Cocoa nibs are a relatively new baking ingredient. Nibs are cocoa beans that have gone through fermenting, roasting, crushing, and skinning processes, and then are usually used to make chocolate. Pastry chefs began procuring them from chocolate manufacturers and adding them to cookie dough in the way you might add chopped nuts, except cocoa nibs, of course, have a bittersweet chocolate flavor. Now cocoa nibs are fairly easy to find under several brands. Nibs are unsweetened, so they have to be used somewhat sparingly to avoid imparting a bitter, astringent flavor. They’re the perfect counterpoint to this fudgy brownie recipe, adding a little texture and a bit of balance to the batter’s natural sweetness. Mixing the batter by adding the liquid to the brown sugar prevents having any lumps of brown sugar in the brownies.
Use a sharp serrated knife to trim the edges and cut the brownies into
The best way to keep brownies is the same as a baked cake, whole and unsliced, rather than as individual servings. Refrigerate the wrapped slab for a few days or freeze it for up to one month. If it’s not practical to keep them in the pan they were baked in, wrap them with some stiff cardboard underneath. Cut the brownies then defrost them, loosely covered, before serving.
© 2008 Nick Malgieri. All rights reserved.