David Lebovitz’s Best Brownies

These best brownies by David Lebovitz are chewy fudge brownies that are easy and moist and homemade from scratch and all the things a chocolate brownie ought to be.

A parchment-lined square pan filled with pecan-studded best brownies.

Best brownies. That’s quite the claim, we know. Yet this recipe, courtesy of famed cookbook author and blogger David Lebovitz, possesses that irresistible crackly surface and that elusive consistency that’s ever so slightly cakey on the outside and superbly, gloriously, unforgettably fudgy on the inside. If that’s how you like your brownies, these are the most superlative rendition you’ll find. They’re also exceptionally easy to make. Lebovitz learned recipe from the late Robert Steinberg, cofounder of Scharffen Berger chocolate, who in turn had adapted the recipe from a recipe by cookbook author and baking legend Maida Heatter.–Renee Schettler

David Lebovitz's Best Brownies

  • Quick Glance
  • (36)
  • 15 M
  • 30 M
  • Makes 9 brownies
4.8/5 - 36 reviews
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Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

Line an 8-inch square pan with 2 long lengths of aluminum foil or parchment paper, positioning the sheets perpendicular to one other and allowing the excess to extend beyond the edges of the pan. Lightly butter the foil or parchment.

In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Add the chocolate and whisk until it’s completely melted and smooth.

Remove the pan from the heat and, still using the whisk, stir in the sugar and vanilla until combined.

Whisk in the eggs by hand, 1 at a time. Add the flour and whisk with everything you’ve got until the batter loses its graininess, becomes smooth and glossy, and pulls away a bit from the sides of the saucepan, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Seriously, time yourself. During stirring, the batter may appear to separate, and midway through stirring it may appear grainy, but when you keep whisking with vigor, you’ll end up with a batter that’s rich and thick.

Stir in the chopped nuts and scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the center is almost set, 25 to 30 minutes. Do not overbake.

Place the pan on a wire rack and let the brownies cool completely—yes, we understand how difficult this can be—before removing them from the pan by lifting the foil or parchment paper. Cut into 9 squares. (In theory, the brownies will keep, covered, at room temperature for up to 4 days and in the freezer for up to 1 month. But c’mon. We both know that’s not going to happen.) Originally published April 6, 2010.

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    • To add a little bling to these best brownies, stir in any of the following….

      1/3 cup chopped dried cherries

      1/3 cup cocoa nibs

      Crush the contents of one 50-­gram tin of peppermint Altoids in a sturdy resealable plastic bag. Add the crushed mints to the batter along with the nuts (or, if you prefer, omit the nuts). If you like very minty brownies, add 1/2 teaspoon mint extract along with the crushed mints.

    Recipe Testers' Tips

    Anything with “Best” in the title has to be worth a try. The flavor was superbly rich and chocolatey. The preparation for these brownies is simple and straightforward.

    The chocolate melted within 90 seconds of being added to the butter. About 25 seconds into the “energetic” mixing section of the recipe, the batter looked like it might separate. I kept up my mixing for the duration of the minute and found that the batter turned glossy and began to pull away from the pan in its entirety—no separating. The brownies baked in 30 minutes, and they looked beautiful with their crackly surface. When I cut into them, the brownies were fudgy but in no way underdone. Almonds added a bit of crunch and texture.

    All in all, was it the best brownie? I think they’re pretty close to one of the best brownie recipes I’ve ever tried. I think I will continue to test other recipes, though, just to be sure.

    I was craving brownies and needed a brownie fix and SCORE! I had all of the ingredients for these best brownies in my pantry. "Best Brownies" is quite a claim, but this recipe lives up to the name in my book. I have to say, this has instantly taken the spot as my new personal favorite brownie recipe. I love a fudgy but not gooey decadent brownie with a crackly top and just a bit of cake or crumb. And this recipe delivers on a rich, deep, buttery, walnut flavor with a chocolatey goodness I was hoping for.

    The brownies are somewhat dense but still light. This recipe was so easy to make, especially because I tag-teamed it with my husband and he did all the measuring, stirring, and assembling. (Often when we cook together, I read out the recipe and he cooks to speed up the process. It made for a quick assembly. My husband put this recipe together in less than 5 minutes.) I love that only 1/4 cup of flour was used in the whole recipe. One alteration we made was cutting the sugar down to 1/2 cup and I am glad my husband decided to do so, mainly because we were using Ghirardelli semisweet chocolate chips (1 cup) instead of bittersweet. The brownies were almost on the verge of being too sweet but were perfect. For semisweet chocolate, 1/2 cup sugar is enough sweetness, although I would use only 3/4 cup sugar with bittersweet chocolate.

    I did not toast the walnuts ahead of time but they still tasted toasted in the finished product. We started to smell an intense brownie aroma at 22 minutes and by 25 minutes they looked done with a crackly top and a toothpick coming out practically clean. We pulled the pan out just at the right time. Sorry, we just couldn't wait till they cooled. The brownies were delicately cut into squares and were fine even when slightly warm. Boy, did these make a good brownie sundae!

    Picking the best brownies recipe is a lot like picking a favorite child. It just can’t be done. Sometimes you’re in the mood for one, sometimes the other, and sometimes having them both around you at once is the best. And there’s always room for more good ones, just as with these brownies. The recipe worked as written and gave me a fudgy brownie with crisp sides. I used the nuts and found that toasting them really enhanced their flavor.

    Mixed by hand with a wooden spoon, the batter is easy to make, easy to clean up, and yummy to lick from the spoon. Not sure about absolutely the best, though. Maybe they should be called “absolutely include these in your brownie recipes brownies.”

    These brownies are very quick and easy to put together. The vigorous stirring for 1 minute is a must. You can see the very grainy texture before you mix, but as it goes along, everything comes together. What a difference 1 minute makes!

    I made 2 batches of this best brownies recipe—one with pecans and one without—and they both turned out fantastic. The batch with the nuts almost acted like bread because the batter started pulling away from the side of the pan while you stirred. There is still a slight grainy texture when you finish mixing, but that’s okay. It produced a fairly thin, dense, moist, fudgy brownie. I suggest cutting them into 12 bars because these are very sweet. Everyone said they wanted the recipe because it will be the only brownie they make from now on—these brownies are that good. Now all I need to do is make more brownies because both batches are gone.

    These brownies have entered the weekly rotation at my house. They are as delicious as they are simple and quick.

    You can easily shift the flavor profile by using semi or bittersweet chocolate, adding different nuts, or even using orange- or mint-infused chocolate. Cook them for less time for a very fudgy result or longer for a more traditional brownie chew.

    I saw David Leite’s comment about espresso powder, so we added a teaspoon of King Arthur Flour Espresso Powder to the latest batch. This wasn’t enough to give the brownies a discernable note of espresso so we will definitely add more next time. However, we added a teaspoon to the cream we were whipping and this put the brownies over the top!


    #leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


    1. David Lebovitz’s Brownie recipe is terrific. It was snowing yesterday. So after we came inside after shoveling, and I made this recipe along with some lavender and honey tea. It was just what we needed. These brownies are so easy to make and I will be making them again, but I don’t need to wait for a snowy day!

      1. That sounds so perfect, Mary! Sure wish there had been one of these brownies waiting for me after I came in from shoveling!

