Maybe it’s not fashionable to admit it anymore, but I like milk chocolate. I like that it is creamy and sweet, with a good balance of darker chocolate and dairy notes. I tend to think that it is under-appreciated when it comes to baking these days because some people are so set on dark chocolate that they overlook milk even in applications where it would work well. Brownies are a good example because you want a dark, fudgy brownie with a rich chocolate flavor. Dark chocolate is a natural fit for brownies – something I definitely agree with – but I think that sometimes you can make it even better by giving it something to contrast with, not just putting dark chocolate on dark chocolate.
To illustrate this theory, I put together brownies that use both.
The brownie base uses unsweetened chocolate and cocoa powder to give it a dark chocolate flavor. You could actually use your favorite dark chocolate in place of the unsweetened chocolate and still get good results, but the overall flavor will be a touch darker when you use unsweetened. I added chopped milk chocolate to the brownie batter, adding extra sweetness in big, melty chunks within that not-too-sweet dark chocolate background! The brownies have a great fudgy texture all by themselves, so the dark and milk chocolate contrast is a great bonus for chocolate-lovers.
It goes without saying that you should use really good quality chocolate in a recipe like this one to get the best flavors. Use any brand you like. I happened to use both Guittard and Ghiradelli in this recipe. And, as I said before, you can use dark chocolate in place of the unsweetened chocolate and still get great results. These brownies won’t last long, but they keep very well in the freezer if you’re not going to eat them within a couple of days of baking them.
Dark and Milk Chocolate Brownies
1/2 cup butter, softened
2-oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup flour
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup chopped milk chocolate chunks
Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease.
In a small, heatproof bowl, melt butter and chocolate together. Stir with a fork until very smooth. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. Whisking steadily, pour chocolate mixture into sugar mixture. Stir until smooth. Sift flour, cocoa powder and salt into the bowl and stir until just combined. Stir in milk chocolate chunk, then pour brownie batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, until brownies set and a toothpick inserted into the middle of the pan comes out with only a few moist crumbs, not batter, attached.
Cool in the pan completely before slicing and serving.
Makes about 20 brownies