Brownies just don’t get more wicked than this! Extra rich. Fudgy. Boozy. Addicting. Truly, everything a brownie should be. Enter, Wicked Black Magic Brownies.
Why “wicked” for our Wicked Black Magic Brownies? Well…the wicked comes from the bourbon. Trust us. Just wait until you take a whiff of the pan after drizzling on the bourbon. Candles should come in this scent! Why “black magic”? Of course, this comes from the combination of deep, dark, bittersweet chocolate (we have used both Green & Black’s and Callebaut), fine quality unsweetened cocoa (to jack up the chocolate flavor), espresso powder (to enhance the chocolate flavor) and Muscovado or dark brown sugar to really make this brownie rich in flavor and totally take it to “the dark side”.
The first time I had ever come across a recipe for a “boozy brownie” was when friends of ours, when we were living in Lexington, Kentucky, gave us a recipe. I was amazed that the recipe called for a full ¼ cup of good bourbon, poured over an 8-inch pan of hot freshly baked brownies. How novel is that? I was fascinated by this. The brownie recipe itself was decent enough, but not to the level we had become used to for chocolate content. Once you have experienced exceptional brownies made the right way with plenty of good chocolate and real butter, with a fudgy yet ever so slight “cake-like” texture, your taste buds and brain immediately notice what is lacking.
Immediately, I set out to improve upon the recipe as I usually do to achieve what we were after. For our fine Kentucky bourbon (we use Blanton’s but have used Maker’s Mark as well), The Big Lug and I decided that we needed a brownie to hold its own with the bourbon. Furthermore, we wanted a rich brownie chock full of toasted nuts yet a very slight cake-like texture so the brownies would absorb the bourbon well. I added a tiny amount of baking powder and it helped achieve the texture we wanted. Still, I continued to play around with the recipe.
It wasn’t until the mid-1990s that I perfected the recipe. And, as usual, it was Maida Heatter, “The First Lady of Desserts”, to the rescue! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that Maida called for 3 tablespoons of bourbon in her recipe for Bittersweet Chocolate Brownies. And, yes…she poured it immediately over the baked brownies, fresh and piping hot from the oven, just like the Kentucky recipe. In Maida’s recipe, she calls for 8 ounces of chocolate as well. However, she splits it between 2 ounces of unsweetened and 6 ounces of semisweet. Since I go for the bittersweet, I made our recipe 100% bittersweet.
Soon, due to Maida’s influence, to enhance chocolate flavor in recipes, I found myself adding espresso powder to chocolate batters and even to my chocolate biscotti dough. This was pure genius! Well, I kept messing around and messing around with the recipe until we finally decided that 4 tablespoons, versus Maida’s 3 tablespoons, of bourbon was the clear winner. This, of course, depends on your own taste buds. You control the level of wickedness. How cool is that?
Also, we thought our chocolate and cocoa combination was top-notch. We agreed with Maida that the brownies needed to have an “enormous amount of nuts” as she put it in her book, Maida Heatter’s Brand-New Book of Great Cookies. She called for 2 cups, but we preferred 1½ cups. Also, we decided to toast our nuts first before adding them to the brownie batter. This is important because the toasty nuttiness really complements the espresso powder in these fudgy boozy brownies.
So, what are you waiting for? Venture on over to “the dark side” and whip up a batch of these bad boys, my friends. Our Wicked Black Magic Brownies are definitely dark side of the moon, wicked!
Happy First Day of Fall (tomorrow), Y’all!
- 8 ounces (227 grams) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- ½ cup (1 stick or 113 grams) unsalted butter, plus extra for baking pan
- ½ cup (70 grams) all-purpose flour, such as Gold Medal®
- ¼ cup (28 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted, such as Pernigotti
- 2 teaspoons (3 grams) instant espresso granules
- ½ teaspoon (4 grams) kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon (1.2 grams) baking powder
- ¾ cup (150 grams) organic granulated cane sugar
- ½ cup (106 grams) firmly packed organic Muscovado (or dark brown sugar)
- 2 large eggs + 1 egg yolk (125 grams), slightly beaten & at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract, such as Nielsen-Massey®
- 1½ cups (110 grams) coarsely chopped or broken toasted walnuts or pecans
- ¼ cup bourbon (or cognac, rum or scotch)
Tips:How to Toast Nuts: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place nuts in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet. (You may line the baking sheet with parchment paper.) Bake until nuts become fragrant and lightly browned, about 7 to 8 minutes. Stir halfway through baking time and watch closely to prevent nuts from burning. Cool nuts completely before chopping and adding to recipe. To speed the cooling process for the toasted nuts, immediately transfer to plate and place in freezer for 5 to 8 minutes. For Gluten Free Option: Substitute approximately ½ cup + 1 tablespoon (70 grams) Cup4Cup (C4C) Gluten-Free Flour, available at Williams-Sonoma. Pernigotti Cocoa is truly an exceptional cocoa and is available at Williams-Sonoma. It is one of our favorites! Recipe Source: WickedGoodKitchen.com Copyright © Wicked Good Kitchen. All content and images are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words. Alternatively, link back to this post for the recipe.