Chef Jürgen's brownies.

Chef Jürgen’s Favorite Brownies

Fruit, nuts and a topping, this brownie hits every note.

In a recent video with Epicurious, ICE's Director of Pastry Research & Development Jürgen David blind taste-tested prominent boxed and premade brownies commonly found in grocery stores. He sampled over 10 different brands, evaluated the depth of flavor and texture and deduced how the ingredients for each brownie influenced the final product.

Spoiler alert, none of the brownies he tasted were a 10 out of 10 in his book. So, what does Chef Jürgen look for in this sweet treat? A fudgy brownie with a shiny crust, more chocolate than cocoa powder, and mix-ins for added texture.  

Luckily for you, he shares his favorite brownie recipe below. It’s very chocolatey, with melted chocolate and cocoa powder mixed into the batter, added chocolate chips and a rich, chocolate ganache topping. The small percentage of flour translates to a fudgy texture, and whipping the eggs helps to dissolve the sugar to help form a crust on top. Dried cherries are plumped in orange juice that contributes a sweet, sunny tartness, and chopped walnuts bring even more texture.

Don’t like cherries? Omit them! Not a fan of walnuts? Swap for a nut of your choice. The chocolate ganache takes the brownies to a whole new level of decadence, but they can stand without it should you opt-out.

One more tip from Chef Jürgen: Coat the walnuts and chocolate chips with a little bit of the flour mixture so they don’t sink to the bottom. 


Chef Jürgen’s Favorite Brownies

Yields: 20 2.5x3” brownies


For the Brownies:

  • 120 mililiters orange juice
  • 90 grams dried cherries
  • 6 eggs
  • 480 grams granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 380 grams semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped in small pieces
  • 240 grams butter
  • 150 grams all-purpose flour
  • 30 grams cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 90 grams walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 45 grams chocolate chips (can swap in dark, milk or white chocolate, chopped)

For the Ganache:

  • 200 mililiters heavy cream
  • 200 grams chocolate


For the Brownies:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Make an “X” with nonstick cooking spray on a half-sheet pan and line it with parchment paper; this prevents the parchment paper from sliding in the pan.
  3. In a saucepan, bring the orange juice and the dried cherries to a boil. Set aside to cool.
  4. Heat the chocolate and butter in a bain-marie until just melted.
  5. Whisk the eggs, vanilla and sugar in a mixer until light in color and mixture is very fluffy.
  6. Pour the chocolate and butter into the egg mixture, adding it all at once with the mixer turned off to prevent it from setting up in little pieces.
  7. Sift the all-purpose flour, cocoa powder and salt into the egg and chocolate mixture and mix until just combined.
  8. Add the walnuts, chocolate chips, cherries and the soaking liquid, and mix just enough to combine.
  9. Using an offset spatula, spread the batter on the prepared half-sheet pan. Bake the brownies at 350°F for 10–15 minutes, or until a knife or skewer comes out clean.

For the Ganache:

  1. Prepare the ganache by warming the heavy cream and pouring it over the chocolate. Let it sit for a few minutes, then stir to combine.
  2. Spread the cooling ganache over the brownies.
  3. Cut the brownies into rectangles and serve.

*This recipe is from the French Culinary Institute.

More recipes from Chef Jürgen:

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