The best homemade chocolate fudgy brownie recipe using real chocolate. Make brownies with a shiny top every time, using my special tips!
Lately I've been studying the science behind the perfect fudgy brownie. What I've discovered is that there are a lot of brownie recipes out there, but not everyone knows what creates that shiny top.
Well I'll tell ya my secret. It's dissolving the sugar properly with the eggs.
A lot of people say it's from creaming the butter and sugar together, which is partially true; the sugar needs to dissolve. However, EVERY box mix I've ever made from the store has a shiny top. And there is no creaming of butter required. SO. Applying what I've learned, I'll walk you through my step by step process of how to get that perfect bakery style brownie, every time.
A few things to know about my brownies first though. This brownie recipe calls for a LOT of sugar. Reason: I use cocoa powder and unsweetened bakers chocolate, both of which need quite a bit of sugar to counter the bitterness of the chocolate. I also use a combo of both brown and white sugar. Brown sugar adds mois(ssss)tness to the brownies. I also use lots of eggs, and no other leavening agents. We don't want cake my lovelies.
These brownies take effort. They take time. They take a few dirty dishes. But oh, children. They're worth it.
Tips for the best fudgy brownies:
- "Bloom" the cocoa powder in the hot melted butter. It helps to release and intensify the flavor in the cocoa powder. It makes a difference.
- For the shiniest shiny brownies, make sure to mix the butter/chocolate/sugar/eggs VERY well to dissolve the sugar! This is CRITICAL for that perfect, shiny top.
- Use bakers chocolate as well as cocoa powder! It's that much more delicious.
- Use butter, not oil. For the best flavor, buttah.
- I use only eggs as the leavening agent. Any baking soda/powder will create a texture and structure more like cake. Nuh nuh no. We want fudgy brownies!
- Add extras! Favorite chocolate bars or cookies like snickers, oreos, reeses, or kit kats would be delicious.
Just so you can see the difference, here's a side by side comparison of dull vs shiny brownies. I mean, I'd eat both but we gotta keep 'em shiny for presentation purposes.
How to make the best chocolate brownies:
- Start by "blooming" the cocoa powder for 3-5 minutes in hot melted butter. Melt butter for 1.5 minutes on high in the microwave, (or hot to the touch on stovetop, and remove from heat) then whisk in cocoa powder. Let rest 3-5 minutes.
- Separately, combine flour and salt in large mixing bowl.
- Add the white and brown sugar to butter/cocoa and mix very well. From experience, it's best to remove from heat before this stage to avoid cooking/curdling the eggs. The mixture can be warm but at least cool enough to touch.
- Add eggs one at a time, mixing very well in between each addition. This is a very important step! It helps ensure that the sugar is properly dissolved. It can be done by hand for at least 3-5 minutes or in a mixer with whisk attachment on medium speed for 1 minute. No more than that though, we don't want to add unnecessary volume to make a cake like texture. Add in vanilla.
- Stir into four and salt until combined. Overmixing at this point can make the brownies tough, so be sure not to over mix it once the flour is added. Make sure there are no flour pockets left in the batter, and then stir in chocolate chips or chunks.
- Pour batter into 9X13 pan, sprinkle a few chocolate chips/chunks on top and bake 35-40 minutes. Keep in mind that darker pans tend to take less time to bake than glass or ceramic pans and some ovens are different. I test my brownie with a toothpick and pull them out of the oven if the toothpick comes out slightly dirty to keep them nice and fudgy. The brownies bake for a few minutes even after they're out of the oven, so it's important not to over bake them if you prefer them soft and moist.
Can I half this brownie recipe?
Yes, but be sure to bake it for 20-25 minutes and then check for doneness; the same method as in the recipe.
If you're looking for more brownie recipes, I also have an excellent recipe for Cheesecake Brownies, one of my earlier posts.
Fudgy Brownie Recipe
- 1-¼ cups (2.5 sticks) butter, melted
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 4 oz unsweetened bakers chocolate, 100% cacao , broken into pieces
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1-¼ cups brown sugar
- 1-¼ cups white sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1-½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks
- Preheat oven to 350. Spray 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
- In large mixing bowl whisk cocoa powder and hot melted butter and let "bloom" for 2-3 minutes. Stir in unsweetened baking chocolate pieces and let sit to melt into butter, stirring occasionally.
- When chocolate has fully melted, add vanilla, brown sugar, and white sugar and mix well.
- Add eggs, one at a time stirring very well between each addition. Continue to stir for 3-5 minutes until sugar is dissolved. This is the key step to get that shiny top! You may also do this step in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment for 1 minute on medium speed to be sure the sugar dissolves.
- When batter is smooth, fold in flour and salt until well combined. Add chocolate chips/chunks last, and pour into prepared 9X13 inch pan and sprinkle a few on top.
- Bake at 350 F. for 35-40 minutes. I bake 35 minutes and then check with a toothpick. If it comes out slightly dirty, they're perfect! Pull them out of the oven. If the toothpick is covered in batter, bake 5 more minutes and check again. Keep in mind that dark pans take less time to bake than glass/ceramic pans. Let cool for at least 15-20 minutes before serving.
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