How to make Brownies

There are those moments when the snow is falling, and the rain is lashing against the window when Carol says, 'I think I will bake some brownies'. What follows is torture as D and I sit there, listening to her baking and then smelling it drift through to us. D often lingers by the doorway with that look that says, 'Are they ready yet?' Sometimes he will line up all the paraphernalia that goes with a brownie: a cup of milk, a kitchen towel to catch the crumbs, a tray under a plate to catch the crumbs, a trough under the table to catch the crumbs. So, here is our brownie recipe, crack out the milk and the crumb catchers.

How to make Brownies

You will need the following ingredients:

200g quality dark chocolate 
250g unsalted butter
75g chocolate chips
50g chopped pecan nuts
80g cocoa powder
65g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
360g caster sugar
4 large free-range eggs

The chocolate chips add another dimension to the brownie, as these little clusters of chocolate bombs melts in your mouth and when the brownies go cold (as if they'd get the chance in this house) they become solid little blocks of chocolate that compliment the pecans.

Choc chips in a brownie adds another crunchy dimension when they are cold

Bash your pecan nuts up in a mortar and pestle or chop them with a sharp knife as you preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Line a 24cm square baking tin with greaseproof paper.

Melting chocolate for brownies

Break up the chocolate into a large bowl, add the unsalted butter and place the bowl over a pan of simmering water, stir until melted then add the nuts.

Pecan nuts in brownies

Using a sieve, sift the cocoa powder and flour into another bowl, add baking powder and sugar, mix together with the chocolate chips. Pour in the chocolate, make sure that it is not hot as you want the chips to keep some of their shape and not melt away. You should never boil chocolate as it easily burns, you merely want enough heat to melt it. Now, crack your four eggs and beat together and then stir in to the bowl.

Use greaseproof rather than tin foil

Pour the mix into your baking tin with the greaseproof paper (yes, we didn't have any so we ended up using tin foil - tin foil means you won't always get that gooey centre), and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. You want them to be gooey so after 20 minutes use a skewer, it should not come away clean, if it does you've overcooked them (and you will using tin foil but we still like them as mini cakes). The final brownies should have a springy consistency and goes incredibly well with cream.

Gooey brownies with cream

The final product can be packed away in a container and are good for up to four days if kept in an air tight container.

Baking brownies

They won't last four days, they won't last four minutes. They have already gone before I have finished writing this post, D is snuffling in his crumb catcher and chocolate is smeared all over his face. He is happy and about to hit a sugar rush.


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