Helene’s Brownies
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.