    2. Made these today and they are really good, and I think adding about 1/4 teaspoon salt would bring out the chocolate flavor a bit more.

      1. Peggy, absolutely you could do that! Kindly let us know if you do and how it works…we’d love to be able to add that as a variation if you find that it does the trick!

    3. Could I make this with 100% cacao chocolate & just increase the granulated sugar?

      I’ve made this many times as it is in the recipes & it has always turned out amazing!!!

      1. Anum, I wouldn’t. I, too, have made this many times to great success. Recently, I fudged around with the recipe, and it failed. One-hundred percent cacao is much more acidic than semisweet, and it will change the chemistry.

    4. This recipe is the first in my 15+ years of baking on my own (and I’m less than 30 years old) that turned out genuinely not good. I stirred vigorously for at least two full minutes—- while the batter did turn glossy, it remained grainy-looking and released more and more of the oils/ fats until I gave up on it coming together properly and put it in the oven regardless. It baked in a bubbly pool of its own fat and came out crumbly and not at all the fudgy brownie that was promised.

      I usually trust David Lebovitz recipes but I cannot recommend this one to anyone. Please look elsewhere. I’ve never been so disappointed by a recipe.

      1. Yael, the recipe states to beat exactly 1 minute. I’ve made them countless times, and they have always worked. Was your egg at room temperature? And did you beat very vigorously?

        1. My eggs were close to room temp, may have been a little colder. I didn’t notice any cooking of the eggs when I added them.

          I beat vigorously and only continued past the one minute mark because at one minute the batter was still grainy and separated and I hoped that more beating would help bring it together.

          I did take the chocolate-butter mixture off the heat when it was not yet completely melted and stirred off the heat until fully melted— I always do this when melting chocolate to avoid burning it. Do you think this could have resulted in my batter not being hot enough?

          Thanks for the reply and I apologize for the brusqueness of my initial comment— it was a frustrating moment for me, being my first ever baking failure.

          1. Yael, no worries. We all can get brusque when things mess up in the kitchen. Just ask The One!

            Removing the chocolate from the heat early could have affected it. It might have cooled down too much.

            Did you use a wooden spoon? I know this is a weird question, but some people have had trouble with silicone spatulas, etc.

            Did you beat in the eggs completely?

            1. I did, in fact, use a wooden spoon as the recipe specified :) and I beat the eggs in completely.

              I may be too traumatized to try the recipe again… but if I ever do I will try to be even more careful.

              1. Yael, one thing I just thought of–if you live abroad, the difference in flours can wreak havoc on baked goods. I couldn’t successfully male any of my cakes while living in Portugal.

                1. Interesting, I do in fact live abroad. I haven’t had problems in general with most recipes, but this may be an especially finicky one.

                  1. What percentage was your chocolate? I’ve read elsewhere that if you use anything over 72% or so, the mixture may be too acidic and not come together properly.

      2. If you haven’t tried the Katharine Hepburn Brownies on this site, I highly recommend them. Dead simple to make and comes out great every time. I will have to try this recipe but Katharine is a goddess, in my book. And I agree with you about David Lebovitz recipes…usually delicious. Once I found his Chicken Marsala recipe, I’ve never tried another.

        1. We couldn’t agree more, Anne. Both recipes are excellent. With so many wonderful brownie recipes, we always have trouble deciding which one to make!

    5. Just in time! This time of year, we in The Land of Chocolate (Switzerland, France, and Austria) are confronted with incredible sales of all brands of cacao decadence. Suchard was 99 cents/100g this week, and I carted off all my hot little hands could carry, including 86% and 70%. (I’ve read that Lindt has a 96% version coming soon!) One obvious end for my bounty was brownies, and reading this recipe I can tell it’s going to be great, not to mention easy. I’ve had good fun giving brownies to my neighbours…a number of them know about brownies from their visits to the US–but having a fresh, warm, gooey plate of them delivered? Heaven…and I’m going to hand them out for Halloween, a relatively new mania for Europe, where you can actually give kids home-made goodies.

        1. Just to follow up, I did make these today, using a mixture of local choggi that came out just north of 65% cacao. I used local butter and range-free eggs. They were done in 27 minutes, had a shiny, crispy top crust, and were tender and moist. Flavour was excellent–the perfect balance of cake and fudge. I ate 2; I’ll confess to nothing more. Thanks, David (and my trick-or-treaters thank you, too)!

    6. I make these all the time because they come together in minutes and are a family and coworker favorite. I was in a rush yesterday to get a batch finished for work and accidentally only added 1/4 cup sugar. I didn’t realize until I tasted a smidge (it’s all for QA, I’m telling you!!) and was surprised by how “adult” they tasted, for lack of a better word. THIS is a brownie to accompany espresso or a glass of red wine. Absolutely delicious and a big treat if you’re watching your sugar! I have another batch with all the sugar in the oven now … for my coworkers. I’m keeping the first batch for myself!


      So, got that out of the way. Next, GREAT recipe! I’ve taught many baking classes (and had many employees in my bakery), and over the years I’ve come to the conclusion that most people don’t beat their eggs enough (in almost all baked goods)! The brilliance of this recipe is that he makes you do it–gives you a time. BEAT THE BATTER FOR A FULL MINUTE. You’ll see the difference, and then you’ll know what brownie batter is supposed to look like in order to get that perfect, shiny, brittle crust and that deep, fudgy texture.

      With or without nuts, this is a winner, and SUPER easy. Make it!

      1. Brooke, I feel like jumping up and shouting, “Amen!” Just as if we were in some sort of culinary revival meeting. I so agree with you–most folks don’t beat eggs long enough. I know I have been guilty of that. And I think that’s why these brownies come out every time: I’m forced to beat and beat and beat for 1 full minute–and by hand. A good lesson in sweating for your dinner!

    8. Made these this weekend and they are perfectly decadent and fudgy. I used Scharffenberger 62% chocolate and I added 1 tsp salt, 1 tbsp espresso powder, and nuts. Absolutely perfect! Thank you so much for the recipe! P.S. Salt isn’t listed in the recipe. Is this a typo?

      1. You’re so very welcome, Linda! And actually, while most brownie recipes do call for salt, this one does not. And we think the chocolate flavor still comes through in abundance. But we’re always glad to hear when readers make tweaks that make the recipe better suit their preferences. Love that you found this recipe and look forward to hearing which recipe on our site you try next!

    9. I made these last night and had high hopes for the ‘best’ brownie recipe. They’re good, true, but just not my cup of tea. They’re too rich, dense, and fudgy — almost like candy. I’d made Maida Heatter’s brownies the week before and I much prefer hers.

      1. James, sorry you didn’t like the brownies. I guess that’s why there’s chocolate and vanilla–everyone has different tastes! We do have other brownies on the site that are quite different. But you can’t go wrong with Maida!

      1. Hi Susan, that wooden spoon and beating for one minute may just be the key element to these best brownies. If you do use a mixer on low, please follow our guidelines as to the look and texture of the batter. It should be thick and glossy.

