Helene’s Brownies

helene chocolate brownie recipe_-5

The French do a lot of baked goods very well. if you’ve been to Paris, you don’t need me to tell you that with over 1300 bakeries in Paris, it’s not hard to find a pastry or baked good on every block that will be more satisfying than you can imagine.

One of the rare baked goods that the French haven’t quite mastered are les brownies. If you see them in bakeries and try one, you’ll find they’re often on the pas humid side. I’m not sure why, because they’re simple to make, and don’t require any special techniques: You just stir everything together, scrape the batter into a pan, and bake them. The only astuce (cooking tip) is that it’s important to watch them like a hawk, taking them out of the oven at the point where they’re still going to be soft and crémeux à l’intérieur.

Hélène's Chocolate Brownie Recipe

In August, we were visiting some friends who live on an organic farm in the Poitou-Charentes, and after dinner, Hélène, presented us with a large tart-like creation that looked like a big, flat chocolate cake that she’d baked up in between her other chores. I was told they were les brownies, but hers were different. In addition to a little bit of coconut that was added, which gave them a slightly elusive tropical flavor, they were moist and uber-chocolaty. I couldn’t keep myself away from them.

Hélène's Chocolate Brownie Recipe

The French don’t usually snack with the same fervor that Americans do (Romain’s father was once shocked to learn that I ate between meals), but I spend a good part of my day picking at any and all desserts that are within arm’s reach. And when everyone else was out in the fields down on the farm, weeding and working on hedges, I stayed back in the house, reading in a comfy chair — and found myself circling back around and around the pan of brownies, cutting off une lichette (a sliver), to help myself.

Hélène's Chocolate Brownie Recipe

Now I can make them at home, where no one’s watching me, and I don’t need to feel guilty about not participating in the weeding. (Not that I did when I was there. But still…) I tinkered a bit with the recipe, and mine came out even richer and moister than I could have imagined, although I stuck with her idea of baking them in a round pan rather than a traditional square one.

Many French baking recipes don’t specify pan sizes, which confounds most Americans. The original recipe just said to pour the batter “dans un moule,” which I’m used to, and just assumed it was an 8- or 9-inch pan (20-23cm.) But I was confounded by the words “chocolate à cuire,” which means “cooking chocolate.” In America, that would be unsweetened chocolate (which we sometimes call “baking chocolate,” which isn’t widely used in France for home baking. And it’s very rare to find it in grocery stores. So I thought it unusual for a recipe to call for that.

Hélène's Chocolate Brownie Recipe

Turns out it just means “chocolate that you bake with,” another reason why translating things directly isn’t always the best policy. Thanks to some French bakers on Twitter, and Hélène, I got the right chocolate, and dug into my generous stash of bittersweet chocolate that I always have on hand. (Which isn’t immune to my greedy hands either.)

The other thing I got right was that, sure enough, these brownies were ripe for the picking, and I spent the better part of a few days cutting off lichettes of brownies to snack on. So just a warning if you make these; you’ll probably find yourself doing the same thing, too.

Hélène's Chocolate Brownie Recipe

Helene's Brownies
Print Recipe
Eight to ten servings
Hélène told me that because she’s from Brittany, she uses salted butter, because in Brittany the butter is usually salted — even for baking. You could replace the water with coffee or espresso for ramped-up brownies, if you’d like a little extra buzz in there. The original recipe called for adding almond flour, so if you don’t like coconut, you can use that. I couldn’t resist adding a handful of chocolate chips, and feel free to add some nuts if you’d like.
7 ounces (200g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup (60ml) water
4 ounces (115g) butter, salted or unsalted, cubed
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
2 tablespoons flour
4 medium or large eggs
2 tablespoons unsweetened dessicated coconut flakes (see Note)
1/3 cup (65g) chocolate chips
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC.)
2. Butter a 9-inch (23cm) springform pan then dust the bottom with cocoa powder (or a bit of flour), then tap out the excess.
3. In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate, water, and butter together, stirring constantly, until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar and flour, then the eggs, one by one.
4. Mix in the coconut and chocolate chips. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the center feels just about set; err on the side of underbaked a little if you want a creamy center.
5. Let cool, then slice into wedges.

