I think I’ve cracked it; I’ve found the perfect brownie. A bold statement, I admit, but after reading many articles and scouring friends and family recipes, I stumbled across the ultimate brownie recipe on The Guardian website, and through expert guidance (Felicity Cloake) I have created chocolate heaven. The addition of fruit and nuts seemed to spark a war for brownie connoisseurs, so I’ve kept it simple and gone for a pure chocolate concoction. The water bath method was a new one for me but it seemed to work. When you take the brownies out of the oven, plonk the tin in a roasting tin filled with ice and water. This means the brownie will stop cooking, guaranteeing a gooey middle, rather than an over baked, dry* cake.
* An aside: On reflection of this word I feel that nothing should be dry in life – chat, bar, lips, skin… maybe the Sahara desert, but certainly not baking. Open to debate really….
200g 70% cocoa chocolate
250g unsalted butter
300g golden caster sugar
3 large eggs, plus 1 extra egg yolk, lightly beaten
60g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
60g good quality cocoa powder
Pack of chocolates (I used Munchies and white chocolate Buttons)
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C, and line a 23cm x 23cm baking tin with baking parchment.
2. Set a bowl over, a pan of simmering water, and add 200g of the chocolate, broken into pieces. Allow to melt, stirring occasionally, and then remove from the heat immediately.
3. Meanwhile, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
4. With the mixer still running, gradually add the eggs, beating well between each addition to ensure it’s thoroughly incorporated before pouring in any more. Leave mixing on a high speed for five minutes until the batter has a silky sheen, and has increased in volume.
5. Remove the bowl from the mixer, and gently fold in the melted chocolate and chocolate chips with a metal spoon, followed by the sifted flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder.
6. Spoon half the mixture into the tin. If desired put a layer of chocolates. I used half white chocolate buttons and the other half munchies. Bake for 30 minutes. Test with a skewer; it should come out sticky, but not coated with raw mixture. If it does, put it back into the oven for another 3 minutes, then test again. Prepare a roasting tin of iced water.
7. When the brownies are ready, remove the tin from the oven and place in the cold water bath. Leave to cool for an hour before cutting into squares.
Directions for use: If you want to avoid obesity and fit into your tight, Christmas sparkly number I’d suggest sharing these with friends…. providing you haven’t eaten all the mixture pre oven.