Every classic brownie, even a foolproof go-to, could use a little improvement. Whether you like them fudgy or cakey, brownie recipes tend to be simple and short. Most of them are one-bowl, and they don't require many ingredients or steps. (Therefore, it's even more important that you use good-quality ingredients.) With such a streamlined template, there isn't that much fussing around to be done. You can use cocoa powder or actual chocolate. Beyond that, the details vary only slightly: types of add-ins, levels of sweetness, and so on.
But if you, like me, prefer your brownies on the fudgier side, then there's a bit more experimentation to be done. I've searched far and wide for the ultimate fudgy brownie recipe. I've tried reducing the flour, increasing the butter, and adding in unconventional ingredients like applesauce and mashed avocado.
Photo by Posie Harwood
Happily, I can say I've finally stumbled upon a killer recipe for fudgy brownies. This recipe yields a very dense and chewy brownie, one that freezes beautifully. The secret to getting the texture right is sour cream. That's right! Sour cream! You likely have a tub of it sitting the refrigerator from your last burrito dinner. Rich and creamy, it's thick enough to prevent your batter from loosening up too much (a problem I've had with applesauce and other ingredients). It also adds a tangy, clean flavor dimension that counterpoints all that rich chocolate and butter.
I recommend making a double batch. Give half away to friends or coworkers (because chocolate brightens everyone's day!) and freeze half for yourself. You'll thank yourself later on one of those nights when you're scrounging about for dessert, and remember that these are stashed away.
Fudgy Sour Cream Brownies
- 8 tablespoons (4 ounces) butter
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 2 ounces semisweet chocolate
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup (3 1/6 ounces) flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) sour cream