Brownies are a category of recipe I LOVE to experiment with.
Just like cookies, brownies are deceptively complex. Small tweaks in the ingredients or process can lead to big affects in the final result. My Ultimate Brownie Guide demonstrates that point perfectly.
I find cookies & brownies to be the perfect playground for baking experiments. They both bake up easily so you can see the impact of your experiment quickly.
For this recipe I wanted to achieve a bold chocolate flavor without creating a texture that was too cakey or too rich and fudgy.
Too cakey can happen when you add more cocoa powder.
Too rich and fudgy? Is that possible? I found out through my experimenting that it actually is possible. One of my test batches was so rich I could only have 2 bites. It literally was like eating fudge.
So after many batches I finally found my Goldilocks with this recipe. I hope you love it!
How to Make Chewy & Fudgy Dark Chocolate Brownies
Do I have to use Dutch-process cocoa powder?
The reason I call for Dutch-process cocoa powder is actually because it typically has a smoother flavor and higher fat content that unsweetened cocoa powder. This can lead to richer fudgier brownies!
But since there’s no baking soda or baking powder in this recipe, you can actually use unsweetened instead if you need to.
Learn more about the differences between cocoa powder varieties here.
How to get moist brownies?
Be VERY CAREFUL about measuring your flour and cocoa powder correctly. Use the spoon and level method, or even better, weigh your ingredients to ensure accuracy. If you don’t, you’ll likely end up with dry brownies. See my full article on how to measure flour correctly here (applies to the cocoa too).
Why is there vegetable oil in this recipe?
You’ll see that in addition to the butter, there’s a small amount of vegetable oil in this recipe. I added this in to ensure these brownies retain a moist texture. Cocoa powder can zap baked goods of moisture, and the oil helps to give that sensation of moisture on the palate. It can also keep the brownies softer for longer after baking.
Do I have to use bread flour?
The bread flour has a higher protein content which contributes to a more chewy texture. However, if you don’t have bread flour you can just use all-purpose instead.
Can I omit the espresso powder?
Yes. You can omit without replacing it with anything. It simply enhances the chocolate flavor without adding a coffee taste.
What’s the best pan to bake brownies in?
METAL. All the way. I very rarely bake brownies in glass or ceramic because those materials don’t conduct heat as efficiently. You might end up with brownies that are undercooked in the center when using glass or ceramic.
This is my favorite metal baking pan for brownies. Just don’t use a dark coated metal pan which will dry out the edges.
How to Make Brownies with Shiny Thin Crust
You know that shiny, glossy, crinkly, tissue thin crust on top of brownies? The key to achieving that crust requires dissolving your sugar properly! I share my secret methods for perfectly crinkly brownie tops in this article. And some surprising mistakes you may be making which prevent the brownie “skin!”
How to tell when brownies are done baking?
I always advice to err on the side of underbaking brownies. The residual heat will continue to cook them even after they’re pulled from the oven. And I’d rather have a slightly gooey brownie than a dry overbaked one. Bake until a tester comes out with moist crumbs still attached. If you have a digital kitchen thermometer, the internal temperature should be about 195°F.