I never thought it would come to this, but I have to admit that brownies are not always the ideal dessert for every occasion, or every season. They are very nearly perfect but devastatingly rich, and in the heat of the summer I have actually heard myself utter the words “I’m just not in the mood for brownies.”
Desperate times call for desperate measures, so I decided a summer version of the recipe was in high order. These resulting chocolaty treats are bit lighter on the butter and cocoa, dotted with brightly tart berries, and bursting with flavor, the perfect ending for a summer picnic or barbecue.
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cold large eggs
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup mixed berries, frozen or fresh (blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc)
1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F/165°C. Line the bottom and sides of the baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.
2. Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a double boiler. Stir occasionally until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and hot. Remove from heat and let cool slightly until the mixture is only warm, not hot.
3. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for one minute with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Spread evenly in the lined pan. Scatter berries evenly over the surface of the batter.
4. Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting into 16 or 25 squares. Eat as-is, or serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.