I searched and searched online for a good brownie recipe. I landed the brownie secret is cake flour. Here’s the secret:

The protein content of cake flour is about 8%, while the protein content of all purpose flour is about 10-11%. You need a little gluten for structure but not so much that it gets tough and chewy. Gluten gives structure, moisture and sponginess to your baking. (source: thekitchn.com)

Don’t have cake flour on hand? Make your own: (makes 1 cup cake flour)

Place 2 T of cornstarch into an empty 1 cup measuring cup and top it up with the all purpose flour. Make sure it’s mixed well before adding to your recipe.

Classic Brownies

1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped (optional)
1¼ cups cake flour
½ t salt
¾ t baking powder
6 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine
12 T unsalted butter, cut into six 1-inch pieces
2¼ cups sugar
4 eggs
1 T vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line a 9×13 pan with foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. Butter foil-lined pan. Whisk to combine flour, salt, and baking powder in medium bowl; set aside. In microwave, heat butter and chocolate in large bowl for 45 seconds, stir and heat for 30 seconds more, making sure chocolate doesn’t burn. When chocolate mixture is completely smooth gradually whisk in sugar. Add eggs on at a time, whisking after each addition until combined. Whisk in vanilla. Add flour mixture folding with rubber spatula until batter is completely smooth. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Sprinkle nuts (if using) evenly over batter and bake about 30 to 35 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool to room temperature then remove brownies from pan by lifting foil overhang. Cut & serve… *yum*

Images: sammyw