When a super easy, yet rich chocolate dessert is in order, these Simple Fudgy Brownies, adapted from Alice Medrich, are the answer. An unusual technique creates incredibly dense, dark, and delicious brownies!

The keys to this Best Brownie Recipe are a paper-thin, slightly crinkled top and a soft, fudgy interior. It’s what chocolate lovers crave and what brownie aficionados will adore!

Simple Fudgy Brownies garnished with berries

Why You Should Make

  • This is an Alice Medrich brownie recipe. She’s an author, pastry chef, and former owner of the renowned chocolate dessert shop, Cocolat. She is known for Americanizing the chocolate truffle. Her recipes are phenomenal.
  • Her unusual technique makes for some of the best brownies you’ll ever taste!
  • If you have a chocolate lover near and dear to you, these are the perfect treat.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Makes These Brownies so Unusual?

First, they’re baked at a high heat for brownies, 400 degrees instead of 350 degrees. Then, after they’re pulled out of the oven, the pan is set in an ice water bath to stop the cooking process.

Why is the Pan Plunged into Ice Water?

Putting the hot pan into an ice water bath stops the cooking process. The batter contracts and becomes dense and intense.

How Do You Make Fudgy Brownies?

Look at the recipe ingredients. Fudgy brownies have a larger ratio of fat to flour. For Alice Medrich’s New Classic Brownies recipe, the fat comes from 2 eggs, 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate and 1/2 cup butter. The flour amount is 1/2 cup, so definitely more fat than flour.

Not over cooking and not incorporating too much air into the batter also helps make for fudgier results.

How Can You Intensify the Flavor of Chocolate Desserts?

Coffee and/or espresso intensifies the flavor of chocolate without making the result taste like coffee. Adding a tablespoon of coffee or a teaspoon of espresso powder into the batter will give a boost to the chocolate flavor.

Simple Fudgy Brownies with a dollop of whipped cream

Tips for Making these Fudgy Brownies

This Alice Medrich inspired recipe has one of the most unusual baking techniques I’ve seen. But it’s worked each time I’ve made these winners! They’re an irresistible cross between brownies and fudge! Plus, they’re perfect for the chocoholic in your life!

  • These brownies are baked at 400° for only 20 minutes before being plunged into an ice bath. Weird, huh? But don’t knock ’em till you bake ’em! 
  • But besides this out-of-the-box method, there are a few tips for making brownies, like lining your pan with non-stick foil for easy removal and cutting.
  • PRO-Tip: Use a metal pan NOT a glass pan. The glass will shatter when you plunge the hot brownies into ice water.
  • I like microwaving my chocolate and butter to avoid having an extra pan to wash. Do it gently by stopping, stirring, and restarting until melted. I typically use 30-second increments, then shorter zaps as the chocolate melts.
  • You can stop when there are a few small unmelted bits as the residual heat will continue the melting process. You can always microwave a few seconds more if your chocolate isn’t completely smooth. You do not want to overheat as that can ruin the chocolate.
  • Mix by hand so you don’t add any extra air into the batter.
  • Use a wooden spoon or silicone spatula and just mix until the flour is incorporated.
  • Chill before cutting for perfect squares, but serve at room temperature.

Ingredient Notes

  • Butter – Use salted butter as salt is a flavor enhancer
  • Unsweetened Chocolate – Use the best chocolate you can afford. Ghirardelli is good, but Scharffen Berger is the best.
  • Granulated (white) Sugar – Regular white sugar
  • Bown Sugar – Adds extra moisture and caramel undertones
  • Vanilla – Use only pure vanilla extract. Imitation vanilla cannot compete.
  • Table Salt – Fine salt incorporates more easily than kosher salt.
  • Eggs – Large eggs are used in all my recipes unless otherwise noted.
  • All-Purpose Flour – Regular flour works well.

More  of the Best Brownie Recipes

This brownie recipe was first shared in 2010, republished in 2017, and then updated in 2021

Simple Fudgy Brownies on an oval white dish garnished with fresh berries

Simple Fudgy Brownies

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Yield 16 brownies

Dense, simple fudgy brownies adapted from Alice Medrich's New Classic Brownies.

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400º. Line an 8 inch square metal baking pan with nonstick foil.
  2. Melt butter and chocolate together in the microwave stopping every 30 seconds to stir. When almost completely melted, stir until smooth.
  3. Stir in sugars, vanilla and salt. Stir in eggs one at a time, followed by flour. Stir until very smooth, about 1 minute, until mixture pulls away from sides of bowl. Spread batter in prepared pan and bake 20 minutes.
  4. Prepare a water bath. Pour ice water into a large roasting pan or kitchen sink to a depth of about 1 inch. Remove pan from oven and place in water bath...avoid getting any water on brownies. Let cool completely, then lift out and cut squares.

Notes

Do not use a glass pan as it will shatter when placed in ice water.

Use the best quality chocolate you can afford for the best results.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1 brownie

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 178Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 91mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 1gSugar: 15gProtein: 2g

HOW MUCH DID YOU LOVE THIS RECIPE?

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We just returned from 2 weeks in Switzerland with a couple of days in the Italian lakes district and here it is Father’s Day. We needed something sweet!

Sleep deprivation and fancy, complicated desserts are not a good mix. When I asked the hubby what he wanted for Father’s Day, he replied, “Beer and Mousse.” Knowing him, beef was expected, too.  As usual, I took liberty with his suggestion and decided on these super-rich brownies for dessert.

I discovered them in 2010, coincidentally after we arrived home from a family trip to Italy. Brownies and chocolate chip cookies are my go-to desserts when the brain is fried. There are never any complaints.

Our kids in Rome posing in front of old buildings

 Mini-photo of the kids at the Vatican, circa 2010. After this trip, Nick said I should make these simple fudgy brownies again ASAP.