From America's Test Kitchen Season 11: Chewy Brownies and Chocolate Cupcakes
**In the video, Julia mistakenly calls for 1 1/2 cups of oil. The correct amount should be 1/2 cup of oil.**
Brownies are a tricky business: Homemade recipes have better flavor, while boxed mixes claim best texture. Our goal was clear: a homemade brownie with chewiness (and a shiny, crisp, crackly top) to rival the boxed-mix standard—but flush with a rich, deep, all-natural chocolate flavor.
To start, we consulted our science editor to see if he knew of any tricks that boxed brownies use to achieve their chewy texture. He explained that boxed brownie mixes derive their chewy texture from the right combination of saturated (solid) and unsaturated (liquid) fats. Boxed brownie mixes already come with the saturated fat component, so when a cook adds unsaturated vegetable oil, the liquid fat and powdered solid fat combine in a ratio designed to deliver maximum chew. To get the same chew at home, we tested and tested until we finally homed in on the ratio that produced the chewiest brownie. To combat greasiness, we replaced some of the oil with egg yolks, whose emulsifiers prevent fat from separating and leaking out during baking.
We focused on flavor next. Because unsweetened chocolate contains a similar ratio of saturated and unsaturated fat to butter, we could replace some of the butter with unsweetened chocolate, thereby providing more chocolate flavor. Espresso powder improved the chocolate taste as well. And finally, folding in bittersweet chocolate chunks just before baking gave our chewy, fudgy brownies gooey pockets of melted chocolate and rounded out their complex chocolate flavor.
Makes twenty-four 2-inch brownies
For the chewiest texture, it is important to let the brownies cool thoroughly before cutting. If your baking dish is glass, cool the brownies 10 minutes, then remove them promptly from the pan (otherwise, the superior heat retention of glass can lead to overbaking). While any high-quality chocolate can be used in this recipe, our preferred brands of bittersweet chocolate are Callebaut Intense Dark Chocolate L-60-40NV and Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Bar. Our preferred brand of unsweetened chocolate is Scharffen Berger. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.