midnight black cocoa brownies

November 11, 2011

Me and baking fought several battles today. I failed like whoa in the first round, but I won big-time in the second round.

I was experimenting with using this incredibly dark black cocoa powder that I picked up on an spice and bulk goods adventure and mixing it into a one bowl brownie recipe that could be packaged up for all your gift giving needs.

Round one. The butter separated and the batter never came together. It was lumpy and tasted like what it looked like – coal. The oven temperature got accidentally knocked down to 200. Fine, that one was totally my fault. The batch went straight into the trash.

Black cocoa is not messing around. I focused all my baking chi, and did some internet-ing and the solution was easy – mix the black cocoa with regular cocoa powder, increase the flour by a tad (which I had ignored in the original recipe!) and try to not bump my oven knobs by putting freshly washed dishes on the top of my stove. In defense of my dish drying technique though, the entire surface area of my counter top is less than a foot square.

Round two won. This is a super chocolate brownie. A big time on the fudge brownie. The addition of the black cocoa really intensifies the chocolate flavor AND they are black as night which is just plain cool in a baked good. It is also the easiest one bowl of brownies you could ever hope for!

Midnight Black Cocoa Brownies
Makes 16 2-inch squares

Adapted from Bon Appetit

10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) butter, melted
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup black onyx cocoa powder (or you can substitute unsweetened cocoa powder if this is too crazy)
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons water
2 eggs, chilled

Preheat the oven to 325. Line a 8×8 pan with parchment, and butter the paper.

In a medium bowl whisk together the sugar, cocoa powders, flour and salt. Add the melted butter and using a wooden spoon, stir until combined. Then add the vanilla and the water and stir until throughly mixed. Add the eggs one at a time, beating vigorously after each addition and then continue to stir until the batter is smooth and shiny – really get your arm work out in and beat the batter well!

Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a tester comes out mostly clean with just a few crumbs attached. Cool completely (or chill the brownies in the fridge for several hours to make extra clean cuts) and slice into squares.

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Bonus! Gift idea alert!

To make Midnight Black Cocoa Brownie Mix combine the sugar, cocoa powders, flour and salt in a bowl then spoon into a fancy-pants gift bag. Want warm brownies? Just add butter, eggs, vanilla and water! Include a note with the following directions:

Preheat the oven to 325 and line a 8×8 pan with parchment and butter the paper. Pour brownie mix into a medium bowl. Add 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) of melted butter and using a wooden spoon, stir until combined. Then add 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 2 tablespoons of water and stir until throughly mixed. Add two chilled eggs, one at a time, beating vigorously after each addition and then continue to stir until the batter is smooth and shiny. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a tester comes out mostly clean with just a few crumbs attached.

You know what you just did? Rocked the whole holiday gift-giving situation big time!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Tina@flourtrader November 11, 2011 at 1:45 pm

What a wonderful gift idea! The brownies do look decadant and rich-just what Santa loves to eat. I have saved this recipe, I am truly inspired to try it for the holidays. Buzz Buzz!

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Lillie November 11, 2011 at 7:04 pm

Wonderful! You could also package them for the holidays as “lump of coal” brownie mix. :)

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Ali November 17, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Um, I need these. They look amazing. And I expect bags of all kinds of baked goods when I see you later this month!

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Lillie November 17, 2011 at 2:47 pm

bag and bags coming your way!

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