It's nice to be able to bring a uniquely American baked good to gatherings, and everyone recognizes brownies as an American treat. The problem is that it is difficult to find unsweetened baker's chocolate at many grocery stores. You would think that the European love for bitter, dark chocolate would make it quite easy, but that's not the case. And while in many recipes you can successfully substitute dark chocolate for baker's chocolate, brownies do not profit from such a substitution. My solution is to make a dark, rich cocoa-based brownie.
Adapted from Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen
I make these brownies in one pan - a saucepan for using on the stove actually - and stir by hand with a wooden spoon or a large metal spoon. It makes clean-up very easy.
1 1/4 sticks (5 oz / 140 g) butter
1 1/4 cups (250 g) sugar
3/4 cup (65 g) Dutch process cocoa powder
1/2 cup (65 g) flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup (100 g) chocolate chips or chocolate chunks
1. Heat oven to 325°F / 160°C
2. Melt butter in a medium-size saucepan on stovetop, then stir in sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and vanilla extract. It will look kind of gritty.
3. Stir in the eggs one at a time, and then add the flour. Mix the batter for about 40 strokes until it looks smooth, rich, and chocolaty. Mix in the chocolate chips at the end.
4. Pour the batter straight into a baking pan. An 8x8 inch pan is about the right size, but I've also been known to use pie dishes or whatever I have on hand.
5. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes (I tend towards 25 minutes).