It might surprise you that I don’t like a lot of dessert.
Um, let me put that another way. I absolutely adore desserts and sweet treats, especially when chocolate is a main ingredient, but I’m satisfied with having only a bite or two. Ask me how big a slice of cake I’d like after dinner (chocolate or not) and I’ll always say a really, really small piece, or the smallest you can do. Always.
But there’s usually an exception to every rule, and these triple chocolate brownies are it. I can’t have just one, like Mark Messier’s ad for Lay’s potato chips. Why?
Because they are perfection. Rich, intensely chocolate from three sources — melted dark chocolate, cocoa powder and chocolate chunks. Chewy, with a toothsome crunch from large chunks of pecans. I’m swooning already.
My triple chocolate brownies are smack in the middle of cakey and fudgy, the two hotly contested camps of the brownie spectrum. If you’re a brownie lover, chances are you have strong opinions on which one reigns supreme: Cakey brownies are the lightweights, airy bites with (no surprise here) a cake-like texture. Fudgy brownies are devilishly dense, usually thinner than their cakey cousins but way more intense.
Unlike the two brownie extremes my triple chocolate brownies are, in my opinion, just right. The ones that Goldilocks would have settled on. They have the best of the cakey and fudgy worlds — crisp outside with a moist, chewy inside. Straight up chocolate, nuts, and chocolate chunks on top. While they are more rich and satisfying than a cakey brownie, they won’t leave you, after only a few bites, grasping for the sofa to have a lie down until the chocolate coma passes.
No, these are simply gorgeous — see for yourself:
Aside from looking and tasting great, these brownies are simple to make. Plus, by substituting a gluten-free flour mix for the all purpose flour they are easily made gluten free.
So, do you think you could eat just one?
The perfect brownie: Simple to put together, richly chocolate, and chewy. They're so addictive, I dare you to have just one.
Avoiding wheat? No problem -- these are easily made gluten free by substituting your favorite gluten-free flour mix for the all purpose flour. I've had particularly good results from Cup4Cup and Bob's Red Mill gluten-free flour mixes.
- 4 ounces butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 2 large eggs
- 1-1/4 cups white sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup all purpose flour (or substitute a gluten-free flour mix to make these gluten free)
- 2 tablespoons Dutch processed cocoa powder
- 4 ounces toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
- 4 ounces milk chocolate, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- Place the butter and chocolate in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir gently until the chocolate has melted. Watch it closely and take it slow -- chocolate scorches very easily. Once the chocolate has melted, remove from heat and let cool for at least 10 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease an 8x8-inch square pan (or line with a strip of parchment paper).
- In a large mixing bowl with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs with the sugar and salt on medium speed until the mixture is smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the vanilla extract and mix in.
- With the motor on low speed, add the cooled chocolate-butter mixture to the eggs and sugar a little at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Sift the flour and cocoa powder into the bowl, and mix in. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the chopped pecans and mix in on low speed. Mix briefly, just until the all the pecans are evenly distributed in the batter.
- The batter will be thick and look like molten chocolate goodness. It is. Spoon it into the prepared pan and top the brownie batter evenly with the chunks of milk chocolate.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes (metal pan) or 35-40 minutes (glass pan), or until a cake tester inserted into the middle of the pan comes out with only a few crumbs attached. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Slice into squares when the brownies have cooled completely. And try to stop at just eating one.