"Anything is good if it's made of chocolate"
~ Jo Brand
I hesitated to post this, despite my love of the recipe, because I know that if you google “brownies” you will probably find 100,000 recipes for them.
I love chocolate and every couple of weeks get the urge for a good brownie. This has been a life-long condition. I don’t like box mix brownies, and never have, not even as a kid. They taste artificial to me. I guess this makes me a brownie-snob. Yikes! I hate to be that way, but it’s true. On the upside, it has driven me, from my teen years, to try many, MANY, home-made brownie recipes on my quest for the perfect brownie, which to me is thick, moist, chocolately, tender and very slightly chewy. I’ve tried recipes from almost all of my cookbook collection, including famous “gourmet” recipes from the likes of Katherine Hepburn and The Barefoot Contessa. I’ve tried recipes from chocolate companies, friends, co-workers and internet searches.
It was The Food Network that came through for me; Tyler Florence, specifically; His Amaretto Brownie recipe was the best I’d ever tried. Then one day I went to make them and didn’t have amaretto, so I substituted coffee. This knocked the recipe out of the park. Brownie perfection. I look no further. My grandmother always frosted her brownies with a vanilla buttercream (mint is good too) and topped with a glossy coating of bittersweet chocolate. That’s the way I prefer these, but they are great plain, too.
My Favorite Brownies
2 sticks butter
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate or good 85% cacao chocolate
1 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons strong coffee or espresso (or Kahlua)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 tablespoon milk
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 9 inch pan (or 7 x10) with parchment paper (or tin foil), making sure it hangs over the edges. Grease paper with butter. Melt butter and chocolate over a double boiler and stir gently until smooth and shiny. Remove from heat and cool until it is almost room temperature.
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt into a small bowl and set aside. In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar and coffee until combined, stir in chocolate. Gradually add flour mixture, stirring just until combined.
Spoon batter into prepared pan and bake for 40 - 45 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the pan. When done, cool for 20 minutes. Invert onto a cutting board and remove paper. Replace back into pan.
While you are making frosting, melt the 3 ounces of bittersweet chocolate.
In a medium bowl, beat butter. Slowly add confectioner's sugar. Add milk by teaspoons-full, beating as you go and add just enough to make frosting spreading consistency.
Spread brownies with frosting. When chocolate is melted, let it cool slightly, then drizzle over frosted brownies and carefully spread with a knife.