Brownies have been my go-to bake for as long as I can remember. Whether it be for a school fundraiser, a friday office bake-off or a fail-safe pud for a simple supper with friends, they are always a crowd-pleaser. They also freeze extremely well – there is generally always a secret stash in my freezer which can be rolled out for unexpected guests or kids’ tea.
The perfect brownie should have a crusty top and a soft oozing centre. Over the years I tried and tested many recipes – the Rich Chocolate Brownies on the BBC recipe site were for a long time a favourite for their pure simplicity, but were overtaken by the Green & Black’s Ultimate Brownies for their depth of chocolate flavour and goo factor. Among friends and family my brownies became renowned and much requested.
So you can imagine my surprise and displeasure when, at a wedding last year, my husband sheepishly admitted after eating brownies baked by a friend of the bride, “those were probably the best brownies I’ve ever eaten.. maybe even better than yours?”
The wedding was ruined. And the first priority once the champagne had been slept off the following day was to purloin the recipe from the baker of the brownies.
These are absolute beauties. The genius stroke of leaving the chocolate in chunks before transferring to the oven means they simply ooze melted chocolate once baked – all the better for serving warm with vanilla ice cream.
Disclaimer: There is absolutely nothing healthy about these other than the pure pleasure they bring on eating!
Makes approx 20 brownies
(The quantities are in ounces rather than grams because that’s how the recipe was shared with me!)
10 oz softened butter
13 oz caster sugar
3 oz cocoa
4 oz plain flour
1 tsp baking powder (although I keep forgetting to put this in and it doesn’t seem to do them any harm!)
1 packet (100g or 3.5 oz) milk chocolate chips or chopped milk chocolate
2.5 – 3 oz chopped dark chocolate
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees /150 degrees fan
Grease a 9″x 12″ roasting tray or brownie tin, and line with baking paper
Put all the ingredients into a large bowl and beat together with a handheld mixer for several minutes until the mixture lightens in colour considerably.
Spoon the mix into the tin and spread into the corners until evenly distributed.
Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, checking after 25. The top should be nice and crusty with a slight wobble underneath.
Cool in the tin then cut into squares.
Serve at room temperature for afternoon tea or gently warm in the oven and top with vanilla ice cream and strawberries for a deliciously decadent pud.
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