Dark Chocolate Brownies

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This recipe is the result of exhaustive research on the part of Holly's father. There was a many-months long process where he experimented with different chocolates and recipes. I would go over to Holly's father's place in Chicago and he'd offer me a brownie and say something like, "these brownies are made with Venezuelan chocolate!" So this is a man who knows his brownies.

My favorite chocolate for this recipe is Scharffen Berger unsweetened chocolate (99% cacao), which you can buy on-line or in good grocery stores. It's a dense, fruity, intensely dark chocolate so strong that it's almost like a liqueur if you sample it raw. If you're using a less dark chocolate, you may need to adjust the amounts of sugar and/or butter.

I've gotten some questions from international visitors about how much a "stick" of butter is. Typically in the U.S. a stick of butter is a 1/2 cup, or about 1/4 pound (113 grams).


4  oz. chocolate
1  stick butter
2/3  cup cake flour
1/2  tsp. baking powder
1/4  tsp. salt
1  cup sugar
2  large eggs
2  tsp. vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Melt chocolate and butter over a double boiler.
  3. While chocolate mixture is melting, combine cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a mixing bowl.
  4. When chocolate mixture is smooth, take off heat and whisk in sugar.
  5. Add eggs one at a time, whisk well.
  6. Add vanilla and continue mixing until smooth.
  7. Fold into flour mixture until loosely combined.
  8. Pour into 8" brownie pan, or into about 24 mini-muffin molds.
  9. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

If you don't actually have a double boiler, you can do what I do instead which is to rest a metal prep bowl over a saucepan of gently boiling water. Breaking up the chocolate and butter before doing this makes the melting process smoother and faster. Holly insists that brownies must cool before you sample them. I say it's fine to eat them right away!

Andrew Ho (andrew@zeuscat.com)