Thursday, September 27, 2012

Velvet Brownies


Chocolate is a necessity. A nibble in the afternoon or a square or two after dinner adds just the right touch of sweetness to the day. Sometimes, though, getting that chocolate fix demands I bite into something a bit more rich and indulgent. At those times, I whip up a quick batch of brownies to hit the spot.

Ah, brownies: cakey, gooey, frosted, plain or everything in between, there is always a place for them. I love brownies with an intense chocolate flavor and a smidgen of flour, landing them squarely in the fudge-style camp.


These velvet brownies are a bit elegant, like a chocolate confection, with a dense, smooth texture. The batter is thick and voluminous, almost like a frosting or chocolate mousse. Eggs are whipped full of air and then mixed with butter, unsweetened chocolate, espresso powder, vanilla, sugar and flour. The finished brownies are not very sweet (think of a dark chocolate bar) and with each nibble more rich chocolate flavor emerges. Cut into small squares, they are little chocolate morsels to savor.

These brownies certainly hit that need-a-chocolate-fix spot. And I love that they are quick and easy to make with quality ingredients. I like my treats to be less sweet, but you can increase the sugar a bit if you prefer. A sprinkling of flaky sea salt on top would complement the chocolate nicely, too.


P.S. October is almost here, which means it’s time for October Unprocessed! Andrew Wilder created this fun challenge which gives us the opportunity to think about our food choices and how we can “un-process” the way we eat. I was inspired last year by the recipes and discussions from the month long challenge and can’t wait to learn more.  I’m delighted to be writing a guest post on Andrew’s website for this year’s October Unprocessed challenge, as well. Come join me in taking the October Unprocessed pledge!

Velvet Brownies
Makes 1 - 9x13 inch pan (the brownies can be cut quite small to feed a crowd)

8 ounces good quality unsweetened chocolate bar or discs, roughly chopped
1 cup (2 sticks) organic butter (preferably pastured for those Omega 3s – the pastured butter I use is lightly salted)
1 tablespoon espresso powder
8 eggs, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt (increase to 1 1/2 teaspoons if using unsalted butter)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9x13 inch baking pan.

In a medium sized saucepan, melt the unsweetened chocolate, butter and espresso powder together over very low heat, stirring often. Remove from the heat and set aside to let cool to room temperature.

In a standing mixer, use the whisk attachment to beat the eggs on high speed until they are pale yellow and thick, about 2-3 minutes (you can also use a hand held electric mixer). In a separate bowl, stir the sugar, kosher salt and flour together. Add this mixture to the eggs and whisk until mixed. Pour in the cooled chocolate mixture and vanilla and mix on a high speed until the batter is airy and thick, about 3-4 minutes.

Spoon the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. The brownies will puff up a bit and a tester should have a couple of moist crumbs on it (be careful not to over bake). Remove from the oven and let cool. The brownies will keep for a few days on the kitchen counter well sealed.

19 comments:

  1. Wow, 8 eggs? I've never seen a recipe for brownies with so many eggs but I have no doubt it's worth it. I love to add espresso powder to chocolate as well! How awesome, by the way, that you are doing October Unprocessed. I'm a little nervous to try, but look forward to your guest post!

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    1. Yeah, I think I had chocolate souffle on my mind as I was cracking eggs! Not a bad thing...

      I really enjoyed following October Unprocessed last year. I did it for most of the month, but this time decided to dive in and commit. I'm looking forward to it! And I can always scramble eggs for dinner, right? :)

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  2. Oh these look heavenly Hannah! My friend from the temple just made a super light chocolate torte bar for our Rosh Hashanah gathering, recipe from her mom, who is a Holocaust survivor, and similar to your recipe, also used a lot of eggs. She cut them in small bites and they were so light and elegant to eat. And with the chocolate stepped up to your level - they would be just divine!

    Our family totally agrees - a day without chocolate is like a day without sunshine (at least in California) :-)

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    1. Thank you, Beth! What a lovely Rosh Hashanah gathering you had. The chocolate torte you describe sounds divine and very special with family history. Those are the best recipes!

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  3. Look at these! My word! How smooth they look! And how awesome about your guest post! Can't wait to read it!

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    1. So sweet, thank you, Brooke! I'm thrilled to be contributing to October Unprocessed. I see you're joining in, too! Woohoo! This'll be fun. :)

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  4. My goodness, these sound so decadent! I'm always on the hunt for recipes to curb my chocolate cravings.

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    1. Thank you, Brianne! We can always use a bit of decadence, right? :)

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  5. Yum... dangerous at this late hour staring at this delicious looking brownies! From the list of ingredients I can tell this is amazing... :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Nami! Simple, quality ingredients always make the best treats, don't they?

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  6. Great recipe! Brownies are always welcome, especially after your description! My mouth waters :-)

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Ruth! Brownies are definitely a crowd-pleaser...hard to resist one.

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  7. Just looking at the photo, I can practically taste the yumminess. Pasture butter is one of the best things ever. I feel like life really began when I first tried it. Ha! That makes me sound really ridiculous but I love pasture butter. It's been too long since I made brownies. These are calling my name!

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    1. Aw, thank you, Lauren! Ever since discovering pasture butter it's all I use. It's delicious and I love the health benefits and knowing the cows got to eat grass. I'm with you! Hope you enjoy some brownies soon.

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  8. These look very rich. Yum! Beautiful photos.

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  9. Oh these are so my kind of chocolate treat! I most definitely veer to the less sweet when it comes to chocolate so these sound positively ambrosial!

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    1. Thank you, Mairi - I think you'll like these then...not very sweet at all. I like my chocolate positively bitter!

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