There are two things in life that I like to think I know a lot about. The first one is tea. The second is chocolate. In particular, chocolate cake. I am not one of these weak people who can be overcome by the richness of a chocolate cake. Oh no. I am a trained cake eater, practiced over decades. I am Olympic level. There is a restaurant near us that boldly announces that it has the ‘chocolate nemesis’ on its menu. Eating that was like a walk in the park for me as a true chocaholic. I blame my mum for this as when we were kids she would make us a big chocolate pudding and pour a melted mars bar over the top of it. THAT is a chocolate nemesis.
|My chocolate brownie with a cup of tea pigs chocolate flake tea|
Being a self-confessed chocaholic and a keen baker there is nothing I am more fussy about than chocolate brownies. First off all the chocolate has to be good, it must be dark and it must be good quality. Second of all it has to be slightly goo-ey and slightly cakey. Too gooey and it feels like eating chocolate flavoured butter (a bit wrong) and too cakey and, well, it’s a cake not a brownie.
As a chocolate purist I never add nuts to my brownies. You may well disagree, that is your prerogative, but this is my way! Baking your brownies is the real make it or break it moment. They should be thick so quantities and correct tin size is important. They should come out of the oven when the top is hard and just starting to crack a little at the edges. I insert a piece of uncooked spaghetti into the edge of the brownie first. From here it should come out pretty much dry. I then insert it into the centre of the tin where it should come out gooey but should feel firm as the spaghetti goes in - not like a big sloppy mess. A big sloppy mess is not cooked and will fall apart when you cut it. Unpleasant.
Now for the moment of truth, my brownie recipe. What you are about to receive has been honed over years of struggle. You are lucky people, standing on holy brownie ground. Enjoy it. And use it wisely.
150g dark chocolate
150g butter (unsalted)
25g cocoa powder
225g caster sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
100g plain flour
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/Gas Mark 4.
Line your tin with baking parchment and grease.
Melt the chocolate, butter and cocoa powder in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.
In another bowl whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla. Continue whisking as you add the slightly cooled chocolate mixture until well combined.
Sift in the flour and fold in using a spatula.
Bake for about 25 mins using the advice above for pefect brownie consistency.
Cool in the tin, cut into square and enjoy!