The Quest for the Perfect Fudge Brownie

Posted by & filed under TRB to the Rescue.

I’m putting it out there. I love to make brownies. In fact, they’re my secret weapon when it comes to impressing dinner guests, family and friends or even a new date. This one-pan-wonder has got it all: Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. 

Now, I’ve used the same recipe for about a decade and it always gets rave reviews. (The sweet success is all in the coffee frosting — shhhh). But, lately, I’ve been on a mission to make the brownies themselves more fudge-like because — here’s the thing that’s really been bothering me — they tend to be cake-like. The flavor is definitely right on, but it’s the texture that’s a struggle. After all, there’s nothing quite like biting into a decadent, oooey, gooey chocolate brownie.

So, in true TRB-fashion, I did some research to find out where I might be going wrong. The first point to address: The recipe itself. Is the ratio of flour to butter and chocolate right? Are there any hidden leavening agents? Should I use melted chocolate as opposed to cocoa powder? Then, I attacked the method: How long should fudge-like brownies bake? What’s the best temperature? And, so on…

TRB‘s conclusion: Use less flour, go with melted chocolate instead of cocoa powder and keep the bake time to about 25 minutes on 350 degrees. If your brownies don’t look quite done in the middle, but the edges are pulling away from the pan, just yank ’em anyway. Trust me, if you’re looking for fudge-like brownies, they’re done.

In the spirit of trying new recipes, I tested the Truffle Brownies (sans walnuts) recently featured on the Lemons and Anchovies blog from Bon Appetit’s July 2010 issue, and they were a big hit with my crowd. Want to give them a try?

Truffle Brownies
(From Bon Appetit, July 2010)

6 0z. bittersweet chocolate, chopped (TRB used Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Baking Chips)
1 stick, plus 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup all-purpose flour

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x9x2 pan with aluminum foil, leaving overhang. Spray with non-stick vegetable oil spray. (TRB used an aluminum disposable pan and greased it with Crisco; results were good).

2. Combine chocolate and butter; melt until smooth. (TRB microwaved the butter and chocolate for about 2 minutes). Cool 5-10 minutes.

3. Whisk eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt together. Add chocolate mixture slowly. Stir in flour. Bake for 25 minutes and cool. 

TRB‘s Favorite Coffee Frosting
(Originally featured in Family Circle Magazine)

3 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tbsp. instant espresso or coffee powder
2 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. vanilla
1 – 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1. In a saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar. Whisk until smooth.
2. In a coffee mug, combine espresso / coffee powder with water and vanilla. Stir until well combined.
3. Add the coffee mixture to the butter and sugar. 
4. Add powdered sugar until desired frosting consistency is reached. 
5. Spread frosting over top of brownies. Best to do this 10-15 minutes after brownies are baked and cooling.


Have you been on a quest for fudge-like brownies? Did you find these tips helpful and try this recipe? Post a comment below.

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