    10. I made this recipe the other day, and the brownies were incredibly rich, chocolate-y, and oh-so-easy to whip up. I used a wooden spoon to stir it all by hand, and the texture went from grainy to grand in about 1 minute. They were even better the next day when the flavors melded. The next time I make them, I’ll add a bit of espresso powder to kick up the flavor and make it more complex.

    11. I came across these brownies via The Tig. I should very much like to try this recipe, please, but it must be egg free. Is there an egg free recipe for these brownies? Many thanks in anticipation.

      1. Patricia, I, too, am on a restricted diet in terms of some ingredients being a no-go, so I understand. I’m afraid we haven’t tested an egg-free version of this recipe so I can’t offer any suggestions. I will ask some folks I know who may be familiar with tweaking recipes to be egg-free and report back if I receive any suggestions!

    12. When I pulled my brownies from the oven at 30 minutes, they looked like no brownies I’ve ever seen — they were bubbling. Now that they’ve been sitting out a few minutes they look….well, not quite appetizing. Gloppy. GREASY. I reviewed the recipe to see if I got any amounts wrong. (I didn’t). I used cold butter, room temperature eggs. I used 8 ounces of chocolate that I chopped up; one box of semisweet. One box of unsweetened. The texture of the dough tasted (yes, I lick the bowl) tasted like ordinary brownie dough. I stirred vigorously a little over a minute (per my digital timer). I don’t know what I did wrong. I added walnuts and some cocoa nibs too.

      1. Oh dear, MiChal, so sorry that you had issues with the brownies! It sounds like your batter may have broken at some point during the heating process, possibly heating too quickly when initially melting the butter and chocolate or an improper oven calibration. Have a look at this article that we published on the science of brownies. It might give you a bit of insight into making the better brownie, and let us know if you try them again.

      2. MiChal, i’m so sorry you had a problem with the recipe. It can be a tricky one. I’ve made it many times and never had an issue. I wonder if the unsweetened may have cause the problem?

    13. This is a great post with interesting comments. Especially interesting are the comments about how much bakers like Valrhona chocolate. Guittard is my chocolate of choice, but I am going to get some Valrhona and compare the two. I am a little confused about the discussion of 9-inch v 8-inch square pan because the instructions here definitely call for an 8-inch square pan even though the original recipe called for a 9-inch pan. Perhaps I’m missing something.

      With regard to Cooking in Minnesota’s excellent, detailed comment, it’s worth noting that the area of an 8-inch square pan is the same as the area of a 9-inch round pan, 64 inches, so they should be interchangeable. I always make my brownies in a round pan so they look like a cake and can be cut like a cake. Pecans are my favorite nut for brownies, and I am glad to see that they are toasted here because I find that makes a huge – and good – difference.

      Alice Medrich has a great post about adapting pan sizes. In that post she says:

      “How many times should you multiply an 8-inch brownie recipe to fill a 9- x 13-inch pan…? To figure this out, divide the area of the larger pan by the area of the 8-inch pan. For the 9- x 13-inch pan: 117 divided by 64 = 1.82, which is close enough to 2 that you can confidently double the recipe for the larger pan.”

      Perhaps the people who want to do that with this recipe should go for it and report back.

      I made my own favorite brownie recipe yesterday so won’t make these today but will definitely try them out next weekend.

      1. Victoria, thank you so much for your pan size insights and advice. I know I’m not the only person who finds it helpful. We simply found the texture of the brownie to be more consistently cooked in an 8-inch-square pan as opposed to a 9-inch-square pan. The doubling advice for the 9-by-13-inch pan is especially helpful and practical. And yes, there’s so much variance among chocolate brands, and so much of it has to do with personal preference. Look forward to hearing what you think of Valrhona. Also look forward to hearing what you think of the next recipe you try from the site! Again, thank you.

    14. Dang it…I think I did everything right, and the brownies look good (just out of the oven now) for the most part…but they sunk a bit in the middle. Anyone know why?

      1. maybe Susan’s oven needs to be checked for even/proper temp. otherwise, I would say her temp was too high.

    15. Made this for a large group dinner last night…absolutely amazing. Used bittersweet chocolate and reduced the sugar a little but found way to sweet for my taste….otherwise it was perfect. Added some cinnamon and rough salt on top…huge hit! Next time wanna add some other stuff…and wanna replace butter w coconut oil. Will that work? Lastly…if i replace flour w rice, almond or coconut flour to make them gluten free…will that work?thanks for this awesome recipe!

      1. Shakti, so glad it was a hit! I can’t speak to whether the recipe will work with all the changes you want to make. We didn’t test it that way, and baking is such a science, I’d hate to hazard a guess. Sorry.

      1. Annie, I wouldn’t if I were you. Baking is such a precise science. When you double the recipe but don’t double the pan size, the batter is at a different thickness in the pan which means it’s not going to behave the same way as the original recipe. And with brownies that have this spectacular a texture, you really don’t want to risk losing that.

      1. Lordah, I actually wouldn’t recommend doubling the recipe. Baking is such a precise science, and especially with a recipe that turns out such a magnificently perfect mix of chewy and cakey, I wouldn’t risk mucking that up. Even if you accurately weigh all the ingredients when you double them, it often just doesn’t turn out the same as the original. I’ve experienced this time and again over the years. I instead play it safe and make two batches and divvy the batter between two of the same size pans indicated in the original recipe. It may take a touch longer but trust me the results are far more reliable.

    16. For some reason, the first time I made these they were a success, but after making it a third time. It became grainy, even though I did everything you said. I find that when I add the egg, the mixture doesn’t look smooth but scrambled, and after mixing. It’s not smooth and glossy, but still looks grainy. It bubbles up after baking and falls apart.

      I wonder what is wrong? :/ I use room temperature eggs and less caster sugar?

      1. Bubbling Brownie, my guess is you’re an overseas reader. I believe the problem is the caster sugar, which is superfine sugar, and, in some cases, contains cornstarch. This recipe calls for granulated white sugar. Also, because of the different textures, 3/4 cup of granulated sugar will not equal 3/4 cup of caster sugar; there will be less caster sugar.

        So try this: use 2/3 cup of caster sugar and see what happens. One last thing: if you are from overseas, flours can be different, too.

        Let me know how it turns out.

    17. Made these last night. Easy to make, very good tasting. Notes:

      1. We used 70% Guanaja baking chocolate from Valrhona. In our baking there is not doubt that the best possible chocolate (we are partial to Valrhona and to Barry Callebault) makes a big difference.

      2. Baked using a convection oven set at 325 (typically have to reduce oven temp when using convection).

      3. 28 minutes was perfect for not-quite-done, so just a little bit fudgy, brownies.

      4. Made two different versions.
      – one in an 8×8 just as per recipe
      – one in a 9 inch round (we don’t have a second 8×8) with salted butter otherwise identical.

      5. Both came out great. For us the salted were actually much preferred – but again both were very good. We generally find that the addition of salt to a highly chocolate recipe adds a lot of flavor, power, and overall impact.

      6. Mixed per recipe – and we could see the batter mature during the 60 seconds, which was very interesting and helped us understand why it was so important.

      7. This recipe makes a small batch. So if you have guests, do consider making two.

      8. Also they are delicious, fudgy, and pretty thin. Keep that “thin” in mind.

      9. We did follow the directions in all aspects other than the 9″ round for the second, or alternate, batch.

      10. Next time we’ll probably only make these, for our preferences, with salted butter. We like to add other items to very chocolate-oriented recipes so we might add raisins, or cocoa nibs, or…we will see.

