A freshly baked brownie with an edge is topped with vanilla cream is my favorite weeknight dessert. It is classic and comforting, sweet and bitter at the same, warm and cool, rich and creamy, with texture from the crunchy tops and chewy edges. It can be baked in one pan in less than an hour. You can even have it cut and served directly from the same pan without cooling or icing. It is rich and can be made nutty if desired. And it’s chock full.
If I had to pick one dessert that I would bake and eat every day, it would be the fudgy, chocolatey brownie. If you are like me and want brownies that are rich, dense, and full of flavor, these are the essential tips you need to follow for your next batch.
Good chocolate is the best.
Although this may seem obvious, it is important to remember. Quality chocolate makes brownies taste great. I prefer Valrhona Caraibe 66% Dark Chocolate discs. Then, I chop them into small pieces.
First, beat the eggs and sugar together.
You can make brownies simply by mixing the ingredients in a bowl. However, to get a glossy top and crackling texture, whip your eggs, sugar, and milk together on high for 10 minutes in a stand mixer, or using a hand mixer. This creates the brownie’s structure and incorporates the right amount of air into the batter to give it the perfect lift.
Use dark brown sugar.
You can substitute granulated sugar for at least half of your recipe’s ingredients with brown sugar. Because brown sugar contains molasses, it has a caramel-like texture that bakes into brownies. If you can, use dark brown sugar over light brown to get more flavor.
Use extra chocolate.
Sprinkle the brownies with extra chopped chocolate right before they go in the oven. Make sure you have small pieces. The chocolate chunks will melt in the oven, making puddles of chocolate. If you serve your brownies as a dessert, these puddles can be used to make a delicious hot chocolate sauce that you can use to drizzle over your ice cream.
Bang the pan.
Halfway through baking, and once again, after they are done, take the pan out of the oven. Bang it on the counter to encourage extra crackling along the top. This will make the brownies more dense and fudgy, forcing any air out of the batter.
You want fudgy brownies so bake them for five minutes less than the recipe recommends. You want the edges to be set but still puffy. However, if you place a toothpick into the middle of the pan, it will show a bit of batter. Once they are out of the oven, the brownies will continue cooking and setting. You can either warm them up and enjoy them while they’re still warm or let them cool completely to make them extra chewy.
Sprinkle some salt.
Because salt enhances and balances chocolate’s complex flavors, it pairs well with salt. It’s normal to add salt to the batter. However, a little bit of Maldon flaky sea salt on top is a great idea. You can top brownies with chocolate chunks or more chocolate chips (as mentioned above), and the surface will be covered in gooey puddles. This will allow the salt to stick to the top.