Rich Fudge Brownies

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Yield:

    16 to 20

    Squares

Appears in

“Is it done?”

“No, it’s not done.”

“Don’t overcook it. You overcook it, it’s no good. It defeats its own purpose.”

Robert DeNiro, as the boxer Jake LaMotta, and his soon-to-be-ex-wife, in the film Raging Bull, may have uttered those words about a steak. But when I’m baking chocolate—either brownies or my Passover Hungarian torte—that’s pretty much the subtext when my daughter Alex begins her “I think it’s ready” monologue.

The purpose of chocolate, she has explained, is its moist fudginess. When baked to the cakey stage, it tastes not only dry but also less chocolatey.

So whether you snatch these brownies from the oven so underdone they require wet napkins for fingertips and lips, or make them just a little “rare,” don’t overbake them. The brownies are wonderful anytime of the year.

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 cup granulated light brown sugar
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, ¾ cup oil (choose avocado, walnut, or other mild, unflavored variety), or 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted kosher-for-Passover margarine, melted and cooled
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher-for-Passover vanilla extract or 2 teaspoons kosher-for-Passover coffee-flavored liqueur
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (do not use Dutch-process cocoa)
  • ½ cup matzoh cake meal
  • teaspoons finely ground expresso coffee or instant expresso powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (omit if using margarine)

Method

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Line an 11 by 7-inch rectangular or 9-inch square baking pan with parchment or grease it lightly.

In a large bowl, combine the white and brown sugars with the butter, oil, or margarine. Add the eggs and vanilla extract or liqueur and beat until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, stir together the cocoa, cake meal, coffee, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the batter and blend until smooth.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake about 25 minutes. Brownies should be moist. They are done when the batter is just set, the top dry to the touch, but no crust has yet formed around the edges. A toothpick inserted halfway between the center and the edges of the pan should come out just about clean; a toothpick inserted in the center will still emerge with some moist batter clinging to it. The size and material of the pan will affect cooking time, so begin checking after 20 minutes.

Transfer the pan to a rack and let stand until cool. Cut into squares.

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