Brownies

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Approximate Cost: $16 (plus Another $30 for cheese and nut toppings)

I settled on this recipe after exhaustive trial and error, not unlike an honest-to-goodness pastry chef. (My complete lack of baking knowledge lends credibility to my claim of exhaustiveness.) I’m biased, but I think this recipe has the perfect balance of brownie textures—cakey and fudgy, with that distinctive papery brownie business on top. Flavorwise, it offers a sophisticated conjunction of dark chocolate and vanilla with a little pizzazz from the crème fraîche. We served these with toasted hazelnuts and extremely generous slabs of Brillat-Savarin cheese (for even more ’zzazz).

Ingredients

You will Need

  • 10½ oz high-quality bittersweet chocolate (in the 70% range)
  • 14 oz butter
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 7 eggs
  • cups cocoa powder
  • cups sugar
  • extra sugar and cocoa for dusting
  • cup crème fraîche or sour cream
  • 1⅔ cups flour
  • teaspoons salt

Method

  1. Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler, or in a microwave on the low setting.

    Alanna Hale, Dennis Kim, Jesse Friedman, Jackson Solway, Simon Huynh, and John Oram; Mission Burger photos by Jason Adra

  2. Whisk the eggs with the crème fraîche (or sour cream), sugar, and vanilla.

    Alanna Hale, Dennis Kim, Jesse Friedman, Jackson Solway, Simon Huynh, and John Oram; Mission Burger photos by Jason Adra

  3. Add the butter and chocolate to the mix.

    Alanna Hale, Dennis Kim, Jesse Friedman, Jackson Solway, Simon Huynh, and John Oram; Mission Burger photos by Jason Adra

  4. Sift and mix the cocoa, flour, and salt in a separate bowl. Form a well in the center.

    Alanna Hale, Dennis Kim, Jesse Friedman, Jackson Solway, Simon Huynh, and John Oram; Mission Burger photos by Jason Adra

  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the well in the center of the dry ingredients.

    Alanna Hale, Dennis Kim, Jesse Friedman, Jackson Solway, Simon Huynh, and John Oram; Mission Burger photos by Jason Adra

  6. Gradually incorporate all of the dry ingredients, mixing as little as possible.

    Alanna Hale, Dennis Kim, Jesse Friedman, Jackson Solway, Simon Huynh, and John Oram; Mission Burger photos by Jason Adra

  7. Butter a 9" x 12" baking pan and dust it with cocoa. Shake out the excess cocoa.

    Alanna Hale, Dennis Kim, Jesse Friedman, Jackson Solway, Simon Huynh, and John Oram; Mission Burger photos by Jason Adra

  8. Fill the cocoa-dusted pan with the batter.

    Alanna Hale, Dennis Kim, Jesse Friedman, Jackson Solway, Simon Huynh, and John Oram; Mission Burger photos by Jason Adra

  9. Sprinkle the entire surface evenly with several big pinches of granulated sugar.

    Alanna Hale, Dennis Kim, Jesse Friedman, Jackson Solway, Simon Huynh, and John Oram; Mission Burger photos by Jason Adra

  10. Bake for 24–30 minutes at 350°F.

    Alanna Hale, Dennis Kim, Jesse Friedman, Jackson Solway, Simon Huynh, and John Oram; Mission Burger photos by Jason Adra

  11. Check for doneness every few minutes thereafter.

    Alanna Hale, Dennis Kim, Jesse Friedman, Jackson Solway, Simon Huynh, and John Oram; Mission Burger photos by Jason Adra