This recipe makes a seriously good, (rich and indulgent) Chocolate Brownie. By using the best quality chocolate (like Valrhona chocolate) they can be relatively expensive to make (20 brownies) however, in terms of making a single brownie, they are far better, and indeed work out cheaper, than the best baked shop-bought ones. In Brownie ‘circles’ one of the main questions asked about brownies by people who like them are . . . are they best when they are ‘dense, earthy and fudgey’, or ‘crumbly, light and chocolatey’ ? This particular recipe, developed from a classic Brownie Recipe, makes the best dense, earthy and fudgey ones …
Chocolate Brownie Recipe
Tip: Use a medium sized, deep baking tray (or roasting tin) and a sheet of baking parchment or greaseproof paper (grease this also with butter to add shine to the brownies) which overhangs the ends of the tray by a few inches, as this will allow you to pull the brownie ‘cake’ out of the tray or tin easily before slicing it into squares.
Makes about 20 Chocolate Brownies
- 700g Good Quality Dark Chocolate (70% plus)
- 250g unsalted butter
- 150g plain white flour (sifted)
- 150g caster sugar
- 4 eggs (beaten)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tsp quality vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp of sea salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- dusting of icing (powdered) sugar
- spoon of whipped double-cream
Preheat the oven to 180C. Prepare the baking tray by greasing it with butter.
Finely chop all the chocolate (700g) into small pieces – or use good quality dark-chocolate chips. Weigh out 500g and reserve. Place a large mixing bowl over a gently steaming saucepan of water and melt the remaining 200g of chocolate with the butter, stirring occasionally to get a smooth emulsion (85C is the ideal constant temperature for this).
One fully melted, and the chocolate has blended with the butter, place the mixing bowl on a tea-towel on your work surface to cool. Leave this for five minutes. Then beat the eggs well with a whisk, until they are light and frothy.
After 5 minutes we can now mix in all the other ingredients, one at a time, gently stirring them in, in this order. Caster sugar, vegetable oil, salt, vanilla, baking powder, beaten eggs, sifted flour, the rest of the 500g of chocolate pieces.
Pour this mixture into the prepared baking or roasting tray. Place the tray in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 180C.
Check after 20 minutes to see if the brownie mixture is cooking evenly on its edges. If not just spin the tray around and leave for another 5 minutes. What we are looking for is the edges of the ‘cake’ to be firm, whilst the middle should be soft (i.e. the top has developed a thin skin but it is still moist underneath). Baking for such a short time will result in a soft, sticky brownie, which will be fudgey and chewy when cold. If you prefer a firmer brownie, cook for another 5 to 10 minutes.
Remove the tray from the oven and allow to cool for twenty minutes, then remove the large ‘brownie cake’ from the tin. Cut the brownie cake into 20 or so long rectangles with a sharp knife. Sprinkle over some powdered icing sugar and serve on their own, or with a spoonful of freshly whipped double cream. They can be stored in an air-tight box for a couple of days.