Recipe: Simple Brownies

I learned this recipe from a good friend (Nick Crisp, who is also the real life equivalent of Jack Bauer) in the summer of 2009, when I needed something to keep myself occupied with during an unfortunate bout of illness. The first few batches went a little bit wrong, but once you’ve got the knack for this, you’re away. Just don’t expect to pull the ladies in with them – I’ve tried, and the foundations upon which any such relationship would be built would be as moist and unstable as the inside of these chocolate-y treats. Still taste pretty good though.

Note – the tin I use is 20cm sq, and is 4cm tall. You can vary this (although buying one in this dimension from Lakeland isn’t prohibitively pricey), but you will need to alter the ingredients proportionally to compensate.

185g Dark Chocolate (Any basic cooking chocolate will do, I find Green & Blacks to be excessively bitter and expensive)
125g Unsalted Butter
115g White Flour
230g Caster Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1tsp Vanilla Essence (Spend a little more and get something good – I like Nielsen Massey Pure Vanilla Extract, which you can get from Ocado)

1. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C .
2. Heat the chocolate and butter in a glass bowl over a simmering saucepan of water.
3. While this is happening, mix the flour and caster sugar in a separate mixing bowl. If you want to add something like chocolate chips, add them here.
4. When the chocolate and butter are fully melted and mixed together, leave them to cool slightly. I use butter to grease the tin at this point, you may prefer to use greaseproof paper.
5. Add the two eggs to the flour and sugar, followed by the chocolate/butter mix. Add a teaspoon of vanilla essence.
6. Give it all a good mix, and use a spatula to transfer it to the tin.
7. Leave the tin in the oven for 25 minutes.

Now at this point, I have a habit of spooning some of the hot brownie out of the tin and eating it straight away. A glass of milk is a necessity. If, however, you’d prefer to share – just wait until they’re cool, and cut into squares! The result should be cohesive, yet still moist on the inside.

If you’ve got time, serve them with hot chocolate sauce and vanilla or chocolate ice cream. One little trick I have found is that when they’re cool, you can stick them back in the oven for a few minutes on a moderate setting – this will heat them back up, but won’t dry them out. Makes me hungry just thinking about it…

Dave Jackson

2 Comments on this post.
  • Will
    9 November 2010 at 20:39
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    This. Is . Beautiful.

  • Jack
    25 November 2010 at 12:52
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    I’m about to make a first and only attempt at these for a dinner party tonight… Stakes is high!
    Owe you a pint if I pull it off Dave.

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