Saturday, May 07, 2005

Essence of Chocolate Squares

Essence of Chocolate Squares (Adapted from Baking By Flavor)

For the brownie layer

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons Dutch-processed cocoa
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
4 large eggs
2 cups vanilla sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

For the frosting

3 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 325

To make the brownie layer

Over a piece of parchment paper, sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt together.

In a medium bowl, whisk together butter and chocolate until thoroughly combined.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs until well blended. Pour in the vanilla sugar and whisk slowly, just until combined. Add the chocolate/butter mixture and whisk until combined. Mix in the vanilla. Sift the dry ingredients over the liquid mixture and stir the two together just until all particles of flour are absorbed into the batter. Scoop the batter into a 9" x 9" baking pan coated with nonstick spray - use an off-set spatula to smooth over the top. Bake until the center is set, about 33 to 38 minutes. Remove and set the pan on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes while you make the frosting.

To make the frosting

In a large mixing bowl, add confectioners' sugar and salt.

In a small bowl, whisk together butter and chocolate until completely combined. Whisk in the milk, cream, and vanilla extract. Using a hand mixer, beat the butter mixture into the confectioners' sugar on low speed until creamy and completely combined - be sure to scrape the bowl a couple times to get any sugar off the sides of the bowl.

Immediately scoop out dollops of the batter and place on the hot brownie layer - gently spread the frosting using an off-set spatula to cover the top. Let sit for at least 3 to 4 hours or until it has completely cooled before cutting into squares.

Just found the recipe? Click here to see where we talked about it!


  1. Amazing brownies!"Chocolate coma" here I come!

  2. Joe, those look incredible.

    I wonder how they'd be with a caramel icing -- the stiff, praline-like type. I almost ran to the kitchen to try these with praline, then realized I had just baked a pan of brownies and that I was being ridiculous.

  3. Those look so good. I will be making these some time soon.

  4. Gigi - I hear ya!

    Anna - Since the topping is already quite sweet, I bet a praline-esque icing would be very tasty!

    Rachel - Thanks!

  5. Hi Joe
    I visit your blog often for inspiration in the kitchen! I know this recipe entry is from quite a while ago -- but I am dying to make these brownies! I have a question for you -- I would love to make these peppermint chocolate brownies for the holidays -- do you think I could use regular granulated sugar in place of the vanilla sugar and just use peppermint extract rather than vanilla extract? Thanks for your help!

  6. Michelle - I don't see why that wouldn't work - just remember that peppermint extract is really strong!

  7. hi
    I just found this recipe and I love it.
    I'm gonna make it tomorrow for sure.

    Congrat's.. You have a very good food blog.

    ps.: I am from Brazil. I saw it at Taste Spoting

  8. Bia - Thanks for checking us out!