bittersweet brownies

hello, hello. i’m back…

with brownies!

these are a delight. the bitter chocolate shines here…there is just over 1 ounce of flour in there! this recipe comes from alice medrich’s pure dessert. i love the composition of this book into flavor categories, it makes flavors like dairy and chocolate seem so new.

i’ve only been able to have a nibble here and there. i’m trying to exercise some self control…i do have a wedding dress to squeeze into in 8 months after all! in the book, these are described as having a texture somewhere between cake and mousse…and it’s true. these came out pretty soft and tender. they are delightfully rich and definitely a bit elevated from your everyday-brownie (not that i have an everyday brownie…that would make for quite the chunky butt ;) however, they come together just as quickly as the standard brownie…just a little extra whipping for the eggs.

i served these in little fingers…which promptly fell apart out of hand. this is a fancy brownie. one that requires a fork or spoon and a plate. maybe a dollop of whipped cream or some vanilla ice cream. treat her right…she’s a classy gal.

bittersweet brownies
adapted from pure dessert

as you can see, these have some nibbly bits on top. the recipe, as it is in the book, is unadorned (and they are amazing that way too!), i just added some pecans and cacao nibs for some texture. as always, do what you want. i’m going to go out there and say use a good chocolate here. it really is the star in this recipe and i’m going to guess that it will make a difference. i’m a fan of valrhona currently, use what you like best.

8 ounces 70% bittersweet chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1 teaspoon melted butter
pinch of salt
1/4 cup cacao nibs

in a small bowl mix butter, pecans and salt. toss with cacao nibs and set aside.

position rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350 F. line your pan (8-inch square) w/ foil and grease.

place chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. stir frequently until melted and smooth. remove from heat and set aside.

in a medium bowl (or stand mixer) beat eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla with a hand mixer on high until eggs are thick and pale, about 2 minutes. whisk in the warm chocolate to combine. fold in the flour.

scrape batter into prepared pan and sprinkle with topping. bake until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 25-30 minutes. cool in the pan on a rack. invert onto a cutting board and peel foil. serve as you like.

*i used tart pans that i sprayed with oil. i didn’t foil them and i reduced baking time to about 20 minutes.


  1. oneordinaryday says

    So pretty cut into "fingers" like that, but please pass me one of the mini tart ones. The bigger, the better.

  2. cindy says

    fantastic! i love brownies and yours look delicious. i love the photos, too. and the forks! pass them over, we'll help keep you from indulging with pleasure.

  3. Jane says

    These do look pretty irresistable! Good thing you have self control–I don't think I'd be able to stand it. Love your blog! Your photos are really beautiful.

  4. El says

    What an elegant way to serve brownies. They look amazingly good. I've never tried baking with cocoa nibs so thanks for the great idea. BTW- are you really getting married on a lavender farm?

  5. cindy* says

    el, i am! it's a small, local farm here in reno. i made sure to book the date when the lavender would be in bloom, so we get all the good smells ;)

  6. Shokoofeh says

    Oh my God! This is divine! Oh, I want it now so badly!!! :D

    Thank you dear Cindy for the sweet comment! :)


  7. onesilentwinter says

    note to self: do not visit hungry poor vita when craving something delicous in the wee hours of the morning for she will make your mouth water and lick computer screen:)!

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