Milk Chocolate Brownies

Milk chocolate lovers, I have created a milk chocolate brownie just for you! Combine this with milk chocolate ganache for a milk chocolate–laden cake ball. The key is that you must use a high cacao mass milk chocolate, such as Valrhona Jivara (40 percent) or Scharffen Berger Milk Chocolate (41 percent). Using a high cacao percentage milk chocolate yields a moist, luscious milk chocolate brownie. This is one time when I strongly recommend not making any chocolate substitutions.

Makes one 8-inch square base brownie (about 5 cups crumbs)

1 cup all-purpose flour

Pinch of salt

5 ounces milk chocolate, such as Valrhona Jivara, Scharffen Berger Milk Chocolate, or other high cacao mass (40% or above) milk chocolate

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into tablespoon-size pieces

2/3 cup sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Position a rack in middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat an 8-inch square pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

2. Whisk the flour and salt together in a small bowl to aerate and combine; set aside.

3. Melt the milk chocolate and butter together in the top of double boiler over barely simmering water or in the microwave. Stir until smooth and let cool slightly.

4. In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the sugar, eggs, and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Gently fold in the chocolate-butter mixture until a few chocolate streaks remain. Fold the flour mixture into the batter until just combined. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.

5. Bake for about 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center shows many moist crumbs. The brownies do not really change color. Do not overbake. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. The brownies are ready to use. Alternatively, double-wrap the pan in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 1 day before proceeding.