Go-To Chocolate Brownies (Simon & Schuster/Evan Sung)

James Beard Award-winning pastry chef Dominique Ansel shares his go-to brownie recipe with Salon

My favorite pieces are the corner edges—I love how the top crunches at the first bite, yielding to a chewy middle



Dominique Ansel
April 19, 2020 8:30PM (UTC)

Excerpt from EVERYONE CAN BAKE by Dominique Ansel. Copyright © 2020 by Dominique Ansel. Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc, NY.

I fell in love with brownies when I moved to America. My favorite pieces are the corner edges—I love how the top crunches at the first bite, yielding to a chewy middle. You don't often find this combination in French pastries.

Like a chocolate chip cookie, people have preferences when it comes to brownies— they'll either seek the soft, gooey center pieces or the chewy edges. This recipe gives you the best of both.

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RELATED: Dominique Ansel's go-to soft caramel adds a drizzle of decadence to brownies

These brownies are delicious on their own, but also make a terrific base for a mousse cake.

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RECIPE: MY GO-TO CHOCOLATE BROWNIES

MAKES: 16 (2-inch or 5 cm) individual brownies or one 8-inch (20 cm) round cake base (2 to 21/2 inches or 5 to 6.25 cm tall)
TIME: 45 minutes

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INGREDIENTS

  • 150 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature (1 1⁄3 sticks)                              
  • 300 grams granulated sugar (1 1/2cups)                                
  • 135 grams eggs (3 large)                                     
  • 70 grams cocoa powder, plus more for the pan (1/2 cup + 4 teaspoons)
  • 3 grams salt (1/2 teaspoon)
  • 4 grams baking powder (1 teaspoon)                              
  • 115 grams all-purpose flour (1 cup)
  • 225 grams chocolate chips* (8 ounces or 11⁄3 cups)

* I like using milk chocolate chips for this recipe, but you could use dark chocolate instead, or a combination of the two.

EQUIPMENT

8-inch (20 cm) square cake pan or 8-inch (20 cm) round cake pan

1. Preheat the oven: Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter the bottom, sides,
and edges of an 8-inch (20 cm) square or round cake pan. Pour in some cocoa powder and shake it around until the pan is evenly coated, then tap out any excess cocoa powder.*

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* Using cocoa powder instead of flour to dust your baking pan means there won't be any spots of white flour on the brownies when you remove them from the pan.

2. Make the sugar mixture: Combine the butter and 100 grams (1/2 cup) of the sugar in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring slowly, until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted completely, 1 to 2 minutes.

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3. Make the egg mixture: Whisk together the eggs and remaining 200 grams (1 cup) sugar until smooth.

4. Make the batter: Pour the sugar mixture into the egg mixture and whisk to combine. Add the cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and flour and whisk to combine.* Add the chocolate chips and fold them in with a spatula until evenly incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan until it reaches halfway up the sides. If you are making a cake base, pour it into the round cake pan. If you are making individual brownies, pour it into a square baking pan. Level the surface with a spatula if needed.

* Here's an easy way to sift dry ingredients: Combine them in a bowl and use a whisk to break up any lumps before adding them to a batter.

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5. Bake the brownie: Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Because of their dark color, it's harder to tell when brownies are ready to come out of the oven. Look for the top of the brownies to set, with a few cracks in the surface.

6. Unmold the brownie: If you baked the brownie in a cake ring, let it cool completely in the ring on the sheet pan, then unmold it by pulling up the cake ring. If you are making individual brownies, let them cool for 15 to 20 minutes until they are warm and set. Pour soft caramel over the pan of brownies; let cool completely before slicing. I like to remove the corner square first to make the other squares easier to get out

Like this recipe as much as we do? Click here to purchase a copy of Dominique Ansel's "Everyone Can Bake."

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Dominique Ansel

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Brownies Caramel Desserts Dominique Ansel Recipes

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