This recipe is a variation of one by Robert Morocco of the fantabulous 'The Baker's Dozen Cookbook' yum, yum, yum, I say.
I apologize that I do not have photos, but this was one of those '7 am, just in from shoveling, the sooner I have this in the oven, the sooner I can get out of the shower and eat it' preparations.
1 cup toasted nuts (optional - recommend pecan or walnut pieces)
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
2 ounces unsweetened cocoa powder (not drinking cocoa)
8 tbls = 1 stick = 1/2 cup unsalted butter, chopped
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract (real vanilla, please)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, room temp
7 tbls wheat flour
Preheat the oven to 325 F
In a glass bowl large enough to eventually hold everything, melt the butter and chocolates, mixing until smooth.
Mix in sugar, vanilla and salt until well incorporated.
Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each.
Last, add the flour, stirring heartily for a full minute - you'll know it's ready when the batter is smooth and shiny. Stir in nuts if using.
Dump the batter into a 9" square pan that has been lined with foil, shiny side up, with a little bit hanging over the sides. (Don't butter or flour the foil or pan.)
Bake for 40 minutes +/- or until the top is puffed, cracked and slightly shiny - a toothpick stuck in the middle should come out with a few moist crumbs, but no smear of batter.
Cool completely in the pan (if you can). Pull it out by the foil, peel the foil away and cut. This is a very fudgy brownie, if you want neat and tidy pieces, freeze the uncut brownie for an hour and cut using a sharp knife, cleaning the blade between slices.
tarabu's two cents' worth:
Salt - I know the big boys of tv food go on about the wonders of kosher salt, but I also know that goiter is making a comeback because the health conscious have removed table salt from their diets. Personally, we don't eat a lot of packaged foods and don't add salt to any of our meals, outside the occasional use of low-sodium Old Bay, so I use old fashioned iodized salt in my baking and I have yet to have a complaint that it doesn't have the 'pure, light' taste of kosher salt.
Melting Chocolate - You can either do this over pan of simmering (not boiling) water or in the microwave. If using a microwave, heat on 30% power for 40 seconds at a time. Remember that there is some water in the butter and if it reaches boiling temperature, it will spurt butter and possibly chocolate all over your microwave's innards. And that's a waste of butter and chocolate.
Eggs - Cold eggs taken right from the fridge don't whip well, which is why cookbooks generally tell you to leave eggs at room temperature for a few hours before using. In fact, the 34 - 37 degrees of most refrigerators is too cold for eggs. If you are lucky enough to have a larder that stays betweeen 45 and 55 degrees, that's perfect. If not, set your eggs out for up to two hours before using. If you notice your eggs are sweating, then your fridge is too cold or your kitchen is too warm - if your kitchen is over 70 degrees, set your eggs 'out' in a cupboard so they can lose some of their cool safely.
Cooling - Becuase this is a fudgy brownie, you need to let it cool properly before cutting if you want to have even pieces. If you are a member of chez tarabu, however, you wait five minutes before dumping it onto a serving dish and giving every one present a chunk on a plate and a spoon.