Storage: The brownies can be frozen for up to two months, if well wrapped. Because they are quite moist, they’re somewhat fragile so pack them carefully if you freeze them.

Note: Unsweetened desiccated coconut, sometimes called shredded coconut, is often available at natural food stores, or online. You can also use flaked or shredded dried coconut, grinding it a bit in a food processor or blender before adding it to the batter.

Related Posts and Recipes

Chocolate FAQs

Baked Mint Brownies

Gluten-Free Brownies

Dulce de Leche Brownies


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89 comments

  • September 25, 2014 9:40am

    Looooving the looks of these. The French definitely do sweets and baked goods well, and these brownies are calling my name!

  • june2
    September 25, 2014 10:03am

    Huh, great minds…just made brownies today with the addition of coconut shreds.

  • September 25, 2014 10:59am

    Could you be more specific about the kind of chocolate you used for this? I live in Norway where it’s even crazier to try to figure out what kind of chocolate they use for baking. Would a 60-70% bar of Valrhona or Lindt chocolate work? (Those are pretty much my choices if I don’t go for baking chocolate!) Thanks in advance for your input.

    • September 25, 2014 11:07am
      David Lebovitz

      I used Cacao Barry chocolate that is in the 60% range of cacao solids. When I wrote to my friend, she said she used “du banal chocolat Nestlé”, which is a popular baking chocolate (chocolat à cuire), sold in most supermarkets, which a lot of people use in France for baking projects. Valrhona and Lindt chocolates would work, too.

      • September 26, 2014 1:40am

        is there any way to translate the chocolate to unsweetened baking cocoa? Chocolate bars I don’t have on hand, but cocoa I keep.

  • September 25, 2014 11:54am

    Love coconut in brownies and loving the sounds of this brownies. On our trip to Paris, the charms of the bakeries around every block was mind blowing.

  • September 25, 2014 12:24pm

    Oh my! this looks so scrumptious. I might just have to make this tonight!!

  • September 25, 2014 12:33pm

    @Judah In Norway I would go for Freia 70% kokesjokolade or (store-brand) Coop 70% Kokesjokolade. There really isn’t much in the range between 70% cocoa solids and the next step down which would be 50% Eldorado Mørk kokesjokolade.

  • Anna
    September 25, 2014 2:08pm

    David, these look scrumptious. The last time I tried to make brownies in France, however, they were a disaster due to (I believe) the difference in French and American flour. Will this recipe work in the States?

  • September 25, 2014 2:23pm

    I always enjoy your discussions of French eating, cooking and baking customs. It’s such a pleasure to be privy to these little facts about the lives of others! Baking chocolate in general is not a concept I encountered before I moved to North America. In Russia and Israel, you would just use whatever chocolate you wouldn’t really feel like you’re wasting! I understand that’s probably an erroneous approach to baking with chocolate, which can actually elevate it to the degree of a culinary masterpiece, but what can you do…

  • September 25, 2014 3:01pm
    David Lebovitz

    Anna: It only has 2 tablespoons of flour, so it should work with any flour. If anything, French flour has less protein than the equivalent in U.S. flour so without knowing what the disaster was, it should work just fine.

    Ksenia: Yes, most people in France just use whatever chocolate is available and aren’t all that concerned about percentages. Some of the “high percentage” chocolates can affect things like ganache, but in brownies, you have a lot more latitude.

    • Leata
      October 4, 2014 6:07am

      Just so you know I have made this recipe twice now with 90 percent chocolate, rice flour to make it gluten free and half a cup of pitted dates that had been soaked in water and turned into a paste in the food processor (instead of the sugar). The substitutions worked a treat! Thanks for the recipe!

  • September 25, 2014 3:13pm

    Life is just too short to skip the between-meal brownie sneaks. I love the coconut in here—it seems like the perfect addition to take these from “irresistible” to “I dare you try try and pry this pan away from me!”

  • September 25, 2014 3:52pm

    These look fantastic, and the coconutty twist sounds interesting. I think this will be the baking project for the weekend. Thanks!

  • September 25, 2014 4:56pm

    I’m quite the fan of your “Best Ever” brownie recipe already, so I wonder how these stack up. Which one would you make if you had to choose?

