fudgy brownies

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Fudgy Brownies

From the book The Essence of Chocolate by and
Yield 16 brownies


In order to achieve the crackled top and fudgy texture of classic brownies, this batter must be beaten by hand until it pulls from the sides of the bowl. This sounds like a task, but it’s not; there’s something homey and satisfying about stirring this thick, glossy batter yourself.


6 Tbsp. (3 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus more for the pan
8 oz. 70-percent bittersweet chocolate
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ tsp. salt
2 large eggs
cup all-purpose flour
½ cup toasted walnut halves (optional)


  1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Cut an 8-by-16-inch piece of parchment paper. Lightly butter an 8-by-8-by-2-inch pan and line it with the parchment, allowing it to extend evenly over the opposite sides. Butter the parchment, including the paper on the sides of the pan.
  3. Place the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl set over a pot of gently simmering water and stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat.
  4. With a large rubber spatula or wooden spoon, beat the sugar and salt into the chocolate mixture. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the flour and mix vigorously until the batter is very glossy and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  5. Break the nuts, if using, into large pieces over the batter and fold them in.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and tap the pan bottom on the countertop to level the batter. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out moist but clean.
  7. Let cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Remove the brownies from the pan using the parchment “handles,” and cool completely on the rack before cutting into 2-inch squares.

This content is from the book The Essence of Chocolate by John Scharffenberger and Robert Steinberg.

There are 9 comments on this item
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Average Rating 4
44% recommend this recipe
1. by Carrie Floyd on Mar 3, 2008 at 1:03 PM PST
Rating: five

I’m always looking for the quintessential brownie recipe and I think, after making this recipe, I’ve found it: fudgy on the inside, crackly on the top, a perfect chocolate fix.

2. by Teno1010 on Sep 24, 2008 at 11:55 AM PDT

I find I am now always making brownies into cupcakes. For some reason they turn out better for me and there is no cutting.In my oven it takes 23 minutes. I freeze them and then microwave each one as we want it. There is then a slightly gooey center that spills out. YUM. I will try this receipe and make them into cupcakes.

3. by Carrie Floyd on Sep 24, 2008 at 3:48 PM PDT

Teno1010: what a great idea! Let us know how this recipe translates.

4. by Shana on Sep 26, 2008 at 1:24 PM PDT

One of my personal favorite recipes form this book. Simple to make, and with the Scharffen Berger chocolate, it is the perfect amount of richness!

5. by Dave on Feb 16, 2009 at 1:51 PM PST

I need some help with this one. The brownie came out like an 8x8 sponge, undercooked after 40 minutes. I followed the recipe precisely, except perhaps I didn’t beat it long enough. Any help out there? db

6. by Carrie Floyd on Feb 18, 2009 at 11:08 AM PST

Hi Dave,
Did you beat the batter until it pulled away from the sides? I think that makes a difference. Also, when I bake I tend to check at the recommended time, then keep checking until it reaches the desired state, in this case “a skewer inserted in the center comes out moist but clean.”

7. by redweather on Sep 15, 2009 at 9:36 AM PDT
Rating: five

i made these for my fella’s birthday, and they came out wonderfully! i’ve never made brownies from scratch before, only from a mix. although i couldn’t tell if the batter was pulling away from the bowl, after beating FOREVER, i just hoped for the best and baked; they cooked for 15 min longer than the suggested 35 min, but came out lovely - chewy and rich!

8. by anonymous on Nov 24, 2010 at 11:38 AM PST
Rating: two

Just made these for Thanksgiving for the non-pie eater in the family. They turned out greasy and on the salty side...not what I’d call good by any stretch, very disappointing and a waste of good chocolate!

9. by anonymous on Feb 26, 2011 at 12:07 AM PST

This recipe results in an amazing brownie. Make sure you follow the recipe precisely in terms of both ingredients AND procedures to ensure success. Perfect balance of chewy and fudgy center with a crackly top.

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