The other day, The Angry Chef headed into the city for his monthly cigar night. I wanted to make something extra special for him and his buddies, who are some of the nicest guys I know.
These brownies are rich, dense, and extra chocolate-y from melted chocolate and cocoa powder.
Their texture is creamy, almost bordering on fudge.
A drizzle of Johnnie Walker Black and brewed espresso balance out the sweetness. They’re filled with a scotch-infused take on my tangy, old-fashioned cream cheese frosting.
Serve with a glass of scotch or a cup of fresh expresso.
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate
8 Tbls. butter, softened (that’s 1 stick)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 Tbls. brewed espresso, room temperature or cold
2 Tbls. Johnnie Walker Black, or other scotch you like
1/2 cup flour
3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 recipe old-fashioned cream cheese icing
2 Tbls. scotch
Bake in either an 8 x 10 or a 7 x 11 pan
Gentlemen’s Brownies: Prep your pan
Don’t skip this step. Seriously. It only takes a minute, and it will help really your brownies come out of the pan easily.
Spray your pan lightly with oil. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan. Press the paper in place. Spritz with oil lightly again. See how to do this step-by-step on this post. You want your pan to look about like this.
Set your pan aside. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Gentlemen’s Brownies: Chop & melt the chocolate
Grab your chocolate. I used Baker’s Chocolate, but by all means use any bittersweet chocolate you like.
With a knife, break the chocolate up into small-ish pieces.
Fill a pot with an inch or two of water. Set it on the stove over high heat. Bring it to a boil. When it’s boiling, drop the heat to low and set a large, heat-proof bowl on top of the pot of water. Put your chopped chocolate in the bowl.
Stir the chocolate with a spatula. It should start to melt almost immediately.
Stir until the chocolate is completely melted.
When it’s melted, remove the bowl from the stove. Set it aside to cool while you start the brownie batter.
Gentlemen’s Brownies: Make the brownie batter
Put the softened butter and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer (or in a large mixing bowl if you’re using a hand-held mixer).
Mix on medium-high to cream the butter and sugar together.
You want to create a uniform mixture that’s light and fluffy looking, like this:
Crack in the eggs.
Mix on medium-high until well combined. (Start the mixer on low and gradually speed it up, so your egg doesn’t fly everywhere.)
They should look about like this:
Pour in the espresso and the scotch.
Mix to incorporate. Then toss in the flour and cocoa powder. (If you like, sift the two together in a separate bowl before adding to your mixing bowl. For this recipe, I don’t find it makes a lot of difference, so I skip it.)
Mix just to combine.
Pour in the melted chocolate. It’s OK if it’s warm, you just don’t want it to be hot (or you risk literally scrambling the eggs in your mixing bowl).
Mix on high to combine for maybe 30 seconds or so. Without overbeating it, you want the batter to look about like this.
It will be stiff, and have a texture resembling chocolate mousse.
Pour out into your prepared pan. Smooth down with a spatula to even out the surface.
Gentlemen’s Brownies: Bake the brownies
Pop the pan into your preheated oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes. When they’re done, they’ll have a lovely even brown color, like this.
When you insert a toothpick halfway between the side and the middle of the pan, it should come out clean. (This time, do this in the place indicated, not in the center.)
Your toothpick should have just a few crumbs clinging to it, like this:
If your toothpick is gooey, stick the pan back in the oven for a few minutes, then test again.
Gentlemen’s Brownies: Cool and fill with frosting
Now, you can stop right here. These brownies are great on their own. Cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before cutting. If you’re going to fill them with frosting, cool them to room temperature.
If you’re going to fill them with frosting, whip up a batch of my Old-Fashioned Cream-Cheese Frosting.
When the frosting is done, add the scotch. (If you wanted a different flavor frosting, this is where you’d add it in.)
Beat it ’til it’s well combined.
When your brownies are cool to room temperature, cut into squares.
Split your brownies in half, like this:
Drop a spoonful of frosting onto one side.
Smoosh the frosting down a little so it covers most of the brownie.
Top with the other half of the brownie. Don’t press down too hard.
Set it aside on a plate or sheet pan. Repeat with the rest of the brownies.
When they’re all filled, pop the brownies in the fridge for a few hours to firm up the filling.
Serve and enjoy!