In the annals of food mythology, few figures are as revered as one “Brownie” Schrumpf, the late-nineteenth-century baker-librarian who left the baking powder out of a chocolate cake one day and was brave enough to serve the results, which became this country’s favorite dessert. Now, uh, I have no idea whether Mrs. Schrumpf actually existed. But I am willing to be that the brownie was born of just such a bungle.
Yield: 9 brownies
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 and bake for 45 to 50 minutes.
6. Check for doneness by inserting the tip of an instant-read thermometer into the middle of the brownie, being careful not to touch the bottom of the pan; 195 degrees F is the target. Cool in the pan for 3 minutes, then lift the brownie out using the parchment paper as a sling.
7. Cut the brownies into 9 pieces until a pizza wheel and move to a rack to cool completely.
*Make your brownies “ooier”: Bake your brownies for 15 minutes, take them out for 15 minutes then bake till done. Trust me on this.
Recipe courtesy of Good Eats: The Early Years and images © Alton Brown, 2014