Let’s get one thing out of the way: the best brownies ever are the Outrageous Brownies from Purebread (which started in Whistler but now has a few Vancouver locations, too). It doesn’t matter if you get the banana ones or the raspberry ones or the regular ones, they’re the best – plain and simple.
Unfortunately, I don’t have the recipe for them. However, I do have the recipe for the second best brownies: Michael Smith’s Triple Chocolate Brownies.
I first tasted these brownies as at book club meeting back in the late winter or early spring. There is another member of my book club who is very passionate about baking – in addition to talking book plots and characters, we like to swap recipes and drool-worthy baking photos and tips. She brought these triple chocolate brownies and they were amazing. She said the Michael Smith recipe was her go-to, so I decided to look them up and give them a go myself.
They were just as good when I made them, so I dubbed them my favourite recipe, too. (Until I can get a hold of the Purebread recipe…)
As the name suggests, this recipe uses three different sources of chocolate: regular chocolate (like a bar), cocoa powder, and chocolate chips. The result: a tasty triple threat that is moist, fudgey, and overall fantastic.
First, the chocolate. I discovered they sell Callebaut chocolate in blocks at Save on Foods in Squamish – hallelujah! Although Nesters has the best fancy baking stuff, Save on Foods has a better assortment (and a bulk section to die for) – they will be my new go to for baking goods. The recipe calls for 8 ounces of chocolate, which gets melted along with a cup of butter over a double boiler. Once everything is melted and mixed, the recipe says to whisk the whole thing to make it extra smooth. I’m not sure if this is really necessary, but better safe than sorry, right?
Next up: the cocoa powder. The cocoa powder gets mixed with some flour, baking powder, and a pinch of salt. Simple, right? Those are your dry ingredients.
The chocolate chips come a little later – first, you have to mix 4 eggs with some brown sugar and a whopping tablespoon of vanilla. These wet ingredients then get combined with the melted butter/chocolate combo, which has had a chance to cool down. Then, the dry ingredients get incorporated, along with the chocolate chips (at last!)
Hot tip: the Squamish Save on Foods also offers a few different types of chocolate chips in the bulk section, so you don’t have to buy a whole bag when you only need a cup, as is the case in this recipe.
You’re supposed to bake the brownies in a 9 x 13 pan, but I opted to do two 8 x 8 pans instead. The directions say to oil the pans and dust them with flour, but I once learned a hot tip that involves using cocoa powder instead of flour for dusting pans used for brownies, chocolate cakes, and other chocolatey things, so that’s what I did.
Though the recipe calls for 25 minutes or so in the oven, mine were for about 32 until I thought they looked sufficiently cooked through (without getting dried out – it’s a fine line).
Here’s what I like about this recipe:
- The ingredients are simple. Yes, it calls for 3 types of chocolate, but the rest of the ingredients are things you probably already have in your kitchen.
- You don’t need an electric mixer (yup, mine is still busted).
- It’s a pretty straightforward recipe – then again, most brownie recipes are.
- The brownies taste exquisite – I have to say, these brownies surpass the ones I’ve made from my Dorie’s Cookies cookbook and from the Bobbette & Belle cookbook.
- Chef Michael Smith – I mean, how CAN’T you love the soft-spoken east coaster?!?!