This is my No. 1 brownie recipe for a few reasons.
First and foremost, real chocolate. These aren't box brownies made with cocoa powder that's been dutch processed. No, these are the real deal. And real chocolate is what absolutely makes this recipe. If you can find a 70% Madagascar at your local store, I strongly recommend using it. Madagascar beans have a bright fruity taste that does magical things in baked goods. Plus, with the addition of the homemade salted caramel sauce, fugetaboutit.
The second best part of this recipe is the texture. In the past, I've had brownies that were either cakey or fudgy, but somehow these brownies are both cakey and fudgy.
And the last reason I like this recipe: It's easy. You can theoretically make the entire recipe in two saucepans. For someone who lives in a small San Francisco apartment with no dishwasher, we call that a win.
Dark Chocolate Brownies
- 6 tablespoons butter (85g)
- ½ pound (225 grams) 70% dark chocolate, chopped or ground - we like to use our 70% Madagascar baking chocolate
- ¾ cups sugar (150g)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour (32g)
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
Salted Caramel Sauce (optional, but come on)
- ½ cup sugar (100g)
- 2 tablespoons water (30ml)
- 3 tablespoons butter (43g), cut into four smaller pieces
- ¼ cup heavy cream (59ml)
- ¼ teaspoons sea salt
Serves 7 to 10
Salted Caramel Sauce
In a small saucepan, combine ½ cup sugar and 2 tablespoons water. Stir briefly just to combine.
Bring the sugar-water to a boil over medium-high heat until it starts to bubble and the sugar turns an amber-brown color. Resist the urge to stir! Patience, young grasshopper. This process should take roughly five to ten minutes.
Once the sugar-water is a nice caramel color, add 3 tablespoons butter and whisk well. Be careful, as this mixture is very hot.
Once all of the butter is melted, remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in ¼ cup heavy cream and ¼ teaspoons sea salt (to taste). Set aside to cool.
Dark Chocolate Brownies
Preheat your oven to 350°F. In a medium saucepan, melt 6 tablespoons butter over low heat and add ½ pound 70% dark chocolate. Stir regularly until fully melted and emulsified. It's vitally important to keep the heat low, you do not want to burn the chocolate.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in ¾ cups sugar and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract to combine.
Next, add 2 large eggs one at a time. Whisk to combine.
Add ¼ cup all-purpose flour, ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon sea salt. Beat vigorously until the batter is glossy and smooth. If you have one, you can use a hand mixer here. Otherwise, you can work on those forearms with a good ol' fashion whisk.
Now the fun part: pour the batter into an 11x7 or 9x9 baking dish coated with nonstick spray and bake at 350°F until just cooked through, about 25 minutes.
To check if the brownies are done, you can insert a toothpick into the center. If it comes out almost clean, pull 'em! When done, the brownies should be barely set in the center and a little puffed around the edges.
If you're looking for a picture perfect brownie, let them cool completely before slicing. If you're like us, let them cool enough to eat and then go to town on those bad boys.
Last but certainly not least, if you opted to make the salted caramel sauce (because life is short) then go ahead and drizzle that on now.