I’m sticking my neck on the line here-the Very Best Chocolate Brownies? Who does she think she is …well I have been working at this recipe for a number of years and a lot of brownies have been eaten by family and friends-it’s hard for some people.
The brownie world is split into two camps -those that love the more ‘CAKEY’ types of brownies and those that love the more ‘SQUIDGY’ type. Both have their place in the culinary brownie world but my favourite would have to be the ‘SQUIDGY’. type. To make the ‘CAKEY’ type you have, not surprisingly, a cake type mix but to get the ‘SQUIDGY’ type you are aiming for a batter type mix that easily pours into your tin.
Here are some things to think about before you try these out:
- Kit matters especially if you are planning to do a lot of baking and investing in the best is a good idea-I’ve lost count of the number of cheaper tins etc that I have thrown out over the years after they have buckled and twisted in the heat. So invest in a sturdy tin they are often called, very helpfully,-brownie pans. I’m not mad keen on the non stick versions, this eventually wears off and where does it go? Yes, it’s in your food. Perhaps I am being a little harsh here as the more modern versions are more durable.
- Lining the pan is important-you only need to do the base. I like the re useable ones but if you don’t want to do this use a baking paper with silicone, not just greasproof paper. The higher the sugar content the more your cakes/biscuits/meringues will stick and these brownies have a lot of sugar in them.
- Take care melting the chocolate-it is very temperamental. On the temperamental scale the easiest to melt is chocolate with a high proportion of chocolate solids eg a good dark chocolate with 70% chocolate solids, the trickiest to melt is white chocolate ( it is not really a chocolate as it doesn’t contain any chocolate solids) and milk chocolate is somewhere in between. I use a microwave, break up the chocolate into pieces and put into a plastic jug-spread them out a bit so they are not just piled in the middle. Microwave this in short bursts on high. Don’t stir it as this can cause it to ‘seize’ up and ruin just turn the jug back and forth until it is melted. Once it starts to melt it will go very quickly-Don’t burn it.
Enjoy making these-VERY BEST CHOCOLATE BROWNIES
I use a deep ‘brownie’ pan, 22cm square and 4.5cm deep. Base line and grease the sides well.
250g Dairy milk chocolate e.g. Cadburys
2 large eggs
350g unrefined caster sugar (add more if you prefer it sweeter)
2 tbsp. cocoa powder, sifted, mixed with approx. 4 tbsp. boiling water until smooth
125g white plain flour (you can use ‘strong’ flour to make it chewier)
1 teasp baking powder
(chocolate/white chocolate nibs -optional)*
1. Melt the butter in a small pan and leave to cool.
2. Melt the chocolate carefully in the microwave or in a bowl over water and leave to cool. (It is easy to do in the microwave-break up into small pieces, put in a plastic jug and microwave in short bursts-take care not to let it burn or it will be ruined. Try not to stir it just tip the jug back and forth until it is melted.)
3. Using an electric mixer whisk the eggs and the sugar. Add the cocoa mixture and whisk again.
4. Sift the flour with the baking powder and fold into the mixture. Make sure it is mixed well.
5. Add the melted chocolate and the melted butter and stir until combined.
6. Pour into the prepared tin and cook at 170C for about 45 minutes. Don’t over bake it should be just set in the middle but not wobbly.
7. Take out of oven, cover with a cloth and leave to cool down. When cold, loosen around the edges with a blunt knife and turn out. Cut into small squares.
*When baked and not quite cold (so they don’t melt) you can push in some chocolate nibs just in case you feel that these aren’t chocolaty enough.