These dark chocolate brownies are like the sophisticated version of a traditional brownie. They have a rich and deep flavor paired with a fudgy and tender texture. Made with extra dark chocolate, flaky sea salt, and whole wheat flour, these brownies are not overly sweet and each bite melts in your mouth.
What makes these dark chocolate brownies different?
This is easily my new favorite brownie recipe for so many reasons. And with tons of brownie recipes out there, why make this one? Whether you love dark chocolate or not, this is why you need to bake these brownies ASAP:
- Brown Butter – Melting down butter and toasting the milk fats transforms butter into liquid gold. It gives it a rich amber color and a nutty flavor, enhancing any dessert it touches. This is just one small piece of this recipe that makes it so dang good! To learn more about brown butter, see my brown butter guide.
- Dark Chocolate – Of course, we can’t have dark chocolate brownies without dark chocolate. This recipe uses a combination of 60% bittersweet chocolate and 70-80% extra dark chocolate. The bittersweet chocolate gives it that rich flavor without making the brownies TOO bitter, and the extra dark chocolate is folded throughout to create pockets of melty dark chocolate in every bite. These two are what help keep this brownie in a more deep and rich flavor profile as opposed to chocolatey and sweet – like a traditional brownie would be.
- Espresso Powder – Instant espresso is often used in chocolate recipes as it helps intensify the chocolate flavor. With dark chocolate, it enhances that deep and rich flavor without turning it bitter. One to two teaspoons is used to intensify these brownies and take them from homemade to gourmet.
- Whole Wheat Flour – The real differentiator here is the flour. I used Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Flour for two reasons. 1: It’s stone ground, meaning it retains all of its nutrition value while also creating a fine granule – unlike most whole wheat flours that tend to be a bit grainy. 2: As opposed to all purpose flour, whole wheat flour lends a more delicate texture. It’s higher in protein content, but the whole grains within the flour slow gluten formation, making these brownies extra fudgy and tender. Not only does it change the texture, but it also adds a more nutty flavor which pairs perfectly with the brown butter and dark chocolate.
Combining these four different components creates a dark chocolate brownie unlike any other brownie recipe. It’s rich and nutty, deep and strong, but still tender and fudgy.
Tips for making fudgy brownie batter
Brownies can sometimes be a bit tricky to get just right. They’re either too soft, too tough, or too cakey. These dark chocolate brownies are anything but, and here’s why:
- Properly measure the flour – I say this in every post, and for good reason. It’s the number one reason why most recipes fail. If there’s too much flour, the brownies will turn out dry and cakey. If you can, measure the flour with a food scale. Otherwise, to ensure you use the exact amount needed, gently spoon the flour into your measuring cup and level if off with a flat edge. If you scoop directly into the flour container, it packs it down into the cup which could leave you with 1/4 cup or more of added flour.
- Whisk the eggs – Vigorously whisk in the eggs for a good 1-2 minutes. You’ll notice the batter transform from liquid to pudding-like. This is because the whisk is emulsifying the egg, bridging the gap between the fatty and water contents in the batter. By fully whisking, your brownie will have a stronger structure with a delicate texture.
- Sift the dry ingredients – While Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Flour remains light and fine, the cocoa powder can sometimes be a bit chunky. Sift in the dry ingredients to ensure a super smooth batter.
- Gently fold – After adding the dry ingredients, switch from a whisk to a rubber spatula and gently fold the flour and cocoa into the batter. Do so slowly and patiently, as over mixing brownie batter can lead to a tough texture.
- Chopped chocolate – Lastly, toss in the chopped chocolate. For the best results, chop it into varying sizes – from larger chunks to tiny morsels. This variation will give you the best of both worlds – large puddles of chocolate with sprinkles of more chocolate throughout so each bite is well balanced.
How to get a fudgy but delicate brownie texture
Fudgy brownies can sometimes be a bit too dense and chewy. While these dark chocolate brownies are thick and fudgy, they are anything but tough. The texture is super light and delicate, with each bite melting in your mouth.
My tips above will ensure the brownie batter is just right, but the real magic happens after they’re pulled from the oven. The brownies will be puffed slightly, and as they cool those air pockets will remain open. In order to slam them shut to create a closed and rich texture, drop the baking pan against a hard surface a few times to deflate the brownies. This densifies the brownies, but the batter itself prevents the texture from turning too heavy.
Chilling brownie batter overnight
If you’re someone who reads the full recipe post, congratulations! You’ve landed on a little secret nugget of baking information that will enhance this recipe even further. While I didn’t add this instruction into the recipe card itself, it’s worth noting that in one of my tests of this final recipe I chilled the brownie batter overnight. After it’s poured into the baking pan and sprinkled with chocolate, cover the pan in foil and chill overnight.
What this does is mellow out the flavors, giving the brownies one harmonious dark and deep flavor. It’s subtle, but you can definitely tell a difference. I recommend trying it out! Just bake the brownies for a few extra minutes to ensure it’s heated all the way through.
Can these brownies be made gluten free?
I haven’t tested it, but whole wheat flour is very similar to gluten free flour in how they perform and bake. I recommend swapping Bob’s Red Mill Whole What Flour with Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten Free Baking Flour. Just be careful when measuring, as gluten free flour is more dense than whole wheat. If you can, weigh the dry ingredients using a food scale to ensure accuracy.
Can I substitute the whole wheat flour with all purpose flour?
Can you? Yes. But do I recommend it? No. You won’t get the full affect of these brownies if you substitute with all purpose. Whole wheat is what gives these brownies that delicate but fudgy texture unlike any other.
How to store dark chocolate brownies
After the brownies are sliced, store in an air tight container in the refrigerator where they will keep for up to 1 week. I like eating them cold, but you can always warm up a slice in the microwave for an ooey gooey texture.
For more brownie recipes, check out my:
- Better than Box Mix Brownies
- Molten Chocolate Hazelnut Tahini Brownies
- Peanut Butter Mocha Brownies
- Homemade Cosmic Brownies
Make sure to tag me @butternutbakery on Instagram and comment below if you make these Dark Chocolate Brownies. To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can use the button on the recipe card or on any of the photos above. Happy baking!Print