The 1-Ingredient Upgrade Your Brownies Need, According to a Recipe Developer|Recipes Spots

  • on September 20, 2023
The 1-Ingredient Upgrade Your Brownies Need, According to a Recipe Developer

Brownie on a plate with other brownies (yellow illustration next to the top brownie)
Simply Recipes / Photo Illustration by Wanda Abraham / Adobe Stock

While I bake many different desserts, my brownies are the most requested by my friends and family. I’ve baked more batches of brownies than I can count and because of that, I have earned the distinction of official brownie baker.

I take my job as lead brownie chef very seriously. I’ve put in the hours, I’ve made the messes, and for every great batch, I’ve made an equal number of ho-hum batches. Mostly because I didn’t add my secret ingredient. What is it that makes my brownies so special? It comes down to adding one simple thing.

Brownies Are the Easiest Dessert

Before I reveal my secret ingredient, let’s talk about why brownies are the perfect dessert. Brownies, unlike many other baked goods, are relatively easy to make from scratch. While there are some decent boxed brownie mixes out there, they’ll never compare to the kind you make at home.

That’s because a good brownie recipe doesn’t require many ingredients and the ones needed are likely already in your fridge and pantry. Plus, most recipes can be made using just one bowl and making a batch of brownies will usually take no more than 45 minutes, start to finish. That means you can whip up a batch before dinner to enjoy for dessert after dinner. 

Two brownies on a square plate, and in the background, a glass of milk and a plate with more brownies
Simply Recipes / Adobe Stock

The Secret Ingredient

There are plenty of ways to elevate your brownie—using browned butter is one example. My secret is simple. Fold in chopped chocolate just before baking your brownies. It’s an easy addition that results in delicious, rich brownies that will make you swoon. 

Buy a 1.5-ounce bar—for a recipe that yields brownies in an 8×8-inch pan—of good quality chocolate. Buy something you like, preferably 60% to 70% cacao for that deep, rich chocolate flavor.

Unwrap it and place it on a cutting board. Use a large chef’s knife to cut it into shards or irregularly cut pieces. Uniformity is not needed or desired here, so don’t stress about cutting things perfectly or evenly. Fold the chopped chocolate into the batter with two to three quick, gentle stirs and proceed with scraping the batter into your pan for baking.

Why This Secret Is So Good

No one knows I put extra chocolate in my brownies (except for my daughter who is curiously always around when I’m baking). That’s because the chopped chocolate almost completely disappears when baked.

Cutting the chocolate into shards creates thin pieces with a larger surface area than chocolate chips so that when exposed to heat, the pieces easily melt into the brownies. It creates delicious little pockets of chocolate and makes for an incredibly, decadent brownie, without much extra work. Now that you know my secret, you should give it a try! 

Stack of Homemade Cosmic Brownies and more on the counter around it
Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

The Best Brownie Recipes

  • Cosmic Brownies
  • Tahini Swirl Brownies
  • 3-Spice Brownies
  • Flourless Soy Sauce Brownies
  • Fluffernutter Brownies
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