As American as apple pie. We’ve all heard that many, many times. But apple pie is just as British as it is American - in fact, I’m sure the Brits were making it long before the Americans. In my opinion, Brownies are the All-American dessert. If you travel to Britain or France, you will see offerings of American Brownies but never American Apple Pie! So here is my recipe for what I immodestly call the Ultimate Brownie:
6 ounces unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces (1½ sticks)
⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1⅔ cups sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ pound good quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
very coarsely chopped
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350°. Line an 8-inch square pan with foil and butter the foil.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Off the heat, add the cocoa. Whisk until smooth. Add the sugar and salt and whisk until blended. Add 1 egg and whisk until just blended.
Whisk in the vanilla and the second egg until just blended. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until just blended. Add the chopped chocolate and nuts and stir until combined.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with small, gooey clumps of brownie sticking to it, 33 to 38 minutes. Don’t overbake or the brownies won’t be fudgy. Transfer the pan to a rack and let cool completely.
Lift foil and remove brownies from pan. Remove foil and, using a sharp knife, cut into four strips then cut each strip into four squares.
Makes 16 brownies (Watch the Brownie Video below)
PS: Watch for the video on Hot Fudge Sauce!