The lack of liquid in brownies has always bothered me. I've made some pretty delicious brownies in my day but I was convinced that a little more hydration would make them even better.
I just wanted to add a splash of liquid, not enough to turn them into cake. I had to preserve that dense, fudgy, chewy texture that makes them such a pleasure to eat. But cocoa powder and flour, in this case--oat flour (my favorite choice for brownies and blondies), are better with a little bit of dairy.
So I riffed off of Alice Medrich's cocoa brownies, from which every cocoa brownie I've ever made was inspired, and made it into the brownie of my dreams.
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 ¼ cups sugar
¾ cup natural cocoa powder
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
2 cold large eggs
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
⅔ cup whole grain oat flour
1 cup mixed chocolate chips/chunks: milk, caramel, bittersweet
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Butter a brownie pan. I swear by my 11-x-7" Granite Wear rectangular baking pan but you can use a 8"-by-8" square if that's what you have in your arsenal.
Slice the butter and put it into a medium pot. Set over medium heat and melt the butter, stirring continuously. Cook until the butter turns golden brown and has a rich, nutty aroma. Immediately remove from heat--the butter will continue to brown in the pan and add the sugar, cocoa, salt, and baking powder. Mix well with a heatproof spatula to dissolve all of the sugar. Cool slightly, 5-10 minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time and mix with a spatula until the batter is smooth, shiny and homogenous. Add the buttermilk and vanilla. Mix well to blend. Add oat flour and vigorously mix the batter until it is smooth and shiny, about 50 strokes. This is a thick better, reminiscent of molasses. Stir in the chocolate. It's nice to use different sized chips and chunks because they give texture to the brownies. I used a combination of Callebaut milk chocolate chips, Guittard bittersweet chips, and Valrhona’s Caramélia Pour/scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Shake pan to evenly distribute the batter. Do not use a spatula to spread the batter in the pan if you want a crackly top. Bake for 30-35 minutes until just set. Press the center of the brownie gently with your fingertip and if it feels firm you are fully cooked.
Cool completely before serving.