    And I assume this would work without the coconut? Or is the coconut there for texture as well? Will the brownie be too runny without it?

  • September 25, 2014 5:02pm

    When you bake it in the round mold its almost like a fancier French brownie tart than just a regular old square little chunk of brownie ;)

  • Leticia
    September 25, 2014 5:10pm

    Yum! I can’t imagine brownies better than your “Robert’s Absolute Best Brownies” from Ready for Dessert. I will have to try these sometime, but I would be risking a mutiny if my family doesn’t get their favorite. Maybe will make two batches!

  • Céline
    September 25, 2014 5:15pm

    Hélène a bien le tour !

  • Tanya
    September 25, 2014 5:36pm

    I always find it funny that the French have problems with brownies. They do things like flans and moelleux au chocolat so well that something so simple as a brownie should be a no-brainer. I must try this one; the added coconut is beguiling. Thanks for sharing.

    • September 25, 2014 5:48pm
      David Lebovitz

      I think it’s because sometimes, people think of something as a “concept,” but don’t understand what is actually is. I’ve been “baguettes” in the U.S. that are stubby, doughy looking things. When hamburgers took off in France, most were served on supermarket buns with invariably overcooked burgers inside. (Which is odd, because most French people I know prefer their beef very rare.) I think the idea of a burger actually being something delicious and well-made wasn’t obvious, since the more prominent reference they had to burgers was McDonalds.

  • September 25, 2014 5:41pm

    I love to snack between meals, little slivers here and there are very good. I will make this soon but without the coconut ( I’m not a fan) . I was thinking of adding dried cranberries. Thanks David, for another great recipe.

  • September 25, 2014 5:42pm

    I knew the ‘cooking chocolate’ in Switzerland also under the name ‘Blockschokolade’ which means ‘a bloc of chocolate’ and it came in tablets of 200gr which could (with some force) be broken up in smaller squares of 25g approx which made it easier to get the right quantity for your baking. I have gone off baking choc stuff myself because I can always get them from my still baking sisters but I have to admit that your ‘cake’ slices look absolutely fantastic, crusty on the outside and tender inside. Aaah, makes me weak in the knees…. :)

  • Victoria S
    September 25, 2014 5:44pm

    Perhaps a silly question, but does it have to be baked in a springform pan? I don’t have one, and didn’t know if a regular 8-9″ nonstick round baking dish would work?

    • September 25, 2014 5:52pm
      David Lebovitz

      Sure, but they may be a challenge to remove neatly. You can line the inside with foil, then spray it with nonstick spray (buttering foil is a challenge) – and lift them out that way when done. You can also use a square pan, although you may need to adjust baking times.

  • Jan Johnston
    September 25, 2014 5:44pm

    I will definitely be making these brownies! But I must make a comment about your copper pots. They look just like mine! I will no longer feel guilty that I don’t polish them.

  • marketmaster
    September 25, 2014 6:07pm

    At our house cutting off “une lichette” is known as “straightening up” the cake.

  • September 25, 2014 6:07pm

    I find coconut (in granola) and coconut oil in baked goods, heightens the flavors like nothing else can. I also like to use a round pan/pie dish for brownies (then a scoop of ice cream on the side makes a great dessert…sometimes with raspberry coulis). That’s if I can keep myself from eating it all first. Nice recipe and post!

  • September 25, 2014 6:17pm

    On a different tangent I wanted to let your readers know (those who live in France and in the Ile de France region anyway) that yesterday I managed to find a fun-set of ‘spoon/cup’ sizes at Auchan for the regal sum of one €…. The best bit is that the spoons have a small measuring ‘cup’ for half a teaspoon etc on one side and sort of a shovel for larger measures on the other end – which for 4 inter-fitting spoons is tops and to make it even better they are all held together by a tiny magnet-button. Pure genius and I finally don’t have to rely to looking up measures on the computer for not-converted recipes. Not everybody is as considerate as you are!
    Thank you again for all the yummy stuff you share with us, for the cultural & social experiences and the wonderful photo work and descriptions.

