Cocoa + Browned Butter Chocolate Brownies w/ Walnuts & Fleur De Sel
- 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) butter, cut into 1-inch pieces (Jonathan recommends using salted butter to add flavor)
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons water
- 1 teaspoon good vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs, chilled
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 cup walnut pieces ( you can substitute dark chocolate chips or a broken Compartes chocolate bar for an even more decadent version)
Preheat oven to 325F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 8 inch metal baking pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up two sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. (This will make it easy to remove the bars from the pan after they have baked.) Butter the parchment.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Continue cooking until butter stops foaming and browned bits form at bottom of pan, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; immediately add sugar, cocoa, water, vanilla, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir to blend. Let cool 5 minutes (mixture will still be hot so make sure you add eggs once cool so you dont get scrambled eggs). Add eggs to hot mixture one at a time, beating vigorously to blend after each addition. When mixture looks thick and shiny, add flour and stir until blended. Beat vigorously 60 strokes. Stir in nuts.
Spread into prepared baking pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean (with a few moist crumbs attached). Cool on a wire rack.
When cooling, sprinkle with a bit of "fleur de sel" (or any good sea salt) on top. They taste even better when they're cool!
Recipe yields 16 brownies, but Jonathan likes em big, so 8 brownies total! :) Enjoy!
Adapted from Bon Appetit, February 2011