Well, that sounds good in theory, but a little unlikely around here! What did I choose to make? Brownies... again! Yeah, yeah I know... how about some variety, right? Well, I could have made some muffins, maybe some more cookies or a pie, but not one second after I said "brownies" when I started reading off some recipes I had set aside to make, Jeff snatched the recipe from my fingers and proclaimed it brownie making day today. I of course reminded him that we just made some a couple days ago, but he didn't seem to care much - so brownies it is today!
Let me start off by saying that you can't really compare these Bittersweet Brownies to the Essence of Chocolate Squares we made last Tuesday - those were a totally different monster and these brownies are of the somewhat lighter variety. Even though using Dutch-processed cocoa lends a milder chocolate taste, compared to a more bitter natural cocoa powder, it's smooth chocolate flavor is enhanced by using a good dose of instant espresso powder dissolved in boiling water. The amount called for doesn't make the bars taste like coffee, but it does add just enough background to lift up the chocolate. The Dutch-processed cocoa powder also gave the brownies a wicked dark color. We tend to gravitate to the fudgy variety of brownies and these are just that - fudgy enough to stay moist, yet not so gooey that you can't cut them cleanly.
What we really enjoyed is that these have a dense chewy factor to them that those other extremely rich ones did not - these brownies also have a shiny sugary crust on top that added a little crunch. While they baked, I was happy to see that the edges did not put puff up too much higher than the center, which can sometimes leave a dry and brittle edge. I pulled these brownies out when the toothpick I placed near the center (about half way between the center and the edge) came out with a few moist, but not wet, crumbs attached.