Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tuesdays with Dorie - BWJ: (So Called) Best-Ever Brownies

So, this week's Tuesday's with Dorie recipe is so-called "Best-Ever Brownies".  I say "so-called" because "best ever" is a strong claim, and to me those are words that promote a challenge!  And, as you may have already seen, I already have a recipe that I think makes the best brownies ever.  I was up to the challenge!

These brownies are made completely differently than my favorite brownies.  For this recipe, you use bittersweet and unsweetened chocolate bars (instead of cocoa and chocolate chips), and the chocolate is melted with butter on a double broiler.  When it is all melted, add some sugar and the vanilla. 

In another bowl, whisk more sugar and the eggs together, and slowly add half of that sugar/egg mixture to the chocolate.  Then whip the rest of the sugar/egg mixture with a mixer until it is thick and puffy and fold it into the chocolate.  I found this folding part to be tricky.  I felt like the two mixes (chocolate vs whipped sugar/eggs) didn't want to fold together and kept separating!  But finally it came together and looked like the photo above.  Fold in sifted flour and salt, and the brownies are ready to bake!

Baking is another tricky part, though it doesn't seem like baking should be that difficult!  It is supposed to be baked in a 9-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish.  My glass dishes were both in use already, so I decided to use this oval ceramic pan.  Lots members of the TWD group commented about how long it took the brownies to bake - way longer than the recipe claimed.  The recipe said to check the brownies after 23 minutes, and that you wanted to pull them out when the top was barely set and the brownies were still pretty gooey.  Hmmm.  What is the difference between gooey and raw??  After 23 minutes, my brownies were what I would call raw.  I checked in another 10 minutes, and then another 5, and decided that the top was definitely set and the middle was less raw-like and maybe could be defined as "gooey".  I let them cool and then gave them a try.

Oh, here is my little secret about these brownies.  I actually  made them twice.  Yes, it is true.  I had a total baking disaster the first time.  I got all the way through, basically, and had put them back into the oven for additional cooking time and then totally forgot about them.  I left the house, went to pick up my daughter from school, had a conference with her teacher, came home and heard the oven timer going BING BING BING.  Thankfully, my house did not burn down in the process!  Yes, not only did I cook them a little longer than the recipe called for, I cooked them about an HOUR more than the recipe called for.  I can certainly say that at that point they were NOT gooey in the inside!  What is surprising, to me, is that they were dry around the outsides, but still shockingly moist in the middle!  After an EXTRA HOUR in the oven.  We all have our baking mishaps!  

Conclusion:  They are definitely gooey in the middle, which doesn't seem like a bad thing necessarily.  I don't feel like I am eating raw dough, so that is good, though I think I like my brownies to be a little firmer.  Flavor-wise, I think these brownies are lacking something.  They seem very one note, almost bland.  My other brownie recipe screams "CHOCOLATE" much more loudly than does this recipe.  So, I have to disagree with the recipe author, Rick Katz, when it comes to the "best" brownie recipe.  It isn't this one.  It remains the other one! 

Thank you to Monica of A Beautiful Mess for hosting this recipe.  She will have posted the recipe on her site.  If you want to see what other bakers thought of this brownie recipe, visit the Tuesday's with Dorie blog and click on "LYL:Best Ever Brownies".  That is where we all leave our blog links to share our experiences! 


  1. I too like my brownies to be a little firmer. Though putting mine in the fridge seemed to help. Not best brownie ever in my opinion. I can't believe after an extra hour your first batch was still moist in the middle! That's amazing.

  2. Your brownies look tasty. We also baked ours for 30 minutes longer than the recipe called for. I think a lot of people had the same problem with these brownies. Even after the extra baking time, though, they were still moist and delicious.

  3. Crazy you were gone that long and they weren't burnt to a crisp! I thought these could use a little help in the flavor department as well. They were good - not best-ever in my book. I too have a recipe I prefer over these.

  4. These are now my go-to brownies. But maybe I need to try your 'best ever'.

  5. I like mine gooey, but figuring out the correct level of doneness was a challenge on these.
    Love the ice cream shot :-)


Due to some bizarre spam comments I have recently received, I am moderating the comments for a while. I hope this spam craziness stops so this becomes unnecessary!