      11. It’s a good thing we had a lot of milk on hand! That is a sign of popular brownies :)

    18. Can’t wait to try these! However, chocolate savant Alice Medrich has pointed out that “bittersweet” and “semisweet” are vague in terms of chocolate percentages, potentially affecting texture. Perhaps these brownies work well with a wide range; otherwise, any thoughts on percentages? Thanks so much!

      1. Yep, Beth, that’s very true. Although we’ve made this brownie recipe with all manner of percentages and we’ve had terrific luck so long as we beat the batter the appropriate amount of time. I would suggest hewing close to 70% your first time with these brownies and then go from there in terms of taste preference if you like things a little darker or a little less dark. Let us know how it goes!

    19. Wow! I made these for a family gathering and they were a success. I felt like a plain chocolate brownie so I left out the nuts and it still worked perfectly. I had mixed it for maybe a minute extra, so two minutes total until the batter looked glossy and smooth before pouring it in the tin. Our oven at home is fan forced and gets very hot so I adjusted the temperature to about 165°C (325°F) and it still worked out perfectly. The only change I would make next time, but this is personal preference, is to reduce the baking time to 25 minutes because they were fudgey and not gooey how I like them. But the taste is divine. Definitely the best brownie recipe that is going into the personal archive!

      1. Ci, lovely to hear that you and your family liked these brownies so much! Sounds like you know your brownie cravings quite well, best of luck to you on your proposed tweaks. We haven’t tested them that way so we can’t assure you of what results, but I love your spirit of experimentation.

    20. I have just started seriously looking for the “best” brownie recipe. I’ve tried some here and there, never finding one we really loved. My question is regarding the chocolate. I’ve seen the brands mentioned, but the recipe says semisweet. Chocolate chips? will those work? I don’t want to make these unless I used the right ingredients. Thanks for your help!

    21. I’ve made this recipe many times without incident. And, I have done some minor experimentation other than mix-ins.

      One of those experiments was to bake them for two minutes longer to achieve a slightly crispier/chewier edge while maintaining the fudge-like center quality. It did have the intended effect. While this is a preference for me, I don’t recommend this for everyone’s tastes. But, with homemade ice cream and caramel sauce, they’re sinfully delicious. It really is the best recipe and after I saw David’s article on this several years ago, I made them and I was hooked. Thanks DL. ( I also made your chocolate ice cream recipe, too and it was almost as good as se….nm )

      I do have a question though. If I want to add cocoa to this recipe as a mix in, is there a corresponding amount of butter I should add or am I messing with the brownie gods? I have some Pernagotti cocoa I want try in this recipe.

      And yesssssss, I’m a brownie-aholic. : )

      1. Hi Gregg, I asked Cindi, one of our professional bakers, about adding in the cocoa. She thought that you might be messing with the brownie gods but suggested you could try “blooming” a bit of cocoa as a small addition to achieve an extra deep chocolate flavor. She’d start by using 2 tablespoons cocoa and enough boiling water to make that into a paste. How much will depend on the cocoa solids and fat in the cocoa. Generally speaking though, she had the following caveat; “I’m against chocolate substitutions in general except for bittersweet and semisweet which are (well, at least used to be before all the artisan chocolate hit the market) very close in style and composition. When substitutions are suggested they try to compensate for the sugar and fat to supposedly make the substitutes equivalent. But chocolate is much more complex than just the numbers show. It is indicative of that complexity that chocolate makers are willing to put percentages on the labels but would never ever reveal the exact process of their manufacturing. Roasting, conching, and, of course, the type of beans all can make significant differences.”

    22. I’ve noticed that the edges turn dry on these brownies after a day, so what is the best way to store them to ensure moistness?

      1. Hi KC, I’ve never actually had them a second day. They’re usually gone the day they’re baked. I’d suggest a really good wrapping of plastic wrap, then place them in a zip-top bag, and place that in another zip-top bag.

    23. These are quite good–fudgy with a lovely top crust. I would suggest humbly the addition of a bit of salt to this recipe. I made these with unsalted butter. I also had a melange of chocolates to use up, and it is a great way to have a chocolate cocktail of sorts.

      I used a heavy wire wisk to to the heavy stirring, and I found that it was more efficacious than using a spoon. I baked in a 9 inch, foil lined cake pan. They were perfect. Thank you for this recipe.

      1. Leisa, I think baked good always benefit from a pinch of salt. And I think David Lebovitz does, too. I think he was being truthful to the source in this one. But I’m so glad you like it. It’s my favorite brownie recipe.

        1. I’ve now made these brownies three times, and they are my go-to. Rave reviews. Luscious, intense flavor. Made them for my father for Father’s Day. Here are my lay cook’s notes. The addition of salt (as I noted before) is an absolute (for my tastes anyway); abandoning the wooden spoon for a hand mixer is another change. I made this change this batch, and there was no difference other than a noticeable lack of arm fatigue! I always fork scramble any called for eggs prior to adding them. So much easier to pour gently a scramble than plopping a whole egg into a concoction–particularly a warm concoction with no separate tempering step. I use Valrhona 64% Manjari chocolate feves. Simple reminder that to bring eggs quickly to room temperature, fill a bowl with hot tap water and set your eggs in their water spa while arranging other ingredients. They will then be relaxed and ready for use!

    24. Awesome brownies. It was wise to leave Absolute Best in the title. We prefer the fudgy to the cakey as well. I added chocolate chips to the top as we have a child with a nut allergy (of all things to be allergic to) and the chips gave it another texture as would the nuts. Just my 2 cents…

    25. This has been my “go to” recipe for the past six months. I make them at least once each week, as my friends will not allow otherwise. Also, I paid proper money for the book, “Ready for Dessert,” where I discovered this recipe and so much more. I highly recommend this book, as well as all of his books, all of which I own. He is my pastry god.

      So here is my story: I was catering a party, and making 4x the batch, meaning that I needed to add 1 cup of flour and 3 cups of sugar. Well….I thought I was using a one-cup measuring scoop, and on the morning of the party, realized that I had used a 3/4 cup instead. Oh no! And believe it or not, they came out even better! The folks at the party went absolutely wild for them, and when I told them of my mistake, they said that I must always follow this “mistake” in the future, which is what I now do. BTW, I use Etoile du Nord 64% from E. Guittard.

    26. Hi! I made this recipe twice and it was a huge success! The first time I used about 3/4 Lindt 70% chocolate and 1/4 Lindt 50%. I love dark chocolate but found them super dark so the second time I used half 70% chocolate and half 50%. Both times it was melt in your mouth texture and “can’t stop at just one” quality.
      I would like to make them a bit less sweet. I know I could go for a darker chocolate, but other than that, do you think I could reduce the amount of sugar, and by how much? Would it alter the texture too much?

      Also, I have been asked to make spicy brownies, but I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to spicy food. I’ve found recipes for chipotle brownies. Could that be a possible add on to this recipe? How much do you suggest, of that or any other spice?
      Thank you!

