For the brownies
10 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
4 tablespoons (56 g) unsalted butter, chopped (Paleo option: replace with virgin coconut oil)
3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar (Paleo option: replace with coconut palm sugar)
3 eggs (150 g, weighed out of shell), at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup (20 g) unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-processed)
2 to 3 ounces dark chocolate chips, for scattering (optional)
For the (optional) chocolate ganache
6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) heavy whipping cream (Paleo option: replace with coconut cream)
First, make the brownies. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease and line an 8-inch square baking pan with unbleached parchment paper or nonstick aluminum foil that overhangs the sides of the pan or , and set it aside.
In a double boiler or a medium-sized microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate and until melted and smooth. To melt the chocolate in the microwave, heat in 30-second increments at 70% power, stirring in between intervals, taking care not to burn the chocolate. Set the melted chocolate aside to cool briefly. In a separate, large bowl, place the butter and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the sugar, and beat on high speed until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating very well in between additions. After the final egg, add the vanilla and salt, and beat on high speed until light and pillowy (about 1 minute). Add the cocoa powder and beat on low speed until the cocoa powder is absorbed (about 30 seconds to a minute). Add the melted chocolate and beat on medium-high speed until the mixture is smooth and glossy (2 to 3 minutes).
Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan, spread it into an even layer and tap the pan on a flat surface to break any large air bubbles. Sprinkle the top evenly with the (optional) chocolate chips and press the chips into the batter to help them adhere. Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake until the brownies are puffed in the center and the center doesn’t jiggle when shaken gently from side to side (22 to 25 minutes). Do not overbake. Remove the pan from the oven, place it on a wire rack to cool completely in the pan. Once the brownies are nearly cool, if you’re not adding the ganache, place the pan in the refrigerator to chill until firm to the touch. This will make slicing much easier, but it’s not essential.
If you’re adding the ganache, place the chopped chocolate in a medium-size, heat-safe bowl. Heat the heavy cream or coconut cream in a small, heavy-bottom saucepan just until it begins to simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and allow the mixture to sit for about 30 seconds, or until the chocolate beings to melt. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Pour the ganache over the top of the cooled brownies, still in the pan. Scatter with the (optional) chocolate chips, pressing them down gently to adhere. Refrigerate the brownies in the pan until the ganache is set (about an hour).
Slice the chilled brownies into 9 or 12 equal pieces and serve. Without the ganache, they freeze amazingly well.
Originally published on the blog in 2016. Some photos and text new; method modified to make more stable brownies with a crinkly top.