Finally, I turned to the most trusted baking gurus of all. And finally, in Dorie Greenspan's classic brownies, I have a winner.
I halved the recipe and got six of these gorgeous creations. And let me tell you that this is the stuff brownie legends are made of. Fudgy but not overly so, gooey but not excessively, and not even too sweet. There's also a hint of coffee in there that somehow makes it more chocolate-y. I've finally found a keeper!
Update: Since so many of you asked, here's the recipe. Line a 7 X 4 inch dish with foil or parchment paper. Or use an 8 inch square dish and double the recipe to give you Dorie's original measures. Preheat the oven to 160 C or 325 F.
Measure out 35 grams butter and 85 grams chocolate (I used 70% dark, but even something lighter is fine). Heat for 30 seconds in the microwave, stir and continue to heat in 10-20 second increments until chocolate is fully melted. Add 3/8 cup powdered sugar. Wait until the mixture cools a bit, then whisk in one egg. Once its mixed in, add 1/2 tsp vanilla essence and 1/4 tsp instant coffee granules. Mix well, then fold in 1/6 cup flour. Don't be heavy handed here, only stir until the flour in just mixed in. Finally, mix in 1/3 cup chopped walnuts.
Pour into the prepared baking dish and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the top is dry and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the dish comes out with only a few crumbs. If you get a clean toothpick, you overcooked your brownies so don't go too far. Wait for the brownies to cool before you unmold them. I cut mine into 6 brownies and Dorie says her original recipe will give you 16 pieces so I guess it depends on how big you make each piece.