4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup (1 stick/4 oz/113g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. light corn syrup
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk, heated to lukewarm
1/2 cup (2 1/4 oz/64g) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, or other nuts of your choice (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line an 8 x 8-inch (20cm x 20cm) square baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang over all sides of the pan (for easy removal of brownies after baked and cooled); butter the foil.
In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a saucepan on stove top or in a microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate on low heat (or on HIGH temperature in microwave oven). Stir constantly. If melting chocolate in microwave, microwave on HIGH for 1 minute, stir, and then continue to microwave at 15 second intervals until chocolate is completely melted. Once chocolate has melted, remove from heat or microwave and let cool slightly.
In a medium bowl or bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter on medium-high speed. Beat in the sugar and corn syrup until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking thoroughly after each addition. Add the vanilla and lukewarm milk. Beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. On medium speed, mix in the melted chocolate, beating until the batter is smooth and has thickened slightly, 30 to 60 seconds. By hand, stir the dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture until incorporated. Stir in the chopped nuts, if using. Spoon batter into prepared pan, level top with knife or rubber spatula and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean with a few moist crumbs clinging to it, 20 to 30 minutes.
Note: Check the brownies at 20 minutes, if not completely cooked, bake another 5 minutes and check again for doneness. If brownies are not still completely cooked, continue to bake another 5 minutes. Brownies should not be overbaked, so watch them carefully.
Remove from oven and let brownies cool in pan for 5 minutes, then lift the brownies out of the pan with the edges of the aluminum foil overhang and place on cooling rack. Let brownies cool for at least 3 hours, then gently peel away the foil, and cut the brownies into squares with a sharp knife. If desired, dust brownies with confectioners' sugar.
Makes 9-16 brownies, depending on what size you cut them.
Store cut brownies in an airtight container at room temperature, or leave them in the pan and cover tightly with aluminum foil for up to 3 to 4 days.
If not serving brownies immediately, they can be stored (uncut), wrapped in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil and kept refrigerated for up to 5 days.
Basic brownies freeze very well, especially if they aren't cut. They can be frosted or not. When cooled be sure to wrap them well, first in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil, then place in an airtight freezer bag. They must be wrapped tightly as the air in the freezer is very drying. Freeze for up to one month.
This recipe can be doubled easily; use a 9 x 13-inch pan and increase the baking time slightly, by approximately 10 minutes or so. Check for doneness after 30 minutes of baking.
The recipe gives a range of baking times, use the shorter time for metal pans, the longer for ceramic or Pyrex pans.
Photograph taken by Diana Baker Woodall© 2005
Date: August 30, 2005