I compared brownie recipes from Ina Garten and Gordon Ramsay.
Garten's "outrageous" brownies are decadent, with a nutty crunch.
But Ramsay's easy and delicious "world's best brownies" won my heart.
Now that the holiday season is in full swing, I've been craving the comfort of a delicious brownie.
So I put recipes from Gordon Ramsay and Ina Garten to the test.
First up is Gordon Ramsay's recipe for the "world's best brownies."
That changed when I came across his recipe for the "world's best brownies."
With a name like that, I obviously had to try it.
Ramsay's brownies include a lot of dark chocolate.
Because Ramsay's and Garten's recipes use two different measurement systems, we converted this recipe to US units of measurement.
To make a serving of 15-20 brownies, you'll need:
½ pound dark chocolate, broken into squares or roughly chopped
¼ pound dark chocolate, chopped into small chunks (optional)
½ pound butter, diced, plus extra for greasing
¾ cup caster sugar (granulated sugar works too)
½ cup light-brown sugar
½ cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Ramsay lists two separate chocolate measurements because the small chunks are added to the brownies in the middle of the baking process. To simplify things, I bought two bags of dark-chocolate chunks (each was 10 ounces/283 grams) for this recipe.
I used one full bag for melting the chocolate, and used a third of the second bag while adding more chunks to my brownies. It was a little more chocolate than Ramsay intended, but I loved the results.
I began by preheating the oven, prepping my baking pan, and melting some chocolate.
After setting the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, I greased my pan and lined it with parchment paper.
Then I diced the butter and threw it into a heatproof bowl with my chocolate. Since I didn't have enough pans to melt the chocolate over the stove (known as the double-boiler or bain-marie method), I used the microwave instead. Ramsay recommends throwing the chocolate and butter into the microwave for 3 minutes, but my mixture was ready in 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
After melting the chocolate, I whisked in the sugars and added my eggs, vanilla, and dry ingredients.
I sifted the flour and salt over the batter, then stirred everything together until it was smooth and combined.
I poured my batter into the lined pan and baked my brownies for a total of 40 minutes.
I baked my brownies for 20 minutes, then took my pan out of the oven so I could add the extra chocolate chunks. Ramsay's recipe says you should "vigorously throw the chunks of chocolate" into the brownie mix at this stage, which was surprisingly therapeutic.
I let the brownies bake for an additional 20 minutes, then let them cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
Ramsay's brownies are a chocolate lover's dream.
Ramsay's decision to stick to dark chocolate really helps this recipe shine, because the brownies are indulgent without tasting sickly sweet. I also loved how many chocolate chunks were stuffed into each brownie, adding some texture to all that fudginess.
I made these brownies for my boyfriend Peter, who said he loved their "smooth, irresistible chocolate flavor."
These brownies taste fantastic alone, but adding some vanilla ice cream would also make for an incredible dessert.
Now it's time to talk about Garten's outrageous brownies, which she used to make at the Barefoot Contessa store.
In her first cookbook, "The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook," Garten writes that these brownies used to fly off the shelves and that she sold "like a thousand" a week.
Garten's outrageous brownies feature two types of chocolate, instant coffee, and walnuts.
To make a serving of 20 (large) brownies, you'll need:
1 pound unsalted butter
1 pound plus 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
6 ounces bitter chocolate
6 extra-large eggs
3 cups chopped walnuts
2 ¼ cups sugar
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons instant-coffee granules
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
After preheating the oven and prepping my baking sheet, I began to melt my chocolate.
I set the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, then buttered and floured my pan.
I had enough pans to use the bain-marie method while I was making Garten's brownies. So I melted my butter, bitter chocolate, and one pound of the chocolate chips in a saucepan that was placed over a pot of simmering water.
I combined my wet ingredients and then added the melted chocolate.
I added my eggs, vanilla, sugar, and instant coffee to a bowl. Garten says in her recipe that you should stir the ingredients together without beating the eggs, so be careful!
I kept stirring as I added the melted chocolate and butter, then allowed the mixture to cool to room temperature. You don't want the batter to melt the chocolate chips, which Garten says will ruin the brownies.
I sifted my dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then added them to the cooled chocolate mixture.
Before adding the chocolate chips and walnuts to my batter, I tossed them with ¼ cup of flour.
Garten says this trick helps prevent the chocolate chips and walnuts from sinking to the bottom of the brownies while they're in the oven.
I added my batter to the pan and baked my brownies for 35 minutes total.
After the first 20 minutes, I hit the baking sheet against the oven rack. Garten says this helps release air that builds up between the brownies and the pan during the baking process.
Garten's brownies tasted luscious and decadent.
Each bite of Garten's brownies tasted deliciously rich and fudgy, and I loved how much crunch the walnuts and chocolate chips added. I'm not surprised they used to be one of Garten's most popular dishes at Barefoot Contessa.
I made these for my parents and Peter, and everyone was a huge fan. These brownies were definitely made to impress.
This celebrity chef showdown couldn't have been tighter, but if I had to pick a winner, it would be Ramsay.
There are really no losers here because both Ramsay's and Garten's recipes are delicious and easy to make, but I was a slightly bigger fan of Ramsay's dark-chocolate brownies. I love the fact that, save for two bags of chocolate chips, I already had all the ingredients for Ramsay's brownies in the pantry. It's one of the quickest and easiest desserts you could make in a pinch but still tastes really impressive.
But Garten's brownies also taste fantastic, and anyone who prefers a little extra nutty crunch should try these at home.
Will Ramsay win our next celebrity showdown? Guess you'll just have to come back to find out.
Read the original article on Business Insider