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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

New classic brownies

By Julia Moskin

These brownies get their fudgy texture from a quick ice bath just after baking. The shock causes the batter to contract and concentrate, intensifying its character. (Bake the brownies in a metal pan, as glass can crack with the temperature change.) Nuts are optional but break up the richness — if, of course, that appeals.

New classic brownies

Recipe from “Alice Medrich’s Cookies and Brownies”

Adapted by Julia Moskin

For a brownie almost as dark and dense as a chocolate truffle, there is Alice Medrich’s innovative method for New Classic Brownies: the pan goes directly from a high-heat oven to a bath of ice water, and the just-baked batter slumps, becoming concentrated and intense.

Yield: 16 brownies

Total time: 40 minutes


8 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2/3 cup lightly toasted walnuts or pecans (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line an 8-inch-square metal baking pan with foil. In top of a double boiler set over barely simmering water, or on low power in a microwave, melt butter and chocolate together. Stir often, and remove from heat when a few lumps remain. Stir until smooth.

2. Stir in sugar, vanilla and salt. Stir in eggs one at a time, followed by flour. Stir until very smooth, about 1 minute, until mixture pulls away from sides of bowl. Add nuts, if using. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, prepare a water bath: Pour ice water into a large roasting pan or kitchen sink to a depth of about 1 inch. Remove pan from oven and place in water bath, being careful not to splash water on brownies. Let cool completely, then lift out and cut into 1-inch squares or wrap in foil.

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