How Much Chocolate is Too Much Chocolate in a Brownie?


One day in the test kitchen, we started adding the chocolate to brownie recipes–mostly cocoa–to see how much was too much.  We doubled and tripled until we had a ridiculous amount of chocolate. 

We took a several batches to a cooking class that night.

“How many think these are too chocolaty?”  Three hands came up

“How many think not chocolaty enough?”  For or five came up.  The rest of the class thought they were just right.

The Ultimate Chocolate Brownies

We recommend Ramstadt Breda Rich Dark Cocoa or Belcolade Dark Cocoa.  Be sure that your cocoa has a high cocoa butter content.

1 cup Ramstadt Breda Rich Dark Cocoa with 22/24 cocoa butter cocoa or equal
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, melted
2 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups walnut pieces

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  You will need a 9 x 13-inch baking pan, two mixing bowls—one of them medium or large, and a whisk.  The larger bowl should be microwave safe to save you a step.  We recommend using parchment paper.

  1. Grease the pan with a little shortening and line it with parchment paper.  The shortening will hold the paper in place.  Set aside.
  2. In the smaller of the two bowls, whisk the cocoa and flour together to break up any clumps and disperse the cocoa.  Set aside.
  3. In the larger of the two bowls, melt the butter in the microwave.  Add the sugar and the salt and stir.  Add the eggs and the vanilla and stir until mixed.
  4. Add the cocoa and flour mixture to the liquid mixture.  Stir until combined.  Add the chopped nuts and stir.
  5. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan with a spatula and spread the batter evenly.  Bake for 25 minutes in a dark pan or until the toothpick comes out fairly clean but with batter on it.  Place the pan on a wire rack and cool for five minutes then, grasping the edge of parchment paper and tipping the pan up over a wire rack, pull the cake onto the wire rack.  Let cool for at least another five minutes and then slip the cake onto a cutting board for slicing.  (See how to cut bar cookies into even, professional slices.)
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