Recently, I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Max Brenner’s new book, Chocolate: A Love Story. Having enjoyed visiting one of his shops in New York, I was anxious to try out some recipes. Actually titled “A philosophical highly concentrated fudge brownie,” this chocolate extravagance cried out from the book’s pages to be made as soon as possible. Who am I to argue?
I’ve never understood why most brownie recipes are made in a tiny square pan. They’re brownies. Less is definitely not more. I am proud to say that these aren’t made in one of those small pans or even in a 9”x 13” pan. No, they’re made in a nice, big half sheet pan. That, my friends, is how brownies should be made.
Take the size of that pan into consideration when you read through the recipe. Don’t panic. Sure, it has two pounds of chocolate (I highly recommend Guittard’s 72% bittersweet chocolate) and a couple of sticks of butter, but the end result is a gigantic pan of brownies destined to make everyone you share them with your new best friend. I took the majority of these to work, where they were thoroughly enjoyed. Be warned that these are very rich – quite the adult brownie.
My only alteration to the recipe was using pecans instead of walnuts. First of all, I adore pecans. Secondly, walnuts? Ew. I’m sure there are some of you who have no objection to walnuts, so go right ahead and use them. Or, use hazelnuts or whatever kind of nut you prefer.
It is recommended that these be refrigerated overnight before cutting and serving. That definitely helped the firmness of these extra-fudgy brownies and made the cutting much simpler. So, don’t give in to your impatience and eat them as soon as they come out of the oven.
I feel confident that this is the first of many recipes I’ll try from this book. There are cakes and cookies and puddings and such that are already bookmarked for future baking. I just so happen to have an extra copy of this book that I would love to send to one of you lovely readers. If you’re interested and live in the U.S., just leave a comment on this post between now and Tuesday, November 10, 10am CST. I’ll pick one of your comments at random and send it your way!
UPDATE: Contest is closed.
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 32 ounces dark chocolate (approx. 70%), roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 6 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 & 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, divided into 3/4 cup and 1/4 cup
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 & 1/2 cups chopped nuts
Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 13″x 18″ jelly-roll pan with parchment paper. Butter and flour the paper.
Place chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. Set aside. Place the butter and cream in a saucepan. Over medium, heat bring to a boil. Pour over chocolate and let sit about a minute or until chocolate begins to melt. Stir until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool.
Add vanilla extract to cooled chocolate mixture. Whisk in eggs, one at a time. Whisk in sugar.
Sift 3/4 cup flour and salt. Using a wooden spoon, stir into chocolate mixture until fully combined. Toss nuts with remaining 1/4 cup flour. Stir into batter.
Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake 28-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean. Allow brownies too cool. Wrap and refrigerate overnight before cutting into bars.
Recipe slightly adapted from Chocolate: A Love Story.