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Mar 14, 2005 11:59 AM

ISO opinions on Cook's Illustrated brownie recipe

  • s

I'm looking for a new brownie recipe. I like the one I've been using for the past few years, but think there's room for improvement (sometimes, gasp, it seems too chocolatey). So, I did a search here on brownie recipes, found galleygirl's and tried that one. I liked it, but somehow didn't live up to what I wanted (I'm looking for something with more chocolate taste than that).

I'm considering trying the recipe from 'Best Recipe', but was wondering what other 'hounds thought. The ingredient list calls for cake flour instead of AP flour, and I just can't help but think it's going to result in a too-cakey, delicate textured brownie (which I can't support). They claim otherwise, and yet...

Any thoughts on that recipe?



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  1. I have eaten these brownies before and don't find them to be wimpy at all. They are fudgy and delicious! The Joy of Cooking recipe turns out a nice, fudgy brownie as well. Good luck!

    1. j
      JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)

      I've made the CI ones and they are wonderful, but my all-time favorite ones are on the back of the can of Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate & Cocoa.

      1. I made the Cook's Illustrated recipe and I think your fears are misplaced. They were anything but delicate and cakey, they were dense, rich and delicious.

        1. On the other hand - can anyone recommend a really good delicate, cake-like brownie recipe? By really good, I mean a strong chocolate flavor, married with a delicate, very moist texture. It should just barely hold together, far moister than the average cake, but not fudgey or chewy. I've only had this sort of brownie from about two or three places in my life, and they are the only brownies I care about. Every "cake-like" brownie recipe I've ever found has produced dry brownies, or ones which are indistinguishable from cake baked as bars. The fudgey, chewy ones I just don't care for very much. They're fine, but not that interesting to me. Anyone have a suggestion?

          7 Replies
          1. re: curiousbaker

            The Moist & Chocolatey Muffins I posted under "The Muffin Challenge" (from about a week ago) taste to me like what you are describing you like in a brownie.

            1. re: Funwithfood

              Thanks - I'll try it. It seems like the brownies I've had wouldn't rise enough to act like muffins - but it's worth a shot.

              1. re: curiousbaker

                So I'm trying to get a grip on what you're looking for, I'm imagining:
                About an inch thick
                Smooth, shiny top
                No discernable "bubbles", but not a smooth interior like fudge, more like moist potting soil? Barely holding together?
                If a piece were held by one corner, it would immediately break off that corner, rather than stay whole, or droop slowly down, like a "chewy" brownie would.

                Is this close?

                1. re: Jess

                  Yes! Yes! Exactly it.

                  And they melt in your mouth, very soft.

                  1. re: curiousbaker

                    The base brownie I use for chocolate mint brownies is like this, if I remember correctly. I'll have to make a test batch tonight (oh darn), and if I haven't oversold them, I'll post the recipe.

            2. re: curiousbaker

              Curiosubaker--If you're an adventurous sort, I think you ought to try to email Ann Amernick (the pastry chef at Palena Restaurant in DC, I think their website is and ask for her recipe. It was actually her brownie dessert recently that made me decide I needed to improve my own brownies. They've got a great chocolate taste, barely held together, not at all fudgey or chewy, and rather delicate. They drive me nuts (not at all my style), but I think they're right up your alley.

              If you come down this way, I recommend you give them a try.


              1. re: curiousbaker

                I haven't tried these, but I've had good luck with Fine Cooking recipes in the past.