The ganache-filled brownies at Lauretta Jean’s Pie Bakery in Portland, Ore., look almost like muffins — squat, chewy little cylinders full of chocolate flavor, with a surprise in the middle: soft, rich chocolate ganache. Inspired by these brownies, we started our version by making a stir-together brownie batter and dividing it among muffin cups. Once the brownies were baked and cooled, we filled them with a ganache — a simple mixture of melted chocolate and heavy cream. We found that the best way to create a little space to receive the ganache was to press a shot glass, lightly greased on the outside to minimize sticking, into the just-baked brownies. A sprinkle of Maldon sea salt on the top sealed the deal.

We developed this recipe using Ghirardelli 60% Premium Baking Chips, but you can use semisweet chips, if you prefer. These brownies are best when made with a high-fat Dutch-processed cocoa powder. We used a shot glass to make the indentations in the brownies, but some spice jars and the ends of tapered French rolling pins also work; they should be about 1-1/4 inches in diameter. It’s important to press the indentations into the centers of the brownies 15 minutes after they come out of the oven. For an accurate measurement of boiling water, bring a kettle of water to boil then measure out the desired amount.


1/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder

1/2 cup boiling water

2 cups sugar

2/3 cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon table salt

    Ganache filling:

1-1/3 cups bittersweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon Maldon sea salt

Brownies: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350°F. Line 12-cup muffin tin with paper or foil liners.

Place chocolate chips and cocoa in large bowl. Add boiling water and whisk until chocolate chips are fully melted. Whisk in sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla until combined. Gently whisk in flour and salt until just incorporated.

Using 1/4-cup dry measuring cup, portion batter into prepared muffin cups; evenly distribute any remaining batter among cups. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out with few moist crumbs attached, 40-45 minutes.

Let brownies cool in muffin tin on wire rack 15 minutes. Spray base of 1-1/4-inch-diameter shot glass (or other object with similar diameter) with vegetable oil spray. Keeping brownies in muffin tin, press base of glass into center of each brownie, about 1 inch deep, respraying glass as needed. Remove brownies from muffin tin and let cool completely on rack, about 1 hour.

Ganache filling: Microwave chocolate chips and cream in bowl at 50% power, stirring frequently with rubber spatula, until melted, 1-3 minutes. Distribute ganache evenly among indentations in brownies (about 1 heaping tablespoon each).

Let sit 4 hours until ganache is set. Sprinkle ganache evenly with salt. Serve. (Brownies can also be transferred to refrigerator to set in 1-1/2 hours; let come to room temperature before serving.) Makes 12 brownies.

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