- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder*
- 1/4 cup boiling water
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
- 2 oz unsweetened chocolate (100% cacao), finely chopped
- 1–1/2 tsp instant espresso powder
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1–1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1–1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs + 1 egg yolk
- 3/4 cups whole-grain spelt flour (or sub whole-wheat flour)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/3 cup bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8 inch metal or oven-proof glass pan with parchment paper, leaving a few inches of overlap on each side. Butter the parchment paper and two remaining sides of the pan, and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the boiling water to the cocoa powder, and whisk until smooth and completely combined. Set aside.
- Place the butter, chopped chocolate, and espresso powder in a heat-proof mixing bowl. Using a microwave or a double-boiler, melt the mixture together. If using a microwave, check and stir the mixture every 15 seconds or so until melted together.
- Add the melted butter/chocolate mixture to the cocoa mixture, and whisk to combine. Add the vegetable oil and vanilla extract and continue whisking. Add both sugars and whisk until smooth.
- Add the eggs and yolk, one at a time, whisking thoroughly between each, until the chocolate mixture is completely smooth and creamy. Using a spatula, gently fold in the flour and salt. Stir until combined, but be careful not to over-mix.
- Fold in the chocolate chips, then pour into the prepared pan. Smooth out the top with a spatula. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a cake-tester inserted into the middle of the brownies comes out with few crumbs attached. Cool on a baking rack for at least an hour before removing from the pan or cutting into bars, waiting longer if possible.
Brownies are all about the chocolate, so use the best-quality cocoa (I like to use a rich, dutch-process cocoa baking powder) and chocolate you can find.