In the Beginning …

… or rather, in the middle of my quest for the perfect chocolate brownie.

Cakey, crusty, shiny, fudgy, chocolatey … moist, crumbly, dense, chewy … my own idea of ‘the’ perfect brownie is probably quite different from anyone else’s, but that hasn’t stopped my fervent baking spree this last week. A sheