Death By Chocolate

Chef Gigi Decadent Chocolate Brownie

I’ve been developing this dense brownie recipe for a while. One day my eldest daughter was searching through my hand-scribbled recipes I keep in the top utility drawer in the kitchen. Recipes and formulas that I’ve only half-written. Some contain ingredients without a method, and some include methods without ingredients. Cleary, lazy chef syndrome. Although I prefer to label this mad scientist note-taking, I would never have expected someone to try to despyper them.

On her quest to bake something chocolate, she stumbled across my Death-by-Decadent Brownie formula that was in the making. The page didn’t have a title, so how did she know it was a brownie recipe? I wanted to give it one or two more do-overs, but I never wrote my thoughts on the paper. 

I don’t know how she did it, but she nailed it. I can’t believe she could even read it, let alone decode it. One area only said Bain Marie, so she said she knew it would be cooked over a pot of steam, creating indirect heat. A bain-marie is a type of heated bath. A piece of equipment used in science, industry, and cooking to heat materials gently or to keep materials warm held a specific temperature over time. 

….this is the kid that never cooks with me. I’m shook.

Lucky for us, she also grabbed the perfect pan size to bake it in and thus created a deep, dense, thick brownie that should be served warm and smothered in Vanilla Ice Cream. I would have never attempted that.

The moment she brought it to me to sample, I was so stunned this came out as good as it did in such a deep pan. I didn’t think the formula was complete, but she nailed it. Death by Decadance was born. My first Mother-Daughter recipe collab. I can’t wait to taste these brownies again. This will be the most decadent chocolate dessert you have ever tasted. I promise! 

P.S Don’t forget the Ice Cream. 

You’ll Need:

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature

2 1/2 cups granulated sugar

2 cups good quality cocoa powder, sifted

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 eggs, room temperature, beaten

1 cup flour, sifted

1/2 cup filtered water, room temperature

1/2 cup walnuts chopped ( optional ) 

Here’s How:

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 325′ F. Sift the flour, salt, and cocoa powder in a medium-sized bowl and set aside.

Step 2: Grease 8x8x3 inch glass pan and set aside.

Step 3: Set a small to medium-sized saucepan filled with 1/3 of its capacity with warm water on the stovetop. Bring to a slow simmer and reduce to steam. Do not overheat. A rapid simmer or boil will scorch your batter and curdle your eggs. 

Step 4: In a stainless or glass bowl, more prominent than your saucepan, add the butter and sugar and place on top of the steaming sauce pot. You have now created a homemade Bain-Marie. Whisk the ingredients with a piano whip until the sugar granules are melted, and the butter is incorporated. 

Step 5:  In a small bowl, whisk all the eggs together well, then add about 1/8 to 1/4 cup of the melted sugar and butter mixture to temper the eggs. Stir well, and then add the tempered eggs to the butter and sugar mixture in four additions, ensuring each addition is thoroughly incorporated before the next. Add water, and stir. 

Step 6: Gather the flour, cocoa, salt, and optional nuts. Fold in gently with a rubber spatula, not adding air by using the whisk. Drop the batter into the prepared baking pan and place it in the oven for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick is removed clean. 

To serve, we use a 4-ounce ice cream scoop and dig into the pan. Grab a heaping portion and release it into a shallow dessert bowl; top with vanilla ice cream, warm chocolate sauce, additional nut toppings, and chocolate shavings. You can also cut them into small squares. They are so rich, you should limit the sizes.

Let us know how you like the recipe and if you made variations. 

Enjoy! 

Published by Chef Gigi Gaggero, Host of Silicon Valley's LIVE Food Talk Radio on KSCU 103.3 FM

Professional Chef, Two Time Award-Winning Book Author, Former Academic Director from Le Cordon Bleu, and Host of Silicon Valley's LIVE Food Talk Radio on KSCU 103.3 FM

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