The Chewy Cocoa Brownies Story
These chewy cocoa brownies have a bit of a backstory.
As you may know if you follow this blog, I’ve been searching for the secret to chewy brownies. I’ve tried adding extra flour, adding extra eggs, adding extra egg yolks, and finally adding extra sugar.
It was in the final experiment- adding extra sugar- that I cracked the chewy brownie code. In that post, I promised that I was going to post the ultimate chewy brownie recipe on November 16, 2014.
This recipe is a slight detour from that path. The ultimate chewy brownies will utilize unsweetened chocolate, which got me to thinking about making chewy brownies with cocoa. Would extra sugar have the same effect on cocoa brownies as it does on chocolate brownies?
So, I pulled out my copy of Alice Medrich’s Bittersweet, which has a very handy chocolate conversion guide. Alice recommends that for every ounce of unsweetened chocolate, you substitute 2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons of unsweetened cocoa powder, plus 1 tablespoon of butter. I compared this to the chart on the back of my canister of Hershey’s Natural Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, which recommends 3 TB of cocoa plus 1 TB of oil or shortening.
Since they were pretty close, I went with 3 TB of cocoa and 1 TB of butter for each ounce of unsweetened cocoa, which works out to 1/2 cup plus 1 TB of cocoa and a total of 11 TB of butter when converting my classic chocolate brownie recipe.
Did It Work?
Yes, it did. These cocoa brownies were definitely chewier than the average cocoa brownies, especially around the edges. They were not as chewy as those made with unsweetened chocolate, but that’s because they didn’t have the cocoa butter to provide extra firmness. When cocoa powder is used in this particular recipe, the resulting brownie will be slightly crumblier because the fat is almost entirely dairy butter, which provides less structure than cocoa butter. They were chewiest on the day of baking, and slightly softer the next day.
With their chewiness, fudginess, and distinct cocoa flavor, these brownies were all around delicious, and I highly recommended them for cocoa brownie lovers.
And don’t forget to come back for the Ultimate Chewy Brownies!
Chewy Cocoa Brownies
- 11 TB unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup plus 1 TB unsweetened cocoa powder natural or Dutch-process
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs room temperature, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 350 and prepare an 8 inch square pan by lining it with foil or parchment paper.
Place the butter in a microwaveable bowl and microwave for about 1 minute or until butter is completely melted. Combine melted butter, sugar, cocoa, salt, and vanilla. Stir until combined. If mixture feels hot to the touch, let cool slightly before continuing.
Stir in the lightly beaten eggs until combined. Sprinkle the flour over the batter and stir gently until just combined (do not beat).
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with moist crumbs but no wet batter. Let cool on a rack.
Brownies will be chewiest on the day of baking, and will soften slightly the following day.