My love affair with chocolate has been a long-standing one. I can still remember the first time I ever had a hot chocolate chip cookie. I was amazed at how different a warm, gooey cookie tasted – so much better than those silly ones in the box. I thought to myself, “How could anyone not love chocolate?” Well, from that point forward I took it upon myself to make chocolate chip cookies, cakes and then the holy grail for chocolate lovers: the elusive brownie. My brownie had to be a combination of bittersweet and semisweet chocolates, and both rich and chewy. I made many, many batches before perfecting this recipe.
One secret to my brownie recipe is using the very best chocolate you can afford. I find Ghirardelli chocolate to be easily accessible and excellent quality. Also, it’s crucial to make sure your oven temperature is calibrated correctly. You don’t want to overcook these decadent brownies! Another tip is to serve the brownies with vanilla bean ice cream for the best brownie sundae ever. I promise your Valentine will swoon after one bite!
Sweet Lover Chocolate Brownie Sundaes
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 oz bittersweet chocolate chips
1 lb plus 2 c semisweet chocolate chips
1 lb unsalted butter
1 ¼ c all-purpose flour, divided
1 T baking powder
2 ¼ c sugar
1 T instant coffee granules
1 T kosher salt
2 T vanilla paste
3 c chopped pecans (optional)
vanilla bean ice cream
hot fudge sauce
nonstick cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13 x 18 x 1.5 inch sheet pan with parchment paper, creating a sling. Spray parchment paper well with nonstick cooking spray.
In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the unsweetened, bittersweet and 1 pound of the semisweet chocolate with the butter. Once it is melted, remove from heat and allow it to cool slightly.
In a smaller bowl, combine the remaining semisweet chocolate chips with ¼ cup of the flour. Toss together and then set aside. Coating the chips in flour keeps them from sinking to the bottom when added to the brownie batter.
Using a medium-sized bowl, combine the remaining 1 cup flour and the baking powder. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, sugar, coffee granules, salt and vanilla paste. Slowly add a small amount of chocolate mixture to the eggs, beating well. Once combined, add the remaining chocolate while stirring well. Once the wet ingredients are combined, add in the flour mixture and baking powder mixture. Only mix until combined, and do not over-beat. Lastly, gently fold in the floured chocolate chips mix as well as the pecans (optional).
Pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bang the pan on the counter to release any air bubbles from the mixture. Bake for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time. Remove from the oven and allow brownies to cool slightly before cutting.
To make the sundae: Place a warm brownie in a bowl, add a scoop of ice cream, a drizzle of hot fudge and top with a cherry.