Whole Grain Chocolate: Violet Bakery Rye Brownies

I have a handful of reliable brownie recipes that I go back to over and over again, so usually I won't try a new brownie recipe unless there is something distinctive about it. I decided to try Claire Ptak's recipe for Violet Bakery Rye Brownies because the headnote from NYT Cooking says that the rye flour "lends a deep earthiness that works wonderfully with the bittersweet depth of the chocolate."

Aside from the fact that the brownies are made with rye flour instead of all-purpose flour, the recipe is straightforward. To make the batter, you beat eggs with sugar, light brown sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy; mix in a cooled mixture of melted butter and bittersweet chocolate (I used Cacao Barry extra bitter 64% Guayaquil); and incorporate the dry ingredients (rye flour, Dutch-process cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt). You sprinkle some flaky salt on top of the batter and bake the brownies until they are still slightly wobbly in the center.
I let the brownies cool to room temperature and chilled them before slicing so that I could get clean cuts. The brownies were moderately fudgy and were nicely chocolate-y without being too rich. If you served these brownies to people who didn't know that they were made with rye, I think that some perceptive tasters might notice the earthy background notes and briefly ponder their source. But the effect of the rye is subtle and I suspect most people would eat the brownies without noticing. My office mates were big fans.

I could taste the difference from the rye flour and to some extent I thought the earthy flavor was slightly distracting. While I liked these brownies, I don't think that the rye makes them special enough to earn a spot in my regular brownie rotation.

Recipe: "Violet Bakery Rye Brownies," adapted from the The Violet Bakery Cookbook by Claire Ptak, printed in The New York Times.


Louise said…
We have our favorites and yet we just have to try others. \_(ツ)_/¯