There is a little bakery in Brooklyn who released a bake book in 2014 that I’ve been wholly obsessed with since it landed on my doorstep. So much so, it was the only place I even considered getting my wedding cake from. I may or may not have squealed like a 6 year old on Christmas the day I got to finally step foot in their shop for our cake tasting (Hint: I did.). I’ve been slowly working my way through their recipes and this latest didn’t disappoint.
However, I could not for the life of me figure out how they got their cakes and brownies to come out so dark. You guys, it is literally black as night and good god is it beautiful. I finally, on a random Tuesday, stumbled upon a blog post that solved the mystery that was this ingredient. You can imagine my excitement. Black (noir) cocoa powder, found here or here is what gives desserts that rich, black color. Isn’t it glorious? Against dutch-process colored cocoa you can really tell the difference.
I normally shy away from chocolate cakes/brownies that do not include melted chocolate since, when included, it lends for a much richer and moister cake. But, I do trust the ladies at Ovenly quite completely. These brownies resulted in a much lighter albeit still quite chocolate-y dessert. They aren’t at all gooey or fudge-y but with a touch of flaky sea salt on top it’s a great twist on a classic dessert. Don’t skimp on the salt, it really does make it.
Warning: Don’t be like me and keep telling everyone who eats one how amazing the COLOR is. They’re more concerned with eating then staring with me in awe at just how dark it really is. Unless you like weird looks…then by all means.
Softened, unsalted butter and all-purpose flour for preparing the baking pan
1 cup American-process cocoa powder (Noir, if you have it)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup dark Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 teaspoons Turkish (very finely ground) espresso or instant espresso
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (8 oz, 16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cubed
4 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
Maldon sea salt, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 X 13-inch baking pan with softened butter and dust the pan with flour
In a medium bowl, sift together the American-process cocoa powder, flour, dark Dutch-process cocoa powder, espresso and salt. Set aside.
In a small saucepan over low heat (or in a small, microwave-safe bowl in a microwave oven), melt the butter and set aside to cool.
In another small bowl, whisk the eggs until the yolks are broken. Add the cooled butter and sugar’s, whisking until smooth.
Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula until completely combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and sprinkle with the Maldon sea salt.
Bake for 35 minutes, or until the center is set and a toothpick inserted in the center of the brownies comes out clean.
Cool completely before cutting the bars into 15 rectangles (or whatever size you prefer)