Once upon a time… well, actually up until last week… one of my many secret food indulgences was a Brownie Fudge Sundae from a certain “local” ice cream shop. I needed this brownie sundae, I craved this brownie sundae, I had worked hard all week and even made it to the gym every (almost) day for this brownie sundae. Once I received my order, I rushed home to dig my inexpensive (no, it was cheap) plastic white spoon into the sundae, cutting through the vanilla ice cream (I actually ordered chocolate almond ice cream) and chocolate fudge sauce, down to the soft brownie base. In one big giant bite my anticipated hopes of a decadent, rich, chocolatey brownie goodness, fell flat and my craving disappointingly diminished. It tasted like plastic… the brownie did…like artificial… like some weird chemically produced solid shortening…what percentage of chocolate is actually chocolate?…brownie. Ugh.
“I can make better than this”….. and I did. So goodbye, once secret food indulgence, and hello my Big Batch Chocolate Brownies. Perfect with ice cream, chocolate sauce and REAL whipped cream too.
Ingredients: Makes approxomately 12 four inch squares
36 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli, but you may use whatever you enjoy)
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter
7 large eggs
3 tablespoons instant espresso
3 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups lightly toasted chopped pecans (optional)
1 batch of treating yourself and not hanging on to the “4 sticks of unsalted butter”
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and prepare a sided cookie sheet pan with butter and flour, or parchment paper that goes up over the sides.
- Set a large bowl over simmering water for a double boiler/Bain Marie. Add the chocolate chips and butter, and begin to slowly melt. Once melted, turn off the heat and add the espresso powder and salt. Gently stir to combine.
- In a separate bowl combine the whole eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Stir with a large wooden spoon or stiff whisk to mix thoroughly until the sugar has dissolved into the eggs and vanilla. In yet another bowl (it takes a village) stir in the flour and baking powder. If you have a handheld fine mesh strainer, you’re going to rock this next step. If you don’t, you’re still going to rock it.
- Combine the melted chocolate and butter mixture in with the eggs. Stir completely. Next, and here is where the strainer comes in if you have it, lightly dust and mix dust and mix dust and mix in the flour mixture. You don't want to beat or mix too hard the flour because that developed the gluten… making your brownies more cake like instead of brownie like. Do that in batches. Gently scatter in with a spoon if you do not have a strainer… just watch for lumps of flour in your batter.Fold in the nuts after all the flour has been mixed in.
- Pour the brownie batter into your prepared pan. Smooth out evenly, and tap gently on the counter to release any trapped air bubbles. Place in the oven and bake 15 to 20 minutes or when your cake tester comes out clean from the center of the pan. Serve warm with a big scoop of homemade vanilla bean ice cream (I'll get to that recipe soon). You deserve this!