Sunday, 24 August 2008

Chocolate Brownies

I think this recipe came from a magazine many years ago. It was probably Cleo or Cosmopolitan something (does Cleo still exist?) but it has been my 'go to' Brownie recipe for so long I consider it mine. I will write it out here the way I do it, which I believe is superior!

When Sanj and I make this together it takes us less than 10 minutes to put together and around 20 minutes in the oven and because the ingredients are all usually kicking around our kitchen we make this recipe pretty quickly.

  • 100g good quality chocolate - this *must* be 40% cocoa or more, but I find the 80% Lindt slightly too bitter so we usually use a mix of whatever we have lying around.
  • 2 large eggs
  • 150g caster sugar - I either use vanilla sugar or put half a teaspoon of vanilla in
  • 100g plain flour
  • 125g butter
  • 100g shelled walnuts - feel free to use any nuts you like here. I'm not particularly fond of walnuts, though they do make a nice grown-up flavoured brownie. I usually use hazelnuts for a kind of Nuttella richness or macadamias because the texture goes so well. The recipe doesn't specify using toasted nuts, but the flavour and texture are both superior if you do. If I have no nuts at home or there are going to be kids eating the finished product I use chunks of chocolate or even, on one memorable occasion, Smarties!

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180C
  • Melt the chocolate and butter carefully in a glass or ceramic bowl in the microwave. You can of course use the traditional stovetop method if you don't have a microwave, but it isn't as easy.
  • Carefully grease and flour the 25cm square tin. If I'm having the kind of day where everything is going wrong I might partially line the tin with paper so I can be a bit more confident it won't stick.
  • Whisk the eggs, either by hand or preferably with an electric mixer. Add the sugar (and vanilla if you're using it) and if you are using a powerful stand mixer remember you aren't trying to make meringue.
  • Stir in the flour.
  • Stir in the nuts (or chocolate!)
  • Pour all the mixture into your prepared tin and pop it in the oven.
  • It should be done in around 20 minutes, coming away from the sides, looking cooked, not wobbling when you shake it and smelling delicious (and the skewer should come out relatively clean).
  • Let it cool in the tin