Monday, February 13, 2017

Cacao One-Bowl Triple-Chocolate World's BEST Easy Brownies—for Your Valentine or for You?



Cacao Powder may be the secret of the brownie universe. Not cocoa, but cacao, which is raw. If you don't believe there's much difference, try a blind taste-test. Cacao is more subtle, more rich. Cacao powder is fantastic—in oatmeal, in cappuccino, and in batches of homemade brownies—and it is off-the-charts delicious.  Here’s the brownie recipe I came up with that is insanely easy—everything mixes in one bowl and the baking pan is lined, so there’s no buttering and flouring necessary. Super-fast to make and guaranteed to win you admiration.


Makes 16 larger or 32 smaller brownies 
2 ½ sticks unsalted butter
2 ½ cups turbinado (raw--also called "demerrara") sugar
1 ¾ cups cacao powder
½  teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 large organic eggs
1 cup unbleached flour
1 cup cacao nibs
8 ounces chopped Belgian or other quality semisweet chocolate bar (do not use chocolate chips)


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of a 13” × 8” baking pan (a lasagna pan) with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.  
  2. Melt the butter in the microwave in a large microwave-proof bowl until just melted. When cool to touch, add in the sugar, cocoa, vanilla, and salt. Stir gently to mix. 
  3.  Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, but do not over-mix. 
  4.  Stir in the nuts and chopped chocolate chunks. Spread evenly in the lined pan.
  5.  Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 35 to 40 minutes until set but not firm (should be slightly moist in the center). 
  6. Let cool completely on a rack or, if you are in a hurry, in the refrigerator.

    NOTE: This recipe doubles beautifully! Use a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. The cooking time is the same, just be careful not to overcook (it cooks faster on the outside than the inside). These brownies do not rise--this is a rich recipe without leavening. They spread a bit and firm up, but are moist and rich and incredibly delicious. In fact, I believe these to be the most delicious brownies I've ever tasted--but you must use cacao nibs and cacao powder and raw turbinado sugar to get that effect.

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