The first contender in round one of our brownie-weight championship is the cakey brownie—a perennial underdog in the battle of the brownies (with fudgy as the favorite). My version of a cakey brownie uses cashew butter for added moistness and a hint of nutty flavor. They’re really very good and could up the odds.
This may not be everyone’s idea of a cakey brownie, it tends to the fudgier side of the scale. If you like an even cakier brownie, up the flour by ¼ cup and the baking powder by ¼ teaspoon.
Makes 24 2 x 2-inch squares
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter
½ cashew butter
2 cups sugar
1 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 ¼ cups Dutch-processs cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
5 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk (anything from skim to whole)
With a rack in the center position, heat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ cake pan.
Heat the butter and cashew butter together in a small saucepan, stirring occasionally, until smooth and just starting to bubble.
Meanwhile, sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt together into a bowl. Set aside.
Scrape the butter mix into a bowl with the sugar and beat with a handheld mixer until very smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each one, then beat in the vanilla extract.
Stir in half the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until mostly blended. Add the milk and do the same. Add the remaining dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just a streak or two of dry ingredients remain. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake the brownies until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs attached, about 30 minutes. The brownies should feel set both on the edges and in the center.