Dark, Fudgy Muscovado Brownies
Makes Twenty-Five 1½-Inch Squares
Dark muscovado sugar pulls double duty in this insanely rich, fudgy brownie—the sugar’s deep molasses flavor marries fabulously with bittersweet chocolate, and its moist quality (along with a gooey hit of brown rice syrup) contributes a chocolate truffle-esque chew. If there ever was a mysterious “bad boy” version of a brownie, this would be it.
6 tablespoons (3 ounces/84 grams) unsalted butter
6 ounces (168 grams) bittersweet chocolate (60% to 70% cacao), chopped
3 tablespoons (⅝ ounce/18 grams) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
¾ cup (6 ounces/168 grams) firmly packed dark muscovado sugar
3tablespoons (2¼ ounces/63 grams) brown rice syrup
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
2 large eggs, cold
½ cup (2⅛ ounces/60 grams) whole wheat pastry flour, spooned and leveled
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line an 8 × 8-inch metal baking pan with an 8-inch- wide strip of aluminum foil or parchment paper, leaving a few inches of overhang on 2 sides. Lightly grease the pan with nonstick cooking spray or butter.
2. In a large heatproof bowl, melt the butter and chocolate together in the microwave with 60-second bursts of high power, stirring well after each interval until smooth. Whisk in the cocoa powder. Whisk in the sugar, brown rice syrup, vanilla extract, and salt until well blended (a few small lumps of sugar may remain—the rough charm of dark muscovado!). Whisk in the eggs one at a time. Switch from a whisk to a spatula and add the flour, stirring gently just until no traces of flour remain. Set the batter aside to rest for 10 minutes. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
3. Bake until a toothpick comes out mostly clean, with a smudge of chocolate at the end, and the brownie slab has just begun to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 30 minutes. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Remove the brownies using the foil or parchment “handles” and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into squares. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
TIP: Using a plastic knife—the humble, disposable kind used for picnics—makes for the cleanest-edged brownies you’ve ever seen.
(* Recipe reproduced with permission from 'Real Sweet' by Shauna Sever, published by William Morrow, March 2015, Photographs by Leigh Beisch)