      1. Hi Leticia, we haven’t tested these with optional spices because we just gosh darn love them the way they are. It sounds like you had fun mixing up the chocolate to suite your taste so I would do the same with the spices. Maybe try adding a bit of cinnamon and chipotle powder? Let us know what amounts you used, we may have a new variation!

        1. We tested with cinnamon and a hint of cayenne. Leaves you with the feeling of “oh something else is in here.”

    27. These brownies are INCREDIBLY delicious! My new favorite recipe. I added 1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts and a little less than 1/4 cup cacao nibs.

      Interesting to note that I’ve previously experienced the same problem as other commenters when baking brownies where the batter breaks and it’s incredibly oily and doesn’t bake properly. Could the weather be a factor in this? The road to this result is inconsistent as far as my ingredients are concerned; it has happened when I’ve used butter and also when I’ve used coconut oil.

      But this recipe came out perfectly on the first try, so I was very pleased.

      1. Terrific to hear, Vinshosh! Many, many thanks for letting us know. As for your suggestion that the weather may play a role in wreaking havoc with this recipe, we think it tends to happen when the batter isn’t beaten vigorously enough or long enough, although it’s quite possible that the humidity or temperature or, heck, the barometric pressure also have an effect. Or the full moon, maybe? Mercury in retrograde? Seriously, though, we think it’s mostly related to the beating of the batter. But swell to hear that you’ve had none of that trickiness with this recipe.

    28. Hi! Just found this recipe, and I’m curious about the “stirring furiously” step. Should this be done only by hand, or can I use some kind of blender? I know that flour can become very gluttenous if overbeaten.

    29. Hey, I tried this recipe, it’s the first one I have found that doesn’t turn out dry and cake-like, but I have a problem. My brownies have turned out *really* gooey each time. The taste is divine, but they are too gooey. Re-reading this I saw that they should be chewy, not gooey, so I was wondering if you could help me out. I followed your recipe exactly, except I didn’t add the nuts (I’m not a fan of nuts). I did use a different shaped pan since my square one is missing. The pan is 8×11, so I thought that since the pan is bigger, the brownies would cook faster. Not so. I do live at a high altitude, over 4,200 feet. Should I make any adjustments, or is it my pan?

      1. Ruth, so glad you liked these brownies. They are one of my all-time favorites.

        There are a few things you can try at high altitude that could help:

          • Decrease the oven temperature by 25°F

          • Increase the flour from 1 tablespoon to 1/3 cup. (I’d start with an extra tablespoon or two)

          • Increase the baking time by up to 10 minutes

    30. I read through all the comments, just drooling over the tasting results and dying to try them myself. However, I noticed that no one asked for a gluten-free conversion, or is that verboten for decadent brownies? Hoping for a reply….

      1. It’s been 3 years since your gluten free comment, but I recently made this recipe five times on Passover, when we barely use any bought ingredients – swapped the butter for walnut oil, swapped the flour for 3 tablespoons of potato starch, used double whisk attachments in a food processor to beat the heck out of it and it turned out beautifully every time.

      1. Hi Hamais, I have to admit- I’m really a full fat, blow your diet kind of brownie eater. If you’re going to splurge, make it fabulous!

    31. I have never made brownies before, but I just made these brownies tonight for a bake sale, and they are definitely chewy and fudgy inside, with a little crunchy skin on top! A hundred times better than brownies from restaurants! I don’t have a 9×9 inch pan, I used my 9×13, put a 9×4 pound cake mold inside to fill up the space, then lined with foil. The eggs were just out of refrigerator, too cold for the recipe, so I soaked them in a cup of hot water for three mins (not boiling hot, just 140°F) while I was melting chocolate with butter, as warm eggs are easier to incorporate into batter than cold eggs. I also put some roughly chopped Oreos on the bottom, then poured the batter over the cookies. Baked at 350°F for 30 mins, center was rather sticky and wet (batter-like) but I decided to pull them out and let the remaining heat from the mold “cook” the brownies a bit more. I have to say they are heavenly! (Even with cheap Hershey chocolate!)

    32. I thought I had posted my reply but hit the wrong button: first time poster and recent discoverer of Leite’s Culinaria, from Berlin. With a toddler and another baby on the way my time is limited but I hope to try out recipes as I can…

      I would so love to make this recipe as I am always on the lookout for new and great brownies. But alas, I find myself in Germany – for the long haul – and am without an 8×8 inch pan. I have a couple of 9x13s, and other baking instruments… but I blanched at Beth’s warning of doubling a recipe. There are, to the best of my knowledge, no 20×20 cm square pans to be had around here.

      Any ideas or tips for this semi-distraught expat?

        1. Thomas, I’m typically not a proponent of baking in aluminum, but perhaps you could fashion your own baking pan using several sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil, a ruler, and some careful folding and creasing?

        2. I’ve since researched a bit here and there and find that 9×9 pans are available mail order from Austria (made of aluminum)—who woulda thunk it—that’s also a size I don’t have. Am wary of getting an el cheapo pan via Amazon in Germany…. Since glass is also available, I would guess that Renee would advocate getting a glass pan?

          1. Indeed, Thomas. I doubt you’ll regret it, as the size is quite versatile. It can work for roasting a hen or heating up leftovers or, well, making these brownies over and over and over again. Do let us know how it goes….

    33. If I bake in 9″ by 13″ inch pan, how many minutes does it take to be done?

      I made it in 9″ by 9″ inch pan and cut it to 16 pieces. Everyone loves it. I am going to double recipe using 9″ by 13″ pan.


      1. Hi Ellen, please take the advice of someone who has tried doubling baking recipes and don’t do it. Baking is such a precise science and you would have much better results if you just baked two batches of brownies.

    34. It’s true. They are the best brownies in the world. My only problem now is keeping my 6 year old away from the tin! Thanks you guys, and thank you David.

      1. Hah. Oonagh, lovely to hear your experience was just as knee-wobbling as ours. Appreciate you letting us know. As for your dilemma, sounds like you need some more high shelves in your kitchen….

    35. Just made these tonight. OMG. They were amazing… best ever. So fudgy! This is my new go-to brownie recipe. My family thanks you!!

      1. Hurrah, Rasha! We are high-fiving you as we type. You and your family are quite welcome. We appreciate you letting us know (And yes, the fudge factor on these is ridiculous, is it not?!)

    36. Baking these for my sister-in-law as she prepares for the final leg of her first semester in college. Question: Because this is a more fudgy than cakey recipe, how do I know absolutely that they’re done? I’m so used to sticking a toothpick in them and waiting till it comes out clean….

      1. Lisa, that’s a really good question. It’s actually one that we asked our Never Cook Naked columnists to address. Here’s what they have to say….kindly let us know how it goes! And so sweet of you to do that for your sis-in-law. Here’s hoping you’re making a double batch and keeping some for yourself.

    37. I am a huge fan of David Lebovitz and, oddly enough, came across this site while hunting for the best bolognese recipe. Made Marcella Hazan’s recipe, which is also found on this site. Later, I happened to be searching for the best brownie recipe and this site popped up again :) I made Robert’s brownie recipe, but have to say that I was disappointed.

