This is from another favourite food writer of mine – Nigel Slater. Chocolate Brownies are always vanish in this house within a day – anything Chocolate disappears quickly. Nigel Slater’s take on them is without doubt, in my opinion, the easiest version and the fudgiest, gooiest but still lightest (I believe they are all words?) to be found and are often my easy dinner party dessert to boot (gently warmed in the microwave, served with ice cream or freshly whipped cream). I’m not actually a great “all things chocolate” lover, as my Ginger Cake / Coffee Cake / Carrot cake love fest earlier in the Winter explained but these are so so good. His description before the recipe in the brilliant “Kitchen Diaries” says it all:
“No nuts, no flavourings, just 24-carat brownie, as dense and fudgy as Glastonbury Festival mud. Whatever else you add is up to you”
- 300g castor sugar
- 250g butter
- 250g chocolate (70 per cent cocoa solids)
- 3 large eggs plus 1 extra egg yolk
- 60g flour
- 60g finest quality cocoa powder
- ½ tsp baking powder
- A 23x23cm, preferably non-stick, or a small roasting tin
- Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4.
- Break the chocolate into pieces, set 50g of it aside and melt the rest in a bowl suspended over, but not touching, a pan of simmering water. As soon as the chocolate has melted remove it from the heat. Chop the remaining 50g into gravel-sized pieces.
- Beat the sugar and butter using electric beaters for several minutes until white and fluffy.
- Break the eggs into a small bowl and beat them lightly with a fork. Sift together the flour, cocoa and baking powder and mix in a pinch of salt. With your boyfriend holding the beaters on a low speed, introduce the beaten egg a little at a time, having him speed up in between additions.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer to the work surface, then mix in the melted and the chopped chocolate with a large metal spoon.
- Lastly, fold in the flour and cocoa, gently and firmly, without knocking any of the air out.
- Scrape the mixture into the prepared cake tin, smooth the top and bake for 30 minutes.
- The top will have risen slightly and the cake will appear slightly softer in the middle than around the edges. Pierce the centre of the cake with a fork – it should come out sticky, but not with raw mixture attached to it. If it does, then return the brownie to the oven for three more minutes. It is worth remembering that it will solidify a little on cooling, so if it appears a bit wet, don’t worry.
- Finally, I was at a brilliant cookery demonstration / fundraiser for my daughters schools this week with Phelim Byrne, where he introduced me to the perhaps “slightly dangerous when I get my hands on it” idea of edible Gold spray! Wouldn’t these look fantastic as a Christmas dessert sprayed with a little gold, a Christmas tree or Holly leaf stencil sprayed on the top? Or maybe a little restraint and just an icing sugar stencil? With some plastic Christmas trees and santa’s sleigh poughing through a snowy covered mountain of chocolate Browne? Maybe I am just going too far! Go on – it is almost Christmas!