Recipe by Sarah Phillips; Food Styling and Photos by Kelly Hong © 5-28-2016 Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com
There's nothing like a good old-fashioned fudge brownie recipe. These are fudgy, chewy and dense, not light and airy or overly gooey so you can't eat them.
These have a moist interior and are intensely chocolaty from my using a combination of both cocoa powder and chocolate, a signature combination I like to use in my chocolate recipes.
We have made them extra delicious by stuffing them with a layer of peanut butter and banana slices.
This is a great way to use up bananas that are past their prime.
Move over banana bread, this is our new favorite way to use “ugly” bananas!
This recipe is a great way to use those “ugly” or imperfect bananas sitting on your kitchen counter!
The secret to making perfect fudge brownies is to mix the ingredients until they are just combined. If you beat the recipe too much, air will be beaten into the mixture and it will cause the brownies will rise in the oven and then collapse. Once removed, and the top of the brownie will tend to separate from its base.
For the brownies:
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (spoon flour into measuring cup and level to top)
1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process (or Natural) cocoa powder; if lumpy, sift through a fine mesh strainer after measuring
1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (any cacao% will work)
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted or unsalted butter
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sugar
For the filling:
2 medium overripe bananas
1/4 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter
For the ganache topping:
10 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips, or chopped chocolate
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts (salted), roughly chopped
1. Rough-chop the peanuts then shake them in a strainer, to remove the powdery bits.
2. Set aside.
STEP I: MAKE THE BROWNIES
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
Spray an 8- x 8- inch baking pan, with nonstick spray and line an 8- x 8-inch baking pan with a long sheet of aluminum foil.
Make sure it covers the bottom and reaches up all four the sides of the pan. If it doesn't, cross another sheet of foil over it, making a large cross with edges that overhang the sides, too.
Grease the bottom and sides of the foil with a bit of butter or non-stick spray. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3. Put the chopped chocolate in a small bowl.
Warm the butter in a saucepan until just melted and remove from the heat.
Pour the butter over the chocolate.
Swirl the pan so the hot butter warms all the chocolate and covers it.
Let the mixture sit 2 minutes. Stir to melt the chocolate. Let cool until slightly warm.
NOTE: You may also melt the butter in the microwave under low power, then pour the chocolate into the melted butter.
4. With a fork, beat the eggs and vanilla together in a medium bowl until just combined.
5. Stir in the sugar with a rubber spatula or spoon. You don't want to whip air into the mixture.
6. Pour in the cooled butter-chocolate mixture and mix until smooth. Do NOT whip.
7. In two additions, fold in the flour mixture until fully combined. The batter will be thick and look like fudge.
STEP II: PREPARE THE BANANAS AND FILL THE BROWNIES.
1. Peel the bananas and slice into 1/3-inch slices or make sure you have 16 slices total.
2. Spoon half the brownie batter into the pan, and smooth until evenly distributed.
3. Place the peanut butter in the microwave and process it for 20 seconds under high, or until it is melted.
4. Spoon the melted peanut butter over the batter.
5. Spoon the rest of the brownie batter over the peanut butter, then smooth it with a small offset spatula.
6. Place banana slices evenly over the batter, in 4 rows of 4.
This will result in one slice per cut brownie.
Push each slice down into the batter, then smooth the batter over the top of each slice, with a small offset spatula.
STEP III: BAKE THE BROWNIES FOR 40 MINUTES. COOL AND FROST WITH GANACHE. TOP WITH ROASTED PEANUTS, AND CHILL.
Bake and cool:
1. Bake the brownies for exactly 40 minutes.
This recipe will puff slightly in the oven, then fall and crack; it's normal. The brownies will seem underdone in the middle but will harden as they cool. DO NOT OVERBAKE.
2. Cool in the pan on a wire cake rack.
When the brownies have cooled, make the ganache topping:
1. Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl.
2. Heat the cream until it is very hot in the microwave.
3. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, and push the chocolate down so it is submerged in the cream.
4. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes, and then stir until the chocolate is melted and the ganache in completely smooth.
Top the brownies and chill:
1. Pour the ganache over the cooled brownies, and spread over the surface of the cooled brownies.
2. Immediately sprinkle the chopped peanuts over the surface of the warm ganache.
3. Place the pan in the refrigerator and chill for at least one hour, to set the ganache.
1. When the ganache has set, remove brownies from the refrigerator.
Pull on the foil overhang to remove the brownies from the pan.
2. Peel the foil away from the brownies and discard.
3. Cut the brownies into 16 squares and serve.
Prepare to swoon! Yes, they are THAT good!
Store in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days.
Bring to room temperature before serving, or serve cold, with a glass of milk or cup of coffee.
Freezes well for up to 3 months.