      I’m not sure if it was the chocolate that I used – Scharffen Berger 62%. I was not a fan of the odd fruity/wine taste of the chocolate in the brownie. Do you think it was the chocolate that I used? One would think that Robert’s brownies would have turned out even better using Scharffen Berger chocolate. Has anyone tried the recipe using Scharffen Berger? Should I stick with Ghiradelli? I know David L. used G&B chocolate.

      I also found it much too fudge-like. I don’t think I underbaked it either. Maybe adding another egg would work (?). Perhaps I’ll attempt it again using a different chocolate…back to the kitchen :(

      P.S. I’m thrilled to have found this site and will be ordering The New Portuguese Table. My family is Portuguese and I thoroughly enjoyed checking this site out. Hawaii also has a large Portuguese population, but no authentic Portuguese restaurants, except for a few bakeries. We were just in Boston, but had no idea about Fall River! I’ll be adding Fall River to my itinerary the next time we head east.

      1. Hi, Jade. I, too, find fine chocolate to have a fruity/berry flavor to it. I don’t find it unpleasant; actually, I like it. So you’re not alone.

        As far as texture, this is indeed a fudgy brownie. No cakey treat here. I wouldn’t mess with the proportion of the ingredients because it’s such a bare-bone, simple recipe that it could throw it off. My suggestion is to check out some of the other wonderful brownie recipes we feature.

        I hope you enjoy The New Portuguese Table, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out!

      2. Jade, if you visit the Northeast and go to Fall River for some Portuguese flavor, be sure to add New Bedford to your itinerary as well. It’s about 15 minutes east of Fall River, and it’s like little Portugal over there!

        Hope you find your perfect brownie recipe. For me, this one was it. I’m making them again today.

    38. I’m a brownie lover, and I’m always looking for the perfect one. I found this recipe and after reading all the comments—yes, ALL of them—I decided to give this recipe a try. Especially after the clever explanation from Loreto and the 30% cakey, 70% fudgy description. This sounded like the perfect brownie to me.

      I followed the recipe exactly as written, with the exception of adding 1 tsp of espresso powder to the melted chocolate & butter mixture. For the chocolate, I used 3 oz of Ghirardelli 60% cacao chips and 5 oz of Nestle semi sweet chips (I ran out of the Ghirardelli chips).

      I was a little concerned during the recommended one-minute mixing. I used a wire whisk and even when I felt like my arm was going to fall off from mixing “vigorously”, the texture never really seemed to get that satiny smooth feel everyone was mentioning. Mine was still grainy even after the full minute and then some. I continued with the recipe and added toasted walnuts, used an 8×8 pan, and baked them for 28 minutes (my oven tends to run on the hot side).

      I baked them last night and painfully waited until this morning to cut into them. Oh-my-dear-brownie-heaven!!! They were absolutely scrumptious! This recipe is the answer to all my brownie prayers.

      I can’t believe how easy this recipe is. The most difficult part was to wait to cut into them.

      So, thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe.

      Oh and yes, I had one for breakfast!

      1. Well! If that isn’t one of the best comments ever, I don’t know what is, Karla. We so appreciate you sharing your story with us. And if I may say so, I’m quite envious of your breakfast. Perhaps I shall try that one of these days….

    39. Brownies are in the oven now – will let you know how they turn out!!! very excited because I had no problems with the batter, looked gorgeous, tasted creamy and smooth… praying for the best brownies ever :-) will be topping them with a chocolate espresso glaze :-) x

        1. Ok – by FAR FAR FAR FAR FAR the BEST brownies ever made. Not much more to say, other than absolutely amazing recipe :-)

          1. Sounds like a hands down winner for you Manisha, so glad to hear that you agree with us. Cause they really are some of the best..

    40. Since I like my brownies tall and double depth, I make twice the amount of batter for a standard brownie form. The trick is to bake it so the middle is not raw anymore but the crust is not burnt or too thick and dry. For that I’m adding some more flour and baking for 45 to 50 minutes instead of 30. Works fine that way.

    41. I finally jumped into brownie baking two years ago and am immensely enjoying “the journey”. Felt the urge to try a new recipe today and a Google search led me here. I don’t think I can wait until the pan cools, agghhh! So funny, I finally read all the comments after the brownies came out of the oven. I did add chocolate chips to my batter because who doesn’t love more chocolate, and I didn’t check the size pan but my brownies always seem to be done way before what a recipe calls for. I took these out at seventeen minutes, toothpick came clean! Oh, and I used straight from the fridge eggs -doesn’t appear to have affected the outcome. Kitchen smells heavenly. Alas, I must wait on my final verdict because the directions forbid me to cut before cooled…..

      1. Excellent reporting, Paula, thanks. And though it’s sooo tough to wait for all that chocolatey goodness (as one with a perpetually-burned tongue, I know), it’ll be worth it!

    42. Unlike you, I don´t have any mistrust towards recipes claiming to be “the best” – it makes me feel I have to try them! I don´t want to miss out on the best things in life! ;) And particularly brownies, because I haven´t found a recipe to meet my demands of the perfect brownie. Yet. Guess I have to roll up my sleeves and get baking! ;)

      1. You know, Kate, I don’t see why not, although it’s funny, none of us have tried! I guess we got so caught up in the one minute…! Naturally your timing will be different, just look to see when the batter goes from almost separated to grainy to thick and satiny smooth. And do let us know how it goes, and how long you beat the batter, please and many thanks!

    43. And I thought Lebovitz’s Dulce de Leche Brownies were the absolute best. Can’t wait to try these.

    44. OK. I have reread the ingredients and have followed them to a T. Mine look like a boiling mess of brown stuff and it has been 36 minutes. I have made many recipes and this appears to be missing an ingredient. I am wondering if it needs baking powder or soda…? It doesn’t seem to work at all….

      1. Hi Sharon, sorry you had a problem. I’ve been making these brownies ever since they were posted on the site and they always turned out wonderful. There isn’t an ingredient missing. Tell me, did you mix the batter, exactly as he said, exactly 1 minute? And you used all-purpose flour? Do you happen to have a photo of it? That might be able to help us narrow things down.

    45. These are REALLY absolutely the best brownies I have ever made. I googled “best brownie recipe” three days ago. I have the fourth batch in the oven now. They are so good I am taking them to holiday parties. This batch goes to a party tomorrow. Thanks for this recipe! They really are amazing.

    46. I just made these brownies. They are to DIE for! Absolutely decadent.

      The brownies were a smidge on the lighter side of chocolate. I think I would change it to a max of half 60% cacao and half bittersweet. I like my brownies with little, partially melted chocolate chunks in them, but when I put my bittersweet chunks in, they melted. Anyway, does anyone have recipes for getting good chunks in there? I think I may have simply not put enough in, but if anyone has any suggestions, please let me know!

      1. Anna, terrific to hear that you, too, found these brownies to be mad crazy decadent! Our recipe testers concur. As to those chunks of chocolate, I’m not certain if this will work, but in the past I’ve made brownies where the chunks didn’t melt by first freezing the chocolate chunks. I’m sharing your query with some of our baking specialists and asking them to weigh in. Anyone else have a chunky brownie tactic?

