Back when we lived in a city with stores and restaurants and all of that, we used to go to the bookstore every Saturday afternoon to browse and drink fancy coffee. From there we’d head over to the huge grocery store for a sushi snack and whatever ingredients I’d forgotten on my main grocery trip. The whole outing – low-key but full of treats – was one of my favorite parts of the week.
These days, we adapt that routine for our trips up to Albuquerque, where we seem to end up once every couple of months to visit my family. We take a portion of a day to head to the bookstore, and then while Dave sits and reads a book, I go next door to Whole Foods to stock up on coffee, loose-leaf tea, chocolate, and cheese. The coffee, tea, and chocolate keep well, but we eat a lot of cheese in the week after those trips.
That’s why it isn’t unusual for me to have five different types of chocolate lying around. It is unusual that one of those will be milk or white chocolate, which is how these ended up being quadruple chocolate brownies instead of quintuple. Similarly, it’s how the tiny bit of white chocolate that was all I had got added as chunks instead of melted as a glaze.
Whether quintuple or quadruple, these are some of the best brownies I’ve ever had. They certainly weren’t cakey, and yet they weren’t really chewy either. They were melt-in-your-mouth tender, and with four types of chocolate, you know they had great flavor.
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Quintuple Chocolate Brownies (from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours)
I skipped the nuts and glaze and stirred the white chocolate chunks into the batter.
For the Brownies:
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons strong coffee
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
6 ounces premium-quality milk chocolate, chopped into chips, or 1 cup store-bought milk chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
For the Glaze:
6 ounces premium-quality white chocolate, finely chopped, or 1 cup store-bought white chocolate chips
⅓ cup heavy cream
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with foil, butter the foil and place the pan on a baking sheet.
Sift together the flour, cocoa, and salt.
To Make the Brownies:
Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and add, in the following order, the butter, the two chocolates and the coffee. Keeping the pan over low heat, warm just until the butter and chocolates are melted – you don’t want the ingredients to get so hot they separate, so keep an eye on the bowl. Stir gently, and when the mixture is smooth, set it aside for 5 minutes.
Using a whisk or a rubber spatula, beat the sugar into the chocolate mixture. Don’t beat too vigorously – you don’t want to add air to the batter – and don’t be concerned about any graininess. Next, stir in the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla. You should have a smooth, glossy batter. If you’re not already using a rubber spatula, switch to one now and gently stir in the dry ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated. Finally, stir in the milk chocolate chips and the nuts. Scrape the batter into the pan.
Bake for about 35 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out streaked but not thickly coated. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let the brownies rest undisturbed for at least 30 minutes. (You can wait longer, if you’d like.)
Turn the brownies out onto a rack, peel away the foil and place it under another rack – it will be the drip catcher for the glaze. Invert the brownies onto the rack and let cool completely.
To Make the Glaze:
Put the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring the heavy cream to a boil and pour it over the chocolate. Wait 30 seconds, then, using a rubber spatula, gently stir until the chocolate is melted and the glaze is smooth.
Hold a long metal icing spatula in one hand and the bowl of glaze in the other. Pour the glaze onto the center of the brownies and use the spatula to nudge it evenly over the surface. Don’t worry if it dribbles over the edges, you can trim the sides later (or not). Refrigerate the brownies for about 20 minutes to dry the glaze.
Cut into 16 squares, each roughly 2¼ inches on a side.
Note: These brownies can be frozen (even with the glaze) for up to two months. They can be stored at room temperature or enjoyed cold from the refrigerator.