I don’t recall ever being a huge fan of brownies, growing up. Probably because growing up with a less than domestic mother, I always assumed that the kind I made from the box were just how they were supposed to taste. It was kind of like eating a texture-less soggy chocolate cake.
So when I began to learn about baking a bit more, I thought that there had to be a reason WHY people eat this stuff. I realized through my “ottering“* technique of eating that I only really cared for the top layer. That minuet layer between the papery flakey top and the gooey center. The upper crust, if you will.
Apparently, that thick layer of crunchy sugary goodness that clings to the dense warm gooey layer of chocolate is just a meringue*! So basically my idea of the perfect brownie is a meringue half-breed! The secret to that upper crust is this:
The longer you beat the eggs and sugar in the first step, the thicker your crust will get.
(ottering: When Chloe dissects her food into sections and pieces, eating the most delicious parts and discarding the rest)
(meringue: a light starchy cookie made by beating egg whites and sugar)
I followed a Martha Stewart recipe that required 10 minutes of egg beating. I don’t have the longest attention span, and I used a hand mixer. Hence, I only mixed for about 5-7 minutes before moving forward but they came out fantastic, anyway.
Here is how I made them:ingredients:
- 1 cup of unsalted butter, plus more for pan
- 8 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 5 large eggs
- 3 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons instant espresso
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 2/3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Raise oven temperature to 400 degrees. Generously butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan; set aside.
Combine chocolate and butter in a heat-proof bowl or the top of a double boiler. Set over a pan of simmering water until the chocolate mixture has melted. Remove from heat; set aside.
Add sugar, eggs, and instant espresso to a bowl
n the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat eggs, sugar, and espresso at high speed, 10 minutes.
Reduce speed to low, and add melted-chocolate mixture and the vanilla; beat until combined.
Slowly add flour and salt; beat just until incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan
Bake until edges are dry but center is still soft, about 35 minutes. Remove pan from oven, and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Cut and inhale.