Palm Beach Brownies
Why I Love This Recipe
This recipe comes from Maida Heatter's Book of Great Chocolate Desserts. The cookbook originally belonged to my grandmother, and came to me when she passed away.
Ingredients You'll Need
8 ounces (8 squares) unsweetened chocolate
8 ounces (2 sticks) sweet butter
5 eggs (graded large or extra-large)
1 T vanilla extract
1 t almond extract
1/4 t salt
2 1/2 T dry instant espresso or other powdered (not granular) instant coffee
3 3/4 c granulated sugar
1 2/3 c sifted all purpose flour
8 ounces (2 generous cups) walnut halves or large pieces
Adjust rack one-third up from the bottom of the oven and preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Line a 9x13x2 pan with aluminum foil (note, I used a non-stick pan and skipped this step)
Butter the foil (or pan) with soft or melted butter. The easiest way is to place a piece of butter in the pan, place the pan in the oven while it is warming, and when the butter is melted use a pastry brush to spread it all over the sides and bottom of the foil. Set the prepared pan aside.
Place the chocolate and butter in a large double boiler over hot water on moderate heat, or in a 4-6 cup heavy saucepan over very low heat. Stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter are melted. Stir to mix. Remove from heat and set aside.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs with the vanilla, almond extract, salt, dry instant coffee, and sugar on high speed for 10 minutes.
On low speed add the chocolate mixture and beat only until mixed.
Then add the flour and again beat only until mixed.
Remove from the mixer and stir in the nuts.
Turn into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
Bake for 35 minutes, reversing the pan front to back as necessary during baking to ensure even baking.
Cover loosely with foil for about the last half of the baking time to prevent over-browning.
At the end of 35 minutes the cake will have a thick, crisp crust on the top, but if you insert a toothpick into the middle it will come out wet and covered with chocolate. Nevertheless it is done. Do not bake it any more.
Remove the cake from the oven and let stand at room temperature until cool. Then cover with a rack or cookie sheet and invert. Remove the pan and foil lining. Cover with a cookie sheet and invert again, leaving cake right side up.
The cake will be 1 1/4 inches thick. Cut into 24 large brownies or 32 large ones. (It is best to bake these the day before, they cannot be cut when they are too fresh).
Refrigerate and serve cold.