  • anne walker
    September 25, 2014 6:21pm

    I’m not a fan of coconut. Assume that leaving it out won’t effect the recipe.

  • September 25, 2014 6:31pm

    This is very similar to my recipe from an old Blue Ribbon cookbook. Since I use cocoa powder .. 3 Tablespoon plus 1 Tablespoon of oil/fat/butter = 1 oz square of baking chocolate, it makes this one pot recipe even quicker! I add chill flakes, raisins, cranberries, walnuts.. what ever I have in my pantry! This pan of brownies doesn’t last long!

  • laline
    September 25, 2014 6:38pm

    David, thanks for this new recipe which I can’t wait to try. Snacking is a hard habit to remove. With my doctor advocating a wheat-free diet, I am so excited to try this recipe and will substitute almond flour as suggested. I will also try using almond butter instead of almond flour.

  • Philip
    September 25, 2014 6:38pm

    I thought I was the only one who made brownies and blondies in round pans.

    I use an 8″ round aluminum layer cake pan, well buttered and with a parchment round on the bottom, also buttered. I found they cooked more evenly than when using a square pan, although you have to be careful when un-molding because the top surface can be fragile. My favorite? Cocoanut-walnut blondies with Valrhona feves.

  • Amy
    September 25, 2014 6:42pm

    Can the chocolate sell on the candy aisle ( same cocoa percentage) can be use in baking the same way as the chocolate sell on the baking aisle ? (interchangeable?) Thanks

  • Beth
    September 25, 2014 6:56pm

    Does that mean we could use almond flour instead of regular flour, or instead of coconut?

  • Kathy
    September 25, 2014 6:59pm

    Our farmers’ eggs come in sizes that are all over the place, even in the same dozen package. But that’s ok because they are delicious. Thus, getting to “four medium or large eggs” sometimes gives this baker pause. Would you be willing to include gram weights for eggs as well? Thanks!

  • September 25, 2014 7:03pm

    Love the addition of coconut! Delicious!

  • September 25, 2014 7:13pm

    I wonder how extra Virgin coconut oil would taste in place of the butter. I will make the original version and then try it with the coconut oil.

  • Nonie
    September 25, 2014 8:05pm

    I just sent this wonderful (humorously written) recipe to my 18 yr-old, 100% American daughter who is living with a couple on Rue Saint-Michel for the year. Snacking is something I was hoping she might forego, but she loves making brownies and since I miss her I instead suggested she try these for her house parents. Thanks for the questions especially from Judah on which chocolate and for the responses from Anne and David. (Hopefully she will read the comments before diving in.)

  • Lynn
    September 25, 2014 8:16pm

    Thanks for the recipe, and adding some new French words to my vocab.

  • Rckyrd
    September 25, 2014 8:30pm

    I have a bit of trouble when I bake at a friends place in the Lot.
    Flours are different but getting locally milled ones are good
    for basic things. But if a french recipe calls for bicarbonate
    d’ammonium is it baking powder, like in the US or is it
    baking ammonia- hartshorn?
    Those little envelopes in the grocery store are baking powder.
    I believe, but what I am making is extremely crisp so maybe its
    The other?
    Thanks.

  • Bernadette
    September 25, 2014 8:30pm

    I was just thinking about making browines today, perfect timing David! These look and sound wonderful but honestly, I’m in love with the photo of the chocolate with that beautiful gold French butter!

  • Claire
    September 25, 2014 9:17pm

    A clarification please. You say “The original recipe called for adding almond flour, so if you don’t like coconut, you can use that”. Does this mean adding the almond flour (in the same amount as the coconut) in addition to the other flour if you choose not to add the coconut?

  • Sarah
    September 25, 2014 9:29pm

    So, if the French don’t snack between meals what do they do when they get hungry before dinner (a super late dinner)?

  • September 25, 2014 9:31pm

    Like Katrina, I am smitten with your, Best Ever, brownie recipe, so when I saw this one I had a panic attack and thought this, “How could Honey Bunches possibly improve upon an item that is already Blue Ribbon?” I don’t know, Sweets, but I’ll try it just because you’ve suggested it. But just so you know, I ain’t writing it down for my hard copy file until it passes my yum test. I never mess with perfection.
    ;-)

  • September 25, 2014 9:47pm

    looks amazing. I still love your brownies – David Lebovitz’ absolute best. :-)
    These look really good too, more gooey I suppose.

