omitted salt, which counters bitterness.
    When I make these again I will not change a thing – Kudos, Alton

  11. 19

    These were delicious and sticky-gooey-messy. I ate a brownie glob while it was still warm with AB’s vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup and it was [insert Homer drooling sound here].

  12. 21
    Paul Theodor Fluegel

    First, let me say, I love AB. I own all the books and have purchased 1/2 of all of his seasons on amazon, and will have purchased all 14 seasons by Christmas. So this is not coming from a “hater”. These brownies are awful. The texture, perfect. Taste terrible. Way to bitter. Not even remotely sweet. Just a mouthful of bitter. Made it twice because the first batch was so bad, thought it had to be me. Nope. Gave them to friends thinking maybe it was just me. Most complimentary thing i heard was, “not very good”. Please revise recipe. Needs a lot more sweet.

    • 22

      Paul, you had to have messed up some how. Do you have a scale? These brownies are absolutely perfect. They’re not too sweet but definitely not bitter. The texture is perfect and they taste amazing. These are my go to brownies!

      • 24

        Are ALL the ounces weights? Butter, sugar, flour, cocoa, all in weights?
        Did anyone successfully convert that – I am currently without a working scale.

  13. 26

    Oh my goodness!!!! These are the BEST EVER Cocoa brownies I have EVER tasted. Follow the recipe! Do not add or take away anything. Thanks Alton!! Perfection❤

  14. 27

    These brownies are my new go-to brownie recipe. I only had less-than-a-cup of the Hershey’s special dark cocoa so I added a squeeze of chocolate syrup. Had to cook them a little longer. They were soooo chocolaty (black in color, not brown) it turns out the syrup was unnecessary. These tasted like a flourless chocolate tort to me. They were DELECTABLE! Wow.

    • 28

      So I looked it up, and the special dark is a blend of Dutch and natural. Maybe using the lesser amount and adding some syrup compensated for the Dutch. I don’t know. I just know these might have been the best brownies I’d ever made. I actually used the original recipe so I’m looking forward to trying out 2.0. Thank you Mr Brown!

  15. 29

    I just made this last night and family found that it was too bitter. The amount of cocoa to me did seem to be a lot based on other recipes I’ve tried. I measured using a scale. Next time, I will pare back the cocoa but the consistency of the brownies was perfect. Not too fudgy and have a nice crisp on the outside,

    • 30

      I agree. I also thought they were bitter. My husband still liked them, but even though I am a chocolate enthusiast, I won’t make this particular brownie recipe again.

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