        1. Funny that you mention freezing the chunks. I thought of exactly that right after posting! I will have to try this.

      2. Glad you like the brownies! To add chocolate chunks, use regular chocolate chips (not chopped chocolate) – most chocolate chips are made of “baking resistant” chocolate and are designed not to melt much. I know certain manufacturer’s are now making those in larger chips or even chunks (both much bigger than standard chips). So I would give those a try.

      1. Fernanda, I have seem mini brownie bites made in cupcake tins, so I’d say yes. BUT, this recipe is too dense and rich for that. You need a more cakey brownie recipe.

        1. That’s what I was thinking…do you have any recipe to recomend? I want to make brownies for a birthday this weekend and I can not find one recipe that pleases me….

          1. Fernanda, we tend toward the fudgy type of brownie on the site. I have made these, and they are delicious. Melt-in-you-mouth goodness. Why not make them and cut them into smaller squares?

            1. Definitely I will try this recipe! I’m a fudge brownie person, too! But for this occasion I need to bake a brownie cupcake, as that is the bithday request. I can tell from the picture, I can almost feel the smell…uhmmmm.

    47. I have now made these brownies twice in three days! My co-workers love me as they are the recipients of my baking. I LOVE this recipe. Easy and oh so good. I used bittersweet chocolate chips from King Arthur and tart dried cherries with walnuts in the brownie and semisweet chocolate chunks on top. WOW are they good! Thank you for my new favorite brownie recipe.

      1. Glad you (and your coworkers) love them. The dried cherries sound lovely, right up my alley, as that’s a favorite combination of mine: good dark chocolate and tart dried cherries. Twice in three days, though? We’re impressed. Thanks for taking time to let us know you’ve found a new favorite.

    48. I tried these brownies last week and they were excellent! Very easy to make and only one saucepan to clean. :) I baked them today again but with fructose instead of sugar. They came out good too. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    49. Hi HB,

      I’m so sorry to hear about your “fried” brownies. How long do you think that you stirred the batter? I have one of our testers giving the recipe a once-over tonight to see if she can recreate your problems. Will let you know.


    50. While I was energetically stirring, my batter broke. “Yikes!” I thought, and smeared it into the pan, as the more I stirred the more butter squeezed out. Needless to say, it was a disaster. The brownie sort of fried the whole time it was in the oven. My only deviation from the recipe was I didn’t wait for the eggs to come to room temperature. Should I have dumped the batter in a stand mixer and beat ’til smooth? Would that have worked? Any thoughts?

      1. Hi, HB! I made the recipe last night using cold eggs as you did to try to recreate the problem you had. The batter did not break for me and the final outcome was sensational. I am sorry that you encountered this disaster. I’m still trying to figure out what could have gone wrong. Did you mix the melted butter and chocolate until smooth? Did you use real butter? Was the batter grainy after you added the sugar and vanilla? Did it “break” after you added the eggs or after you added the flour? Lastly, what kind of chocolate did you use? Hopefully, we can determine the cause. Will wait to hear back from you. Thank you for your post.

        1. Despite the amount of butter, I was worried that direct heat would cause the chocolate to seize so was particularly careful with the melting. The chocolate and butter were very smooth after melting. I used a combination of unsweetened and bittersweet chocolate, the brand of which I don’t recall. It was probably Callebaut. Major bummer. The butter was a supermarket brand. Not my preference but I was so anxious to make these brownies, I compromised and bought what was easily available. Sugar and vanilla went in no problem.

          The batter broke after all ingredients were in, including the flour (King Arthur AP). It started out smooth and stayed smooth. It just went greasy during the “full minute.” I could’ve poured off the butter, it was so broken. I don’t think I actually made it a full minute with the stirring.

          BTW I was using a silicon spatula, my tool of choice when working with melted chocolate. Once the batter broke, it seemed like it was making matters worse, somehow pressing more butter out. Maybe a wooden spoon would have helped emulsify the batter?

          Thanks so much for your help! I have a bar of Scharffenberger waiting to make another batch.

          1. Hi HC. I apologize. I thought I entered a response to this last week. Not sure what happened there. Anyway, I am unclear what could have happened with your intial batch. If you are certain you measurered the chocolate and butter correctly, it should have worked out fine. Who knows, maybe one of the ingredients was bad. With that said, I would hope you will use that wonderful bar of chocolate and try it again. I personally used Ghiradelli 60% Cacao chocolate and Land O’ Lakes butter. The results were amazing.

            Regarding your question about trying to “unbreak” the batter by putting it in a stand mixer is intriguing. I think I would have considered that as well, adding maybe a teaspoon of flour at a time (up to 3) while mixing. Hopefully, when you repeat the recipe, you won’t have to even think about it because it will turn out perfectly.

            Please let us know how your second time around works out.

            Thanks for writing in!

            1. I had the same thing happen. My batter was fine, I melted everything on low, then when I added the King Arthur all-purpose flour and stirred, the batter totally broke. I added it to my stand mixer but that didn’t help. I used Lindt Excellence 70% and 85% cocoa chocolate bars. I was so disappointed. Rather than try to bake it anyway, I added more sugar and one more egg, more flour, and I just made cookies out of it. I spent too much money on the ingredients for me to waste it! I would love to hear if anyone figures out why this happens. My eggs were not totally room temperature; I had them in warm water for a few mins, so not toally cold, but probably not as warm as they needed to be. And I did use one ounce of Scharffen Berger Unsweetened Dark Chocolate….

              1. Hi, Sara. I’m so sorry to hear you had a problem with the recipe. As I said above, I’ve made it many times without any problems. You made some changes and substitutions that could have affected the final results. There is a significant difference between semisweet and unsweetened chocolate. Also, not having the eggs at room temperature could cause the mixture to seize. Did you mix vigorously with a wooden spoon for just 1 minute? That really is what makes the difference.

                But I’ll get our Never Cook Naked guys, Mark Scarbrough and Bruce Weinstein, to weigh in here.

                1. David,
                  Thank you so much for your reply and tips. I will definitely be trying these again. They look so good :)

                2. This is a few years late, but I happened to see a question about this that Alice Medrich had answered on a blog that related to this particular separation issue. See the post below:

                  Q: Sometimes, when I make a brownie with melted butter, the batter seems to separate during baking, as if the butter is oozing out, and pooling around the edges of the pan. The brownie ends up being dry and crumbly, instead of fudgy and chewy. What causes this?

                  This “butter leakage” also happens sometimes when baking cookies. The cookies start to spread like crazy, and end up being flat and greasy, instead of buttery and crunchy. It happened with a cookie recipe that called for melted butter, but it’s also happened to other recipes that don’t call for melted butter.

                  I can’t predict when it happens—most times it doesn’t. It only happens when I’m short on time, and have to take something somewhere!

                  A: I know the problem well, Sandi. Brownies batters (and cookie batters too) that have loads of chocolate and melted butter but not too much flour in them must be mixed vigorouly enough to emulsify the batter in the first place, before you pour it into the pan–otherwise the butter weeps out, exactly as you described. I have a couple of tricks to help the emulsification process, first, when making brownies, I usually add my eggs cold. Don’t worry if the chocolate and butter mixture is hot; after you stir in the sugar, it’s safe to add the eggs, stirring vigorously after each one. But, the most important tip is about mixing: after you add the flour, stir vigorously until the batter comes together into a smooth mass and actually pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If you are not strong enough to stir a heavy batter by hand, use a mixer. I write all about this problem in the new book…I hope you’ll have a look.

