These decadent fudgy brownies deliver intense cocoa flavor in every bite! For this recipe, I use three types of chocolate to make an ultra-rich batter. Your friends and family will be delighted and demanding you make these again!
The key to delicious fudgy brownies is using multiple types of chocolate melted together with butter. Each bite is like creamy holiday fudge, but with a slightly cakey texture along the edges to keep the classic brownie experience.
The thin crackly top has a nice crisp contrast to the dense centers. Only a small square serving is needed to satisfy any sweet tooth.
How to make homemade fudge brownies
Melt pieces of chocolate in the microwave on low power, then combine with butter until smooth and glossy. You can also melt chocolate on the stovetop using a double boiler set up, just make sure that the temperature of the liquid does not exceed 120ºF (49ºC) to prevent flavor loss. Whisk in cocoa powder, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and salt until thickened.
Add all-purpose flour until just combined to prevent an overly chewy texture. Spread the batter out into a pan fitted with a greased foil sling to make it easier to remove the brownies (no stuck edges or bottoms). Bake in an oven preheated to 350ºF (177ºC) for about 30 minutes, then cool completely before cutting.
Using a combination of chocolates
There are three types of chocolate in this recipe; bittersweet, unsweetened, and cocoa powder. Bittersweet provides a balance of deep cocoa notes, sweetener, and rich cocoa butter. Unsweetened and the powder adds a punch of intense chocolate flavor.
The chopped bars are melted together with butter, then the dry cocoa is whisked in. Warming the chocolate products coaxes out more aroma while boosting the taste of the batter even before it’s baked.
What makes these brownies fudgy?
It’s all about the fat! Adding in a generous amount of melted butter and eggs to the brownie batter provides richness and moisture after baking. The fats also coat the flour, which helps minimize gluten formation.
That’s why each bite has a short chew, yet stays compact and fudgy just like the candy. No chemical leavening agents, like baking powder, are added because we want to keep the texture dense and tender.
Creating structural integrity
Adding a relatively small amount of flour plus the large eggs provides the batter with enough structure to hold together a soft brownie bar shape. These ingredients create a dense form that breaks easily but is not too spongy. It’s important not to overmix the batter to prevent a chewy texture, plus if more air is incorporated, it will be tough and cakey.
Knowing when the brownies are done
The best way to tell when these fudge brownies are done is when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs stuck to it. A clean toothpick is an indication of an overdone brownie. This recipe is supposed to yield moist brownie centers, but not gooey ones.
If you like more of an undercooked middle, just make sure that the internal brownie temperature reaches at least 144ºF (62ºC). That’s where the eggs set and will be less of a food safety risk. I bake my tray to between 190 to 200ºF (88 to 93ºC). An instant-read thermometer is a handy tool to check for doneness.
Let them cool then cut
Before cutting, make sure to completely cool the brownies inside the baking pan that’s placed on a wire rack. Giving it some time to reach room temperature will allow the chocolate to properly set and make it easier to cut. I recommend cleaning your knife in between cuts as the fudge likes to adhere to the sides of the blade.
The entire tray or individually cut brownies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days at room temperature. Brownies can be individually wrapped in plastic and stored in a releasable bag in the freezer for up to 1 month. To defrost, let it sit out for a few hours before serving, or reheat in the microwave at 15-second intervals.
More chocolate favorites
It’s best to use a metal baking pan
Glass pans retain heat much for longer after being removed from the oven which can cause the brownies to dry out. Using metal is preferred and it’s safe to leave these brownies inside to cool for hours. If glass is your only option, make sure to remove the brownies from the pan after 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
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- 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- Set the oven rack to the middle position. Preheat to 350ºF (177ºC).
- In an 8 by 8-inch square pan, place two 8-inch wide pieces of foil in the pan perpendicular to each other to create a sling. Press down on the sides and corners to ensure that the foil is flush with the pan. There should be some overhang on the sides.
- Grease the foil with cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, heat the bittersweet and unsweetened chocolate for 2 minutes in the microwave on 50% power. This will just begin to melt the chocolate.
- Add slices of butter to the chocolate, stir to roughly combine.
- Microwave at 50% power in 30-seconds increments, stirring after each duration until the mixture is completely melted and combines. About 1 ½ to 2 minutes.
- Whisk the cocoa powder into the chocolate mixture until smooth.
- Allow the chocolate mixture to cool to 95ºF (35ºC) and below to prevent the eggs from curdling.
- In a large bowl whisk together the sugar, eggs, vanilla, and salt until combined and smooth.
- Whisk in the cooled chocolate mixture into the sugar mixture.
- Gently fold the flour into the sugar mixture until no flour pockets remain, do not overmix the batter.
- Evenly spread the brownie batter into the greased baking pan.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through baking.
- Completely cool the brownies inside the pan placed on a wire rack, about 1 ½ to 2 hours.
- Use the foil sling to carefully lift and remove the brownie from the tray. Discard the foil and cut 16 individual pieces.
- Semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips can be substituted for the bittersweet bar.
- Sprinkle brownies with a little flaked sea salt before and after baking to enhance the chocolate flavor.
- For gooier, wet brownies make sure to remove them promptly from the oven at 28 minutes, and test for doneness. Bake longer as needed, checking every minute. The longer the brownies bake, the cakeier they will become, which can happen quickly.
- Make it Gluten-Free: Replace all purpose flour with gluten-free flour. I reccomend Bob's Red Mill gluten-free 1:1 baking flour.
- Recipe adapted from America's Test Kitchen, The Perfect Cookie.
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