Saturday, June 26, 2010

Outrageous Brownies

Have you seen the movie Julie and Julia? You know, the movie where a woman named Julie cooks the recipes from Julia Child's cookbook for an entire year and blogs about it? Well, I'm beginning to think that my blog has become AJ and Ina. It seems like most of the recipes I've used involves Ina Garten. I don't know how many Ina Garten recipes I have used on this blog but it feels like every other blog post has been from Ina. Oh well, her food is delicious and that's all that matters.

So, this weeks creation was Brownies, specifically Ina Garten's Outrageous Brownies. I've been on the search for a great tasting brownie recipe for years now. Each time I made brownies from scratch, they don't exactly match my standards and by standards I mean the boxed brownie mixes. The boxed brownie mixes are the best. They are chewy, fudge-y, a little cake-like and chocolate-y. They just have a great overall taste to them. When you keep going back to a pan of brownies and slicing yourself a piece, you know it's great and that's what the boxed brownies do for me. With the different brownie recipes I have tried, such as Ghiradelli's and Hershey's recipes, I find that they are not chocolate-y enough and have a strange taste to them. I've wanted to try out Ina Garten's Outrageous Brownies for a couple of years now because of the great reviews but failed to do so because it requires a whole POUND of butter!! That's a crazy amount of butter and I didn't want to waste all that butter if the brownies turned out badly. So, I finally got the courage to make them by halving the recipe and just using two sticks of butter.

What's the result? I'm not that big of a fan. Sorry, Ina! So many people say these are the best but I don't think so. Compared to other brownie recipes from scratch, yes, these brownies are much better. Compared to the boxed brownie mix, the boxed brownie mix is much better in my opinion. Maybe I've just grown accustomed to the boxed brownies but for me, these did have a strong chocolate flavor but I feel as if the boxed version has more of a pleasant chocolate flavor, if that makes sense? Also, I didn't like the texture so much. These were like fudge so I was confused when eating them. I mean, I like them fudgey but I don't want to eat the fudge candy. I was somewhat disappointed by these. I think from now on, I will stick to the boxed version. But, I'm still going to be on the look out for a "from-scratch" version. What about you? What's your favorite "from-scratch" brownie recipe? Here's the recipe!

Outrageous Brownies (Makes 20 Large Brownies)
1 pound unsalted butter
1 pound plus 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
6 extra-large eggs
3 tablespoons instant coffee granules
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter and flour a 12 x 18 x 1-inch baking sheet.

Melt together the butter, 1 pound of chocolate chips, and the unsweetened chocolate in a medium bowl over simmering water. Allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, coffee granules, vanilla, and sugar. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, sift together 1 cup of flour, the baking powder, and salt. Add to the cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the walnuts and 12 ounces of chocolate chips in a medium bowl with 1/4 cup of flour, then add them to the chocolate batter. Pour into the baking sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes, then rap the baking sheet against the oven shelf to force the air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Bake for about 15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not overbake! Allow to cool thoroughly, refrigerate, and cut into 20 large squares.

Killer Brownies on Foodista
-Aaron John
My Food Outings: AJ's Food Adventure
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  1. I've seen Ina's brownies recipe before but never actually tried it.
    I'm cooking my way through Jamie Oliver's Cook with Jamie - cookbook and I've made his chocolate brownies way too many times. Jamie uses dried sour cherries in his brownies and they go well with chocolate.
    Give it a try sometime.

    Enjoy your weekend.

  2. i love brownies! but yeah i do find that most of the brownie recipes i've used havent really come up to par with the brownies i've eaten from bakeries. BUT I have been using this brownie recipe I got from a new zealand baking show and by far it's the best. I'll be re-posting the recipe soon so check it out!

  3. Hello there, my bff just baked brownies from baking from my home to yours by Dorie Greenspan. I think it's beautiful.
    Have a great weekend.

  4. The brownies look delicious and anything Ina makes has to be great! She's the best!

  5. One pound of butter!? That's a whooping lot! But considering the size of the pan used and the serving quantity yield, I think it's still OK ... Well, it's not like using 1 lb. butter for an 8x8-inch square pan, which is absolutely insane if we were to do so ... Haha!

    I'm still on the lookout for a good brownie recipe, too. I prefer fudgy type, though I don't mind cakey and chewy brownie as I'm not a fussy eater. Anything sweet will make me happy. But it's nice to know of your experience too. Do you think baking powder can be omitted from this recipe? I think usually when baking brownies, we don't want a clean toothpick, eh? Maybe you can also try underbake it a little?

    Btw, nice to stumble upon your blog! How I wish my younger brothers can be just like you! They are culinary idiots; they're gaming freaks! *Sigh*

    Keep up with the good work!

  6. Michael: Oh ok! I'll look up that recipe. Sounds great though!

    Le: Yay! I'm excited for that post. I can't wait to see it and possibly try it out!

    redha: I hear a lot about Dorie Greenspan. She must be really good!