  • Jake Sterling
    September 25, 2014 9:53pm

    I have been trying a few different brownie recipes lately and have been surprised to find that the ones I made with cocoa powder seem better — and by «better» I mean «more chocolatey» — than those made with actual chocolate. I haven’t tried your recipe yet; I am waiting until it’s my turn to bring coffee hour snacks: but I would be curious to hear your thoughts on cocoa vs. chocolate in the fine art of brownie-making.

  • Amwildwood
    September 25, 2014 10:11pm

    Sorry, but I’m forever sticking to the supernatural brownie recipe from your site. I still think they’re the best ever.

  • Corine
    September 25, 2014 10:23pm

    Beautiful, comme toujours. I am trying these bad boys this weekend!

  • Beth
    September 25, 2014 11:19pm

    Is this similar in texture to your Chocolate Idiot (I feel bad even typing that!) Cake?

  • Catherine
    September 25, 2014 11:21pm

    The first baking chocolate I ever used after moving to London was a brand called Menier. It’s 70 percent. I still like it and use it.

    What kind of chocolate chips would you recommend using? Do they melt? If one doesn’t have any would it be ok to use more chocolate instead?

  • Julie hock4
    September 26, 2014 12:19am

    I use the very good 70% chocolate from aldi as well as gooď cocoa. I also marinate sultanas in brandy to add to the mixture, or even cranberries. Sometimes some crushed cashews make a good texture addition. I find brownies to be such a flexible recipe, they always come up smiling!

  • Shay
    September 26, 2014 12:22am

    Is there any way to print the recipe or fine it on another location. When I try to print out, it prints 23 pages. Would love to try the recipe.

  • Sue from Pleasanton
    September 26, 2014 2:11am

    This recipe sounds fantastic! Very appropriate chocolate to flour ratio!

  • September 26, 2014 2:47am

    Surprisingly, I had a great”Le Brownie” at Eric Kayser.

  • September 26, 2014 6:07am

    These look great! I am trying this recipe!
    Thanks!

  • safrina
    September 26, 2014 8:04am

    Hi David,

    I made these the minute I laid eyes on them. They look delicious. My batch is in the oven. I took them out in 20 minutes as they looked done to me but it was smelling a little eggy so I popped it back in the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes. Hopefully they come out great!

    Thanks for the recipe!

  • September 26, 2014 8:46am
    David Lebovitz

    Rand South: His chocolate chip cookies are excellent as well!

    Shay: Check here for tips on how to print recipes from the site.

    JulieHock4: Yes, brownies are really adaptable – you can add almost anything and come up with something good : )

    Claire: You can just replace the 2 T of coconut with 2 T almond flour (or another nut flour) if you wish.

    Holly: Great – let us know how they turn out with the coconut oil in ’em.

  • September 26, 2014 11:38am

    “The brownies can be frozen for up to two months,…”

    That’s never gonna happen. I’d wrap ’em up tight and be back into them by the 6 o’clock news…

  • September 26, 2014 4:27pm

    They might not be the most sophisticated of desserts but there are few things I like more than good brownies. How would you compare this recipe to your Robert’s Best brownies?

    Also, I hope the commenters who mentioned trying this with coconut oil will report back. I’d love to hear how that worked out.

  • Tess
    September 26, 2014 9:04pm

    Thanks for the recipe! I made this today as a gift to my neighbour who’s been giving me vegetables from his garden all summer long.

  • Thea
    September 26, 2014 11:04pm

    Your photos are so beguiling I *almost* neglected to read your prose. I’ve always enjoyed your recipes, even made some of ’em. As a reader who remembers the blog’s early days, I believe the work of your books has left its mark on this blog. Thanks for ever going forward —

  • moineau16
    September 26, 2014 11:07pm

    That’s terribly close to my family chocolate cake recipe, we’re from Brittany as well and use salted butter (interrestingly enough called “half-salted butter” (beurre demi-sel). The ratio is, to be precise: too much chocolate, too much sugar, too much butter, not enough flour and not enough cooking time. We’ve always called it “cake” until I went to college in Paris and realized my fellow students loved when I baked “brownies” ;)

  • catryna Loos
    September 27, 2014 12:02am

    Try replacing the water in a brownie recipe with dry red wine, and add chocolate chips.

