Soft homemade brownies

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Brownies can be a food that divides.

People like them either on the fondant side, like a cake, with or without nuts.

I fall into the dark, without a nut camp. Personally, if I wanted a cake-like brownie, I would just eat cake. The only problem with fudge-like brownies is that they can be quite rich. Especially if they are a little overcooked, which can happen easily. That’s why I’m happy with this recipe – it’s a good compromise between the two.

I will admit that brownies were the only food I made from a box, as I was never able to find a homemade recipe where they turned out the way I wanted.

Then I found the kind of brownie I wanted to emulate.

While we lived in Ann Arbor, I found the best brownie I have ever eaten. It was from Zingerman’s Delicatessen, and they were called Black Magic Brownies. They are full of chocolate, not too sweet, crispy and chewy. If they’re hot with a scoop of ice cream on them, it’s the best dessert I’ve ever had. Period.

I made a few changes since I was a bit short of unsweetened chocolate. So I added used about an ounce of dark chocolate. I think as long as the chocolate isn’t sweet, it’s good to use more than one. I also added a teaspoon of instant coffee grounds to the chocolate mixture. Coffee helps bring out a more intense chocolate flavor, which is always a good thing.

Recipe found at www.browneyedbaker.com/zingermans-black-magic-brownies.

13 tbsp unsalted butter

6½ ounces of unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped

¾ cup all-purpose flour, sifted

¾ cup of sifted cake flour

¾ teaspoon of baking powder

½ teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of instant coffee grounds

2 cups of granulated sugar

4 eggs

1¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 13x9x2-inch baking dish and line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides; put aside.

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and chocolate, stirring constantly, until the mixture is completely melted and smooth. Reserve in the fridge. In a small bowl, combine the flours, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl, beat the sugar and eggs with an electric mixer on high speed for 5 minutes, until lemon colored and frothy, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and vanilla. Beat on low speed until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined, then stir it a final time by hand with a rubber spatula. Spread the dough in the prepared pan.

Bake until brownies seem set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool completely in the mold on a wire rack. Cut the brownies into squares and serve.

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