I love brownies. But there has been much debate about what the best kind are. Felicity Clarke’s post http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2010/sep/09/how-to-make-perfect-brownies discusses just this very topic. Personally, I like them crisp on the top but slightly gooey inside, flooded with nuts and enveloped in dark chocolate so that they are decadently rich to bite. But that means I have a limit of one (two if starving) a day. In my opinion, brownies are supposed to be incredibly rich, they are not like any ordinary snack bite which you gulp down. You have to savour them. Especially when made by your own fair hands.
Homemade Brownies, makes 16
Preparation time : 30 minutes
Baking time : 20-25 minutes (depending on oven strength)
– 180g unsalted butter, at room temperature
– 100g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)
– 75g assorted nuts (macadamias, hazelnuts, walnuts are all good choices), roughly chopped
– 4 eggs
– 250g golden caster sugar
– 1tsp vanilla essence
– 100g plain flour
– 25g cocoa powder
– 1/2 tsp flaky sea salt (this brings out the flavour of the chocolate even m0re)
First put the chocolate and butter into a large heat-proof bowl. Place on top of a saucepan of hot water. Simmer gently on the hob.
Stir gently until all the butter and chocolate has melted completely into a silky ‘liquid’. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Beat the eggs, golden caster sugar and vanilla essence together in another bowl.
(I can count to four by the way, but I was only making a small batch of brownies, hence only two eggs) This mixture should be quite elasticky (I’m not sure that’s the write word), but basically the texture raw egg normally is but thickened with some sugar. Now that your chocolate mixture has had time to cool, you can mix these two together. I find a spatula really useful for scraping the thin chocolate mix together.
Add the flour and cocoa powder, as well as that pinch of sea salt to really enhance the rich chocolate.
Finally, stir in the chopped nuts.
Pour into a lined baking tray (add a sprinkle of extra nuts) and put in the oven at 180 degrees for 20-25 minutes. The cooking time depends on the strength of your oven and how you like your brownies baked. Change baking time accordingly. When they are cooked, remove from the baking parchment and leave to cool on a wire rack. Slice into squares ready for eating.