The Forum Cafeteria Incredible Chocolate Brownies are rich and decadent, with a flaky top, which takes me back to my youth, Dadeland Mall and Miami.
There was a cafeteria called, The Forum, that was located in Dadeland Mall in South Florida, back in the 60’s-70’s, I believe.
Unfortunately, it no longer exists. They had the most incredible, delicious brownies that I have ever had and to top it off, the brownies were frosted with a soft, but flaky frosting. Last year, I started looking for copycat recipes for those brownies and came up empty.
I tried many brownie recipes and none of them fit the bill, so I started from scratch, literally and after several attempts, I came up with a recipe that fits the bill and created the best brownies I have ever tasted.
I named them The Forum Cafeteria Incredible Chocolate Brownies, because it reminds me of my childhood. My mother was not in my life (her choice) since the age of 12. I don’t really have memories of her. However, I do remember her taking me to pick up brownies at the Forum Cafeteria.
I don’t know if they taste like the brownies from the Forum, but I do know that I do love them as much. Alway, buy the best ingredients you can afford.
I stopped using Nestle and Hershey’s chocolate products (and many other of their products) because they now use substandard ingredients and have business practices that I cannot support. But, that is another story, for another day.
For this brownie recipe, I use the Rodelle Gourmet Baking Cocoa, which is Dutch Processed with Alkali. It is important to understand about the use of baking soda and powder when dealing with Dutch v. Natural processes. The Café Bustelo Freeze Dried Coffee gives these brownies a delicious depth of flavor.
To best understand the differences between Dutch Processed Cocoa and Naturally Processed Cocoa, check out this article on Huff Post.
One of things I love about brownies is the flaky top. The trick to achieving a flaky top is to heat the butter and sugar together to 110°F/120°F which will produce a shiny and flaky top.
After you have reached the correct temperature, lower the temperature and whisk a bit more until the mixture looks shiny.
Add the hot mixture into the cocoa mixture and mix well.
I don’t want you to end up with a rubbery or a brick Brownie and then blame the recipe.
Proper measurement of Flour is essential!
If you want the chocolate chips to melt into the brownies, add them now, otherwise, wait about 20 minutes for the mixture to cool a bit.
By waiting to add the chocolate chips and allowing the mixture to cool, you will see little pockets of chocolate chip goodness when you bit into the brownie.
Grease a glass 9×12 baking pan on the bottom.
Carefully pour the batter into the pan and then bake.
The flakiness on the top is because of cooking the butter and sugar together prior to adding them to the mix.
Try and be patient and let the brownies cool. They actually taste better the next day, after they have dried out a bit. Cover the pan of brownies and keep on the counter or inside the microwave.
Make sure not to store them in a plastic bag on the counter, or they will become soft and soggy and lose the flakey top. The brownies are delicious topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, my Perfect Homemade Whipped Cream and my Hot Chocolate Fudge Ganache!
Kitchen Equipment and Essentials
- Amco Advanced Performance 18/10 Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons
- Culina Stackable (Dry) Stainless Steel Measuring Cups
- Anchor Hocking Glass (Liquid) Measuring Cups
- Rösle Stainless Steel Flat Whisk – a MUST have, probably my most used utensil
- Rodelle Gourmet Baking Cocoa
- Café Bustelo Freeze Dried Coffee
- Alpha Armour Salt Box with Spoon
- Baker’s Math Kitchen Scale
- Candy Thermometer
- Lock N Lock Small Container
- Lock N Lock Storage Container
- 700 watt Stand Mixer
- Stainless Steel 3 Quart Saucepan
- Pyrex Oblong Glass Baking Dish
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Here is the handy printable recipe:
- 4 large eggs
- 70 grams European Dutch Processed Baking Cocoa
- 6 grams teaspoon salt
- 5 grams baking powder
- 7 grams espresso powder
- 15 grams vanilla extract
- 227 g unsalted butter (2 sticks)
- 447 grams sugar
- 230 grams All-Purpose Flour
- 170 grams Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips
- In a mixing bowl, add the eggs, cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder and vanilla. Beat at medium speed for about 4 minutes.
- Melt the butter and sugar in a saucepan over low heat until the mixture becomes shiny, but not bubbly, about 110°F/120°F.
- Pour the hot butter/sugar mixture into the egg/cocoa mixture and mix on low speed until smooth.
- Add the flour and mix until smooth.
- At this point, turn the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan.
- Wait at least 20 minutes* and then gently fold in chocolate chips.
- Spoon the batter into the greased pan.
- Bake for about 35-38 minutes, or until a tester (fork, knife, toothpick) inserted into center comes out clean. Brownies should be set on the edges and the center should be very moist, but not raw.
- Let cool before cutting.
*If you want the chocolate chips to melt into the brownies, don't wait the 20 minutes and preheat the oven at the start of the preparation.