    An Open Book: Thanks!! :)

    Pam: Thank you!! :D

    dodol-mochi: I know right? 1 lb. of butter for an 8x8 inxh pan is too much so the amount of brownies they make is decent. I kind of like the cakey and chewy brownies over the "fudge" type ones.
    I would say not to omit the baking powder from the recipe simply because even with the baking powder, these brownies were definitely fudgey and not cake-like. They become hard like fudge when you put it into the refrigerator. Omitting the baking powder might make them more dense than they already are.
    LOL. I'm a gaming freak too but not the type that plays video games everyday. I play video games like once every 2 weeks. It's all about balance. There's more things out there than just playing video games. HAHA.

  7. Hi AJ, thanks for visiting our blog. if you read our blog you know how much I love to twist up a recipe. This one would be no different for me. Try using some comparable products and switch them out to make it suit your own taste. I love Godiva. It also makes a fantastic Ice cream! would go great with your brownies.

  8. I know what you mean. Brownies are just one of those things. You can try about a thousand recipes before you hit on the one that really floats your boat. Keep hunting, AJ! It's out there . . .

  9. those brownies look great! and I do love browines!! thanks for posting, and following in Ina's footsteps is a good thing!

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  11. You are right, boxed brownies are always better!

  12. Cyndy: Different chocolates will change the flavor. I may try it. I used ghiradelli in mine.

    Jane: I'm still going to be looking. I've found a recipe I want to try. Let's see what happens.

    Chef Dennis: Thank you! Ina Garten is def. my favorite

    Jet: Thanks!!

    Anonymous: I definitely think the boxed ones are the best. Plus they're cheaper. They're what, like $3?

  13. I agree that some of the box mixes are excellent! I always keep one in my cupboard for emergencies. :) Have you tried the One Bowl Brownie recipe on the back of the Baker's Unsweetened Chocolate box? It's not bad,especially if you make it fudgy and add some choc. chips to it.

  14. For your inspirations:


  15. A.J. and Ina! I love it! She is my favorite. Think I tried her brownies once and they weren't that great either. Maybe she got a new editor to test her recipes?

  16. Aj, I used Cocoa Chile Powder in my Brownies on Steroids adaptation. Using liqueurs (sparingly) are a good way to ramp up a flavor too. coffee is another good idea if you like it. My personal fav? VIA from starbucks. as for the liqueurs, Mini bottles are the way to go. I like your blog, very good reading and great ideas!

  17. scrambledhenfruit: I actually haven't tried that. I'll go look for the recipe. Anything made in one bowl makes me happy. Not a lot to clean up!!

    Micheal Toa: Thanks!! Such a good site!

    Rick: Haha. Maybe, maybe.

    Cyndy: Thanks!! Great tips!! I'm def. going to use them!

  18. HI AJ,

    Thanks for visiting Fun and Food Cafe, and glad you liked my Orange cookies:)

    I love brownies, and your recipe looks lovely!:)

  19. Hi AJ. I stumbled upon your blog. Good stuff!!
    My fav brownie recipe so far has been Nick Malgieri's Supernatural Brownies (I actually won a few blue ribbons for my entry at the State Fair with these). The recipe was in the NYT a couple years ago. I tried it and loved it. You can find this recipeon (and lots of other recipes; it's a cool site).


  20. Hi AJ!

    Thanks for dropping by my blog :) I like your blog! You seem to like a lot of things I do - brownies, sticky buns, red velvet ... haha great minds think alike? Anyway, I think the best brownie recipe has to be Nick Malgieri's Supernatural Brownie recipe. Check out my recent write-up "Brownie Knockout!" at

  21. I've tried & tested many many brownie recipes hunting for "box mix" taste & texture from scratch. This is the closest & best recipe I've found....
    the recipe is called "Tribute to Katharine Hepburn Brownies" from Dorie Greenspan (I don't add the cinnamon or nuts, I like my brownies plain & simple lol)

    Look it up and give it a go :)


  22. Mansi: Thanks for stopping by :)

    Hanaa: Thanks for the suggestion. I'll try it!!

    Sugahmommy: Thank you!! and definitely!! haha. Thanks for that suggestion. I'll look it up!

    Pam: Thanks!! I'm def. going to try it if it's similar to the box!! Thanks for that!

  23. We all enjoy different foods, and that is ok. I personally loved these brownies of Ina's. I too am a huge Barefoot Contessa fan. Just found your blog. I'll enjoy watching to see what you are posting.

  24. Heard about the movie and I actually already have a copy of it, I just havent found time to see it yet. XD Is it any good?

    By the way, those brownies!!! so tempting. Geez, half of me wants to be really good in making desserts like these but the other half of me doesnt want to because it would then be too hard to keep in shape! Would be too tempting! HAHA. good job

  25. Gale Reeves: Thanks!! Yeah, I think I've just been too accustomed to the box brownies. I have a couple of recipes I'm going to try soon! :D

    Amy B.: I saw the movie again today. haha. It was on so I was like "What the heck, I'll just watch it." I mean, it's an all right movie. I like it because of the food. haha.
    Trust me, I'm trying my best to keep in shape. It's def. tempting when you have a whole pan of bakes goods in the kitchen. lol

  26. I agree, Ina can't bake. She needs to stick to food. Try David Lebovitz's brownies! Sooooooooo Good!

  27. I didn't say Ina can't bake. 0.0 These just didn't work out for me. She has a ton of great baked desserts though! :) I've bookmarked David Lebovitz's brownies and will try them soon!!


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! :)

-Aaron John


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