Posted by: njbrown | October 6, 2011

Glorious, Gooey “Best Ever Brownies” from Baking With Julia

“Best Ever Brownies” from Baking with Julia

In the last few months, I’ve been thinking about brownies – not all the time, of course, but they’ve been hovering on the edges of consciousness day after day.  Twice recently, I ordered a brownie for dessert in a restaurant, and was given a hard, dry slab of something that faintly resembled chocolate in flavor, but was far from the brownie of my dreams.  In an attempt to find the perfect brownie, I searched the Web and finally found a recipe that looked like it had it all:  two kinds of chocolate, cocoa, chocolate chips, orange zest and orange liquer.  The description and pictures were fabulous.  Unfortunately, there must have been an error in the amount of flour called for in the recipe, and the brownies just crumbled once done.  I was deeply disappointed.

I went back to the Web, and found a recipe for a variation of Kathryn Hepburn’s famous brownies that called for twice the amount of chocolate as Kathryn’s.    It’s a good thing baking wasn’t Kathryn’s day job.  The brownies turned out to have a grainy texture and an almost bitter flavor.

Seeing my frustration, my husband said, “What is Julia’s recipe?”  I didn’t remember Julia’s having a brownie recipe, so rather than searching my cookbooks, I looked again on the Web and found the recipe below from Baking With Julia.  Although I enjoyed the Baking With Julia TV show,  I didn’t buy the book because Alice Medrich’s chocolate ruffles were the only things in it that I thought I’d ever make.  I don’t know which master baker’s recipe this is, but I felt if it had been blessed by Julia, it would be good.

These brownies are not just good, for me they are truly are the “best ever.”  They are baked only to the edge of doneness, so remain wonderfully melt-in-your-mouth gooey.  The combination of unsweetened chocolate and bittersweet gives a perfect deep chocolate flavor.  I rarely moan with joy when I taste something, but  these elicit moans.  I am biased in favor of brownies with nuts, so I have added walnuts, but they would be gorgeous either way.

Many brownie recipes can be made in one bowl, but this one takes several.  I am happy to wash more dishes to get this result.


  • 1 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped  (I use Callebaut 70% bittersweet bought from a baking specialty store or Bulk Barn).
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • Optional – 1 cup walnut pieces


  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Sift flour and salt together; set aside.
  3. Melt butter and chocolate together in a bowl over simmering water.  When melted, add 1 cup of the sugar to the mixture and stir for half a minute.  Remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla.
  4. Pour mixture into a large bowl.
  5. Put remaining 1 cup sugar and the eggs into a bowl and mix or whisk by hand just to combine.
  6. Little by little, pour half of the sugar and eggs into the chocolate mixture, stirring gently but constantly with a rubber spatula so that the eggs don’t set from the heat.
  7. Using a mixer, whip the remaining sugar and eggs until they are thick, pale, and doubled in volume – about 3 minutes.
  8. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold whipped eggs and sugar into the chocolate mixture.
  9. When eggs are almost completely incorporated, gradually and gently fold in the dry ingredients
  10. If desired, fold in 1 cup of walnut pieces.
  11. Pour and scrape the batter into an unbuttered 9 inch square baking pan.
  12. Bake the brownies 22 to 26 minutes.  During this time, they will rise slightly and the top will turn dark and dry.
  13. At the 22 minute mark, test the center with a toothpick.  They will be perfect if they are barely set and pretty gooey.
  14. Cool the brownies on a rack.

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  1. First of all ,you have picked a very unique theme . I think i might design something similar for a future project that i want to build . On top of that ,i in truth enjoy most of your content pieces and your different point of view. Thank you

  2. Hey thanks for the infomation.

  3. Wow, amazing blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is fantastic, as well as the content!

    • Thank you so much. I’ve been blogging for a little more than two years, but took about six months off. My daughter set up the layout, so she gets the credit. My husband takes the pictures, but we set them up together. As you can tell, it’s a family endeavor.

      Best wishes,


  4. I have really enjoyied reading your well written article. It looks like you spend a lot of effort and time on your blog. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work!

    • Thank you so much. The encouragement is much appreciated.


  5. You are too kind!
    Thank you,


  6. I confess, I am a chocoholic also. I would take these brownies further into cocoa heaven by frosting them with chocolate buttercream, then topping them with chocolate ganache!

    • That would truly take them into chocolate heaven!


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