Great chocolate, caffeine and a stick and half of butter. What’s not to like? These brownies are dense, chocolaty and creamy in the center. They’re also a hit wherever they go. Makes 24 2-inch brownies
14 ounces good-quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
1 cup sugar
1 ½ sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons instant coffee (optional)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups (4.5 ounces) chopped walnuts or walnut halves (see Note; optional)
1. Fit the stirring blade into the work bowl. Add the chocolate, sugar and butter. Set at 70 C on speed 3 for 10 minutes to melt the chocolate and butter. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and remove the lid. Cool 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter and flour a 13 x 9 inch baking pan or line it with parchment paper.
3. Fit the mixing tool over the blade. Add the eggs, coffee, if using, and vanilla. Mix on speed 3 for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
4. Add the flour, baking powder and salt to the work bowl and mix at speed 3 for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
5. Add the walnuts, if using, and mix at speed 1 for 30 seconds. Pour the batter into the pan, scraping the sides of the bowl, and smooth the top into an even layer.
6. Bake until the edges are crisp and begin to pull away from the pan and the top is set, about 25 minutes. (The center of the brownies will still be slightly soft to the touch and a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center will not come out clean.) Let cool completely. Cut the brownies into 2-inch squares. This is easier if the brownies are chilled in the pan for 10 to 20 minutes first. The brownies may be made up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated, covered. Bring to room temperature before serving. The brownies may also be frozen, well wrapped in aluminum foil.
Note: Don’t know if you’re guests are nutty or not? Instead of stirring the nuts into the brownies, pick out 12 nice looking walnut halves. After smoothing the batter out in the pan, place the walnut halves, evenly spaced, over half the batter: A win/win situation for nut lovers and plain-brownie fans.