Fudgy Brownie Bites
Every once and a while a magical thing happens in the foodie world. Someone tries a recipe, adds their own twist and posts it. Then someone reads the post and does the same. And another. Before you know it there is a convoluted trail of foodies putting their spin on an already delicious recipe. Like the passing of a ritual torch, it is time I bestow to you this delicious, possibly perfect brownie recipe. This isn’t the most intricate trail I’ve seen in the foodie world, but it’s a fun one, so let’s follow it anyways.
It started with a tweet (check me out @rvank) I sent out, asking if anyone had a moist brownie recipe. The adorable, inspiring Brian Samuels of A Though for Food–a favorite foodie of mine and a big inspiration for my pursuits here–suggested I check out one of his posts. He promised me a delicious brownie recipe, a recipe he adapted from none other than the queen of food blogging, Deb of Smitten Kitchen. She adapted the recipe from Alice Medrich’s book, Bittersweet. Who knows where this Alice got the recipe, but a few things have changed since it reached me, mostly at the work of my own hands.
My tweet was not entirely forthcoming. I was looking for a moist recipe because I planned to bake the brownies in mini cupcake tins and I didn’t want to risk overcooked, dry brownies. You see, I am a cookie fiend whereas my family and friends are obsessed with brownies. I wanted, needed something shaped almost like a cookie to trick me into thinking I was eating a cookie–or something like that.
In addition to Brian’s suggestion, my request ended up starting a 75 tweet thread about what makes brownies moist. It was foodie on foodie action–serious hair pulling action. In the end, it came down to fat. The original recipe from Alice only uses fat from butter to create a candy-like bite (the chocolate coming solely from cocoa powder). I, the careful man I am, figured I needed a bit more fat since I was baking the brownies in a mini muffin pan. I added 4 ounces of a 70% chocolate bar (which contains some cocoa butter to add to the fat content; the extra sugar in the chocolate doesn’t hurt either). I also multiplied the recipe by 1.5 because I’m a hungry boy.
This will yield 36 incredibly moist, soft, fudgy pillows of brownie bite. The recipe should scale fine if you don’t want that many–or if you want a bunch more–, though I assure you 36 will barely last a day or two. I’ve also linked you to both Brian’s and Deb’s recipe above if you’d like to try something closer to the original.
Ok. Enough words. I should have stopped long ago because really, the only thing that matters in this post is the recipe, a recipe you must try! P.S. Did you notice my homage to Brian’s photography above?
- 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chopped
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 4 ounces 70% cocoa chocolate bar, chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs, cold
- ¾ cup cake flour
- Butter a mini muffin pan (with 36 muffin cups); preheat an oven to 325°F with a rack in the bottom third of the oven.
- Place the butter in a large bowl over a pot of simmering water (bain marie). When it begins to melt, add the sugar, cocoa powder and chocolate bar. Stir occasionally until the butter and chocolate have completely melted and mixture is completely mixed together--it may still appear a bit grainy.
- Remove the bowl from the bain marie and allow the temperature of the mixture to cool slightly.
- Add the vanilla and stir. Then add each egg, one at a time, mixing well after each to completely incorporate it.
- Add the cake flour and mix the flour in until it is completely dispersed. Continue to mix for another minute to ensure the mixture is smooth. The batter will be very thick.
- Spoon the batter evenly into the minicupcake pan. Place in the preheated oven and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out covered in crumbs and a paste-like substance, but not a liquidy looking substance (it should stick to the toothpick and not run or fall off). Mine baked for 18 minutes.
- Allow the brownies to cool to room temperature then place the pans in the freeze for 20 minutes--this will help the brownies come out of the pan easier. Remove from the freezer, run a knife along the outside of each brownie and pop the brownie bite out.