                  1. Many thanks for taking the time to share this Q & A, Fay. Greatly appreciate it. And it’s reassuring to hear that the great Alice Medrich has the same advice that David Lebovitz does—stir the batter vigorously and for an ample amount of time!

          2. Same butter separation for me; Kerrygold butter, 85% chocolate, silicone spatula. Could the stirring inplement really be the culprit?

            1. Beth, it seems doubtful, but I’ve only ever used a wooden spoon, and it’s never separated. I think using 85% chocolate could be the issue. I use bittersweet 60% chocolate.

    51. These look amazing. I like that there is so little flour. Next time I bake, probably for the chocolate onslaught of Valentine’s Day, I will make these. I’ll report back.

        1. I finally made these brownies. I made them on Friday, let them cool, and today I cut them into hearts with a cookie cutter. I tasted them and they are wonderful. Deep and dark chocolatey. I omitted the nuts as my son is allergic and used Ghiradelli 70% cacao and a portion of Valrhona 40% milk chocolate, as I had it on hand. Just wonderful. I would make these again.

          Also I used my silicone brownie pan, which is 8″, not 9″. Worked well.

          Tonight is the big test—giving them to my hubby as part of our Valentine’s Day celebration. We’ll see what Mr. Chocolate says!

            1. I forgot to write in and let you know what hubby thought. He liked the brownies a lot, and even licked his lips. They were a hit. He ate a second one, and I ate the rest. He doesn’t eat a lot of sweets, but he did like these. I will make them again.

    52. If I want cakelike brownies, I’ll just have chocolate cake. ;-) That being said, if these lean more toward fudgy, I will definitely be giving them a go!

    53. Going to try this recipe tomorrow and will update you as to my success. They sound yummy. I will follow recipe to a T.

    54. I’m with you on the specifications of your search, Tiffany. No yelling here, just a caution that, given what a precise science baking is, tinkering with a recipe can court either an epiphany or a disaster. So, as I’m sure you know, proceed with caution. As to the baking time, if you used an 8-inch pan, the brownies would actually take slightly longer to bake than the above recipe, given that you propose to bake them in a smaller pan, which in turn causes the batter to be deeper. I’d give them at least 35 minutes. I wouldn’t recommend playing with the proportion of flour, not until you’ve made them at least once. (We find David to be quite adept in the kitchen, you may be surprised at just how perfectly aligned the flavor of just chocolate, as opposed to chocolate and cocoa, is with your criteria.) And as for the cocoa content of the chocolate, that depends entirely on you. If you prefer a drastically dark, intensely bitter flavor, go for the 85 percent. Something in the 70s is going to give you more of an all-around appealing chocolate flavor that still has notes of complexity.

      1. Thanks for your helpful feedback, Renee. I’ll give this recipe a whirl without any modifications (a feat for me) and let you know how it goes. I also asked about using an 8-inch baking tin because my new 9-inch square tin from Nordic Ware appears awfully larger than my old one, but perhaps it’s the rounded edges that is giving it that illusion, but I digress.

        1. Let us know how it goes! As for the pan size, I’m thinking subbing the 8-inch may wreak a little havoc with the texture, creating an imbalance between perfectly fudgy and chewy. But I know you like your brownies tall, so do as you see fit. And be sure to report back…

          1. Hi Renee,

            As promised, here are my thoughts:

            I made the recipe, following the directions precisely and using a 9-inch baking tin, this evening using Valrhona Guanaja chocolate (70% cocoa content). It only took 20 minutes to be done (My oven appears to have a mind of its own. Initially the thermometer was at 350°F but after 10 minutes, it had jumped to 375°F. So as a word of caution to other bakers, make sure you closely monitor your oven temperature!)

            Although this recipe didn’t end up having some of the brownie qualities I desired, I definitely appreciated the meandering riverbed-like crust, its lovely sheen, and almost pate-like texture underneath. Eating the ends of the brownie was a pleasure, too, as they had a slight chewiness to them.

            I chose to use toasted pecans and found that to be complementary to the brownie because it had a haunting sweetness that cut through the richness of the chocolate rather than compete with it (which, in my opinion, hazelnuts would do).

            As for the height, although it wasn’t more than 3/4 inch high, I felt that for this recipe, it was the correct thickness; any higher and the brownie would be too rich.

            Thanks for this recipe!

    55. Hello. I’ve tried the following recipes in search of the perfect brownie (which, to me, is a thick, tall square that straddles the fudge-like and slightly chewy realms): Baked Brownie, Ina Garten’s Outrageous Brownies, Nick Malgeri’s Brownies, Martha Stewart’s Brownies, Nigella’s Brownies, to name a few. I know I’ll be yelled at for tinkering…but I’m going to ask anyhow: If I baked these in an 8-inch square tin, do you think they would take 20 to 25 minutes to be done? Also, would you advise substituting some of the all-purpose flour for undutched (or dutched) cocoa powder? (I have some leftover Valrhona cocoa I want to use up.) Also, what cocoa content of the chocolate you would recommend using in this recipe (60%, 72%, or what about 85%)? Thanks in advance!

    56. As promised, I had my brownie for breakfast. These are a fudgy chocoholic’s dream. I liked the contrast in texture of the nuts plus the break they gave from the intense chocolate flavor. Great with a cup of joe.

    57. Such an easy recipe for such a decadent treat. I’ll be good and let them cool in the pan, so I’ll be having them for breakfast.

    58. David, have you ever tried browning the butter before stirring in the chocolate? How much extra butter should be used to compensate for the liquid loss?

      Our apartment of gluttonous UCB students would love to hear your thoughts on this! We worship really only two things: your blog and brownies.

      1. Amanda, it seems David may be busy in the kitchen, so I’m going to respond, given that this seems an urgent question! I’ve relied on brown butter in simple baked goods such as shortbread and butter cookies to great effect, although my hunch is that any enhanced flavor would be lost in this recipe, overwhelmed by the half a pound of quality chocolate. Of course it could make an interesting experiment, and if nothing else, an excuse to bake these brownies…as if you really needed one.

    59. This recipe is very much like Dorie Greenspan’s recipe for French Chocolate Brownies, which is now my go-to recipe. Definitely the best I’ve ever tasted.

    60. In my ice cream book, The Perfect Scoop, I noted that the world is indeed divided into two types of people: the fudgy brownies and the cake-like brownie folks, so I presented recipes for both…to keep the peace. : ) These are quite rich and dense, so I’d say they lean toward the fudge-like.

    61. Anytime someone says these are the “best” or “ultimate” brownies, I always have to ask them to qualify their description with what makes these brownies good. Are they cakey/eggy? More fudgelike? Buttery? What might be awesome to one person may be too cakey for another. I personally like my brownies somewhere in the middle, where you can’t tell if it’s more cakey or more fudgey. Something soft in the middle, but with the slightest thin crispness on top.

      1. Lebovitz gets no argument from me. These are the best brownies. You could call them Katharine Hepburn brownies, perfected. Just a few changes here and there. One further tweak that I like is a teaspoon of instant espresso in the batter. Thank you, Maida Heatter.

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