  • Dogsill
    September 27, 2014 2:38am

    David, these looks super delish & rich. I cook for a family in NY & the husband loves “cakey” brownies. I have yet to find a good cakey brownie recipe. Today I even tried my hand at a box mix thinking that that’s what he actually wanted.. They were too moist. Any help appreciated!

  • David
    September 27, 2014 3:51am

    David,
    This is my new favorite brownie recipe. I thought I had coconut, but did not. They turned out beautifully. I added salt, vanilla and a smidge of almond extract. I love something “under” the chocolate. I lined a 9″ cake pan with foil, etc and it worked very well. I had no chocolate chips either so I chipped up some of the Callebaut I used for the batter. Those “pooled” in a really nice way. Next time I may go with some cayenne.

    • kennedy
      September 27, 2014 7:18am

      Callebaut chocolate!! The world doesn’t know how decadent that pan of brownies would be nor the price of that chocolate!!

      • September 27, 2014 9:00am
        David Lebovitz

        I generally recommend that people buy dark chocolate in bulk (since if stored in a cool-dry place, it’ll last for years), as it’s a lot more economical. I also tend not to insist on certain brands of chocolate since what people can get varies by region, country, and budget. I did check in the U.S. and 11-pound Callebaut blocks run about $69, so (without getting out my calculator!…) this would just be around $2-3 worth of chocolate. Around Christmas, companies like Ghiradelli and Guittard make larger blocks of chocolate available in places like Trader Joe’s. And speaking of TJ’s, a lot of people like baking with their “Belgian block” of dark chocolate, which is about $4/pound – so everyone can afford to make brownies! : )

  • David
    September 27, 2014 4:26pm

    1. My apologies for mentioning a brand name.
    2. A friend and I have wholesale licenses and we split the cost of an 11 lb. bar.
    3. Sur La Table marks down chocolate a few times a year in my neck of the woods.

  • Sara
    September 27, 2014 7:12pm

    These look great! And I really enjoyed the scene you set up at the beginning. I’m a big fan of Alice Medrich’s brownie recipes. I’ll try this one sometime.

  • Bebe
    September 27, 2014 8:11pm

    David, I am glad you mentioned Trader Joe’s. Their 16 ounce plus chocolate bars are very good. Come in milk chocolage (ugh), semi-sweet and bittersweet (about 70%). And they keep very well in a zip-lock bag, over their original package once opened, in a cool place. And they are around $4 apiece.

    I will probably destroy the environmentalists among us, but I am very fond of Reynolds’s Release foil for brownies. I do mine in a square pan and the whole liner lifts out.

  • September 28, 2014 1:08am

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I tried it this Saturday afternoon. I halved the recipe and baked them for 15 minutes, they were so good!! I’m gonna prepare them again…

  • Dino
    September 28, 2014 5:13am

    I have a broad nut allergy. Everything from peanuts and tree nuts to cocoanut and fresh pineapple will cause a histamine reaction (and worse). Would we need to replace the almond flour/cocoanut with flour or are the quantities too small to worry about. In our family I’m the cook, my wife is the baker, so to convince her to make these I need to convince her the recipe will work w/o the nuts.

    • David H
      September 28, 2014 5:16am

      I didn’t use coconut or almond flour and did not adjust the recipe. The brownies are fantastic. It works without nuts. My roommate would kick me out if I had used them. :-)

  • September 28, 2014 8:19am

    This looks delicious, David :) Two quick questions:

    1. The only chocolate I have on hand is a big bag of Hershey’s semi-sweet Chipits chocolate chips. Would 200g of those work for this recipe in place of the ‘baking chocolate’, do you think?

    2. I also only have sweetened coconut. Should I use almond flour in place of this, or perhaps just cut back on the sugar by a tablespoon or so?

    Cheers!

  • Vicky
    September 28, 2014 8:43am

    Made these last night…and they were just as delicious as advertised!

  • September 28, 2014 9:53am
    David Lebovitz

    Lynne: Generally speaking, chocolate chips are usually made from “baking resistant” chocolate, so are designed not to melt well. (Which is why they work so well in chocolate chip cookies.) I’m not familiar with those chips, but you could try them; since the recipe has water added, they should melt fine, but I can’t say for sure – you’ll just have to try it. As for the coconut, it’s such a tiny a mount, just use the sweetened stuff. (The original recipe had more sugar than I used, so a teaspoon or so more shouldn’t change the recipe.)

    David H: Glad they were a hit – and you still have a place to stay!

  • September 29, 2014 12:23am

    Régis on Rue de Passy in the 16th (La Muette) used to have really good, thick, moist brownies. A great treat, as the ones in this recipe look to be. I’ll have to try them!

  • Jack H
    September 29, 2014 12:24am

    I made these yesterday. They are very good! Not much more work than brownie mix, total time is shorter, and the result is better.

    I used unsalted butter, but the brownies are better with a little bit of coarse salt on top. No coconut, but I might try to get some for next time. I used toasted walnuts instead of chocolate chips, as the recipe suggested. I used about half a cup, but more might have been better (I like walnuts).

    I wonder what this would taste like with a red dessert wine instead of water.

  • susan wing
    September 29, 2014 1:00am

    David,
    Just made the brownies with a strong jasmine tea instead of the water and they were amazing! That will go in the permanent files.
    s

  • September 29, 2014 5:30pm

    I have a website devoted to brownies and I would like to mention these brownies in my latest newsletter. Is that all right with you, David? Regards, Chris Knight

  • Jillbert
    September 30, 2014 12:03am

    I made this recipe this past weekend as a birthday “cake” for a chocolate-loving friend. It was soooo good! We kept cutting more and more. It was hard to stop. :)

  • September 30, 2014 12:06am

    I wouldn’t have guessed the French bakeries haven’t mastered every dessert :) The brownies look very rich and delicious; I’ll need to find an excuse to make them!

  • October 1, 2014 8:30am

    Ha-ha, David! I usually bake this as a French Chocolate Cake!
    But adding shredded coconut is a new twist. Will try it for sure.
    Thank you

  • Ellen
    October 2, 2014 4:43pm

    If leaving out coconut & almond flour (to please a crowd), what could work instead? Also, if using a square pan, 8″ square should work, right?

  • October 3, 2014 10:53am

    I made this today. The batter was v runny (perhaps because I used milk choc as that was what I had ) and the consistency of the cake was not like a usual brownie. Not sure if it was supposed to be fudgy but it’s so moreish! Love the fudgy mousse-like texture and the slightly crusty top. Such a simple and satisfying recipe. Thank you David!

  • October 3, 2014 11:02am
    David Lebovitz

    Vasun: You can’t swap out milk chocolate for dark chocolate in brownie recipes as milk chocolate has a lot less cacao solids than dark chocolate, which is why your batter was runny. But glad it worked and was a hit with your variation! : )

    Ellen: When Hélène made this for us, a small crowd, everyone loved it. So I think you should try it as-is. Not sure if it’s work with flour substituted for the coconut and/nut flour, but you could try one of the other brownie recipes on the site (listed at the end of the post), or try it with flour, and let us know how it works out. Assume that an 8-inch pan would be fine, although you may need to keep an eye on them while baking, as the time may be different than the one noted.

  • ann tippitt
    October 4, 2014 4:48pm

    Made these with a dark chocolate with chili – outstanding.

  • alissa
    October 5, 2014 8:31am

    Hi david, do you think this brownie will hold up as the top and base of an ice-cream cake (so served frozen?) Looks amazing! x

  • Tess
    October 25, 2014 3:08am

    I just made these last night. These had a totally unexpected texture when we tried them after they first cooled down, the flavour was delicious but they were almost silky and a little mushy. After they sat overnight they really set and dried out a tiny bit and wow, yum!! They are so chocolatey, fudgey, moist and on the very outer edges they are chewy, dense and crackly. They are not the totally standard, common brownie but they are absolutely delicious. Thank you David! :)