For a brownie almost as dark and dense as a chocolate truffle, there is Alice Medrich’s innovative method for New Classic Brownies: the pan goes directly from a high-heat oven to a bath of ice water, and the just-baked batter slumps, becoming concentrated and intense.
New Classic Brownies
Recipe from “Alice Medrich’s Cookies and Brownies” Adapted by Julia Moskin
• 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
• 1 1/4 cups sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 2 eggs
• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
• 2/3 cup lightly toasted walnuts or pecans (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line an 8-inch-square metal baking pan with foil. In top of a double boiler set over barely simmering water, or on low power in a microwave, melt butter and chocolate together. Stir often, and remove from heat when a few lumps remain. Stir until smooth.
Stir in sugar, vanilla and salt. Stir in eggs one at a time, followed by flour. Stir until very smooth, about 1 minute, until mixture pulls away from sides of bowl. Add nuts, if using. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare a water bath: Pour ice water into a large roasting pan or kitchen sink to a depth of about 1 inch. Remove pan from oven and place in water bath, being careful not to splash water on brownies. Let cool completely, then lift out and cut into 1-inch squares or wrap in foil.
Total time: 40 minutes, makes 16 brownies.