The Classic Brownie (With Torte and Gluten Free Variations)

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Total Time
2hrs
Prep 1 hr 30 mins
Cook 30 mins

Everyone has a favorite brownie recipe and I’m no exception. My best food memory is coming home from school and entering the house to the incredible aroma of baking brownies. I could easily eat a pan myself but had the brakes put on me by my mom, who warned me about ruining my appetite before dinner. Somehow, even now, alas, that never happens... I always have an appetite, for dinner or any other meal, but especially for these brownies! Mom used the recipe on the back of the Baker’s chocolate box, and to me these brownies are still among the best. Fudgy when not over-baked, a slight edge to them thanks to the bitter chocolate, and a depth of flavor I used to find unsurpassed until the world of gourmet chocolate arrived. These brownies are perfect as is, but they’re even more decadent glazed with Chocolate Ganache (recipe) or Shiny Chocolate Glaze (recipe). Be sure to read the Brownie Point before making the recipe!

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300*F. Line a 9x13-inch pan with overhanging parchment paper.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat with the sugars. Use a heat-resistant spatula or a wire whisk to mix. At first, the liquefied butter will settle over the sugar Keep stirring until the sugar and butter have completely combined. The sugar will still be somewhat granular, but it will have incorporated the butter into a single, smooth mass.
  3. Remove from the heat and cool for 10 minutes. Add both chocolates. Whisk until smooth. Add the eggs and whisk until the mixture is thick and shiny. Add the vanilla, salt and optional dissolved coffee granules. Mix to blend. Add the flour and whisk only until smooth. Pour into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake for 30-35 minutes only. The center will puff and the edges will appear glossy and firm. The center may appear soft underneath the surface, which is fine. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until firm.
  5. Place a cutting board over the pan and turn upside down. Remove the parchment paper If you are glazing the brownies, do so bottom side up for an entirely smooth surface. If you are eating them as is, invert them onto another board and slice into cubes, rectangles or triangles.
  6. Store in the fridge wrapped in plastic for up to 2-3 weeks. Freeze wrapped in plastic and foil for up to 6 months.
  7. *Instant flour is found in the baking section of grocery stores as “Wondra.”.
  8. FREEZE AHEAD:.
  9. The recipe makes almost 6 cups (1.5 L) of batter. Because many of my recipes call for this batter as an ingredient, you can make a smaller batch of brownies and freeze the rest of the batter. Pour the brownies into a parchment-lined 8x8-inch (20x20-cm) baking pan, 3/4 of the way up the sides, and bake as instructed. Place the remaining batter in a freezer bag and refrigerate for up to 3 months or freeze indefinitely. Defrost before using.
  10. Makes 6 cups batter, or 24 bars in a 9x13-inch pan.
  11. VARIATIONS:.
  12. GLUTEN FREE CLASSIC BROWNIES:.
  13. It seems that everyone is on some form of diet these days, depriving themselves of anything from fat to wheat, carbs or cholesterol. I have experimented with a lot of ingredients to replace some of what makes brownies nutritionally “naughty” and have had good success in many cases. This variation of Classic Brownies is a case in point.
  14. Substituting brown rice flour for wheat flour makes these entirely gluten-free, but they continue to provide a wallop of fudgy goodness. And, if it’s only a few people who are wheat sensitive, you can easily adjust the recipe so that you prepare some Classic Brownies and some Gluten-free Classic Brownies with a minimum of additional effort.
  15. Prepare the batter up to the addition of flour. Replace the wheat flour with 1 cup of brown rice flour. Fill an 8x8-inch pan 3/4 full with batter and bake as directed. Cool and chill completely before slicing. These are stickier than regular brownies and not quite as thick, but they’re just as good!
  16. BROWNIE TORTE:.
  17. Turn a brownie into something elegant and easy --
  18. Bake the brownies in a 9-x13-inch baking pan.
  19. When cool, slice lengthwise so you have two strips 4 1/2 wide by 13 inches long.
  20. Flavor 1 cup of Ganache with 1 Tbsp strong coffee. Keep the glaze slightly warmer than room temperature, 80-85*F.
  21. Toast 1 cup pecan halves and cool. Chop fine in a food processor. Place the nut crumbs on a baking sheet.
  22. Place one brownie strip, bottom side up, on a foil-wrapped piece of cardboard 4 1/2 by 13-inches in the center of the platter. Set on a baking rack over a piece of parchment paper. Pour 1/2 cup of glaze in the center of the cake. Using a spatula, gently coax the glaze to the edges. Let it sit and cool for 5-10 minutes.
  23. Place the second brownie strip over the first, bottom side up. Pour the remaining glaze over the top and spread evenly to the sides, pushing it gently over the edges and down the sides. Quickly spread the glaze on all four sides.
  24. Lift the torte over the tray with the chopped nuts. Scoop up the nuts and gently pat them onto the sides of the cake from the bottom up, to create an even band of nuts around the cake. Work quickly because, as the glaze sets, it won’t hold the crumbs.
  25. Let the cake set for about 15 minutes before serving. Or, store in the fridge up to 3 days.
  26. Serve slices on a pool of Creme Anglaise and garnish with fresh raspberries.