Chocolate Week: Brownies

Ah, brownies.
It would be wrong to go through chocolate week without mentioning these.
Aside from the fact they are quick and easy to make, the wonderful thing about them is that they are so versatile - recipes can be altered or added to according to taste and preference.
I always make mine without nuts and usually add white chocolate chunks instead. I have experimented with honeycomb, Bounty bars, cream cheese and peanut butter and have ideas of using those jars of marshmallow "fluff." I have yet to try salted caramel brownies, though I suspect it is only a matter of time. I have also yet to try bacon brownies, discovered via Nigella Lawson, though I am certainly intrigued.
Speaking of Nigella (which I tend to do often in daily life) it is her recipe from How to be a Domestic Goddess that I use, with a few tweaks (recipe, as well as pictures of the batch that I've just whipped out of the oven, below!)
I also like, and have used on previous occassions, her suggestion to use brownies in place of a birthday cake - the chocolatey slices piled high and adorned with candles.
And as if brownies didn't have enough going for them, I find they actually taste better when they are a day or two old, so can be made at the weekend or the night before you need or want them.
The chances of them lasting two days without being eaten, however, are a different matter.
That's the only bad thing about brownies, one is never enough.


I always halve the original Domestic Goddess recipe, which then perfectly fills the tin I have (just over nine inches square). I often use milk chocolate when baking when dark is stated, as I have a bit of a sweet tooth, but because there is quite a lot of sugar in this recipe (you will get at least 16 brownies though!) you should definitely use dark chocolate.

3 large eggs
190g unsalted butter
200g dark chocolate
250g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
110g plain flour
Approx. 200g white chocolate chunks
pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 180℃ / gas mark 4 and line your tin with parchment paper.
Melt the butter and chocolate together in a large pan.
Put eggs, sugar and vanilla in a bowl or large jug and beat together.
Measure the flour and salt into another bowl.
Let the chocolate mixture cool a little before beating in the eggs, sugar and vanilla.
Add the flour and salt, then the white chocolate, and stir to combine.
Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for around 25 minutes. 
The top should be pale and dry, with the middle still gooey. Remember that the cardinal rule with brownies is not to over-bake.
When cool, cut into 16 pieces and watch them disappear... 

The end result. Getting there (i.e, licking the spoon/bowl is pretty good too)


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