Five rules and one recipe for the moistest, fudgiest brownies you’ll ever make. Trust us.
Brownies might seem like one of the more easily executed desserts in the pastry pantheon—and to some extent they are—but there’s also much that can go wrong. The most common failing to befall a brownie is lack of moisture, and though you can run most brownies through a fairly accurate eye or touch test, we’ve all chomped into a dry and brittle square of blah only to regret it and start scanning the room for a cocktail napkin to discard the remains.
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Gemma Stafford, the Irish baker, YouTube personality, and author of the new cookbook, “Bigger Bolder Baking” (out September 3), knows a thing or two about baking brownies—just ask her nearly 2 million subscribers—and she, too, believes in the power of a truly fudgy brownie.
Bigger Bolder Baking, By Gemma Stafford, $21 on Amazon
A fearless approach to baking anytime, anywhere.
A good brownie will clock in somewhere between a piece of moist cake and a rich dense piece of fudge (for me, anyhow). You know, the type that ends up aaalll over your fingers (in the best possible way) and requires the accompaniment of several ounces of cold milk. If that’s also your aim, Stafford has concocted a list of five rules when making brownies to ensure the fudgiest batch, each and every time.
- Brown sugar is key. It makes them moister, more flavorful, and makes for a more fudgy brownie.
- Use a good quality unsweetened cocoa powder for your brownies for the ultimate decadent dessert. Do not use hot chocolate powder. It’s not the same.
- Use bittersweet chocolate chunks (70 percent). This will make your brownies extra rich.
- Season your brownies with salt and good vanilla extract. Both are key ingredients in adding extra flavor and dimension to brownies so don’t leave them out!
- Don’t overbake your brownies! You know when your brownies are perfectly cooked when they’re firm around the edges but they’re still soft to the touch in the middle. After baking, let your brownie relax at room temperature (30 minutes or more) for best results. Factor in that they continue to set once they come out.
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Gemma’s Stafford’s Fudgiest Giant Brownies
The Fudgiest Giant Brownies
- 2½ cups (565 grams) sugar
- ½ cup (115 milliliters) water
- ⅔ cup (4 ounces/ 115 grams) coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate
- 1½ cups (213 grams) all-purpose flour
- ⅔ cup (76 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup (225 milliliters) vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (6 ounces/170 grams) chocolate chips, plus more for topping
- Vanilla ice cream and hot fudge sauce, for serving (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Grease a 9 x 13-inch cake pan and line it with parchment paper.
- In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, water, and chocolate and heat over medium heat, gently stirring, until the chocolate and sugar have melted. (This step can also be done in the microwave.) Set aside to cool.
- Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Mix until combined.
- Whisk the oil, eggs, and vanilla into the cooled chocolate mixture.
- Add the chocolate mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Fold in the chocolate chips. Do not over mix, as it will toughen the brownies.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Smooth the top with a spatula and top with additional chocolate chips.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Take care not to overbake, or they won’t be as fudgy on the inside.
- Let cool fully in the pan on a wire rack. Turn the brownie block out onto a flat surface and cut it into 9 or 12 squares.
- Serve warm, with vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of hot fudge sauce, if desired.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
NOTE: These brownies freeze really well. When you are faced with a dessert emergency, take one from the freezer and microwave for about 1 minute.
If you prefer cakier brownies, check out our Ultimate Brownie Guide for how to get there.
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Header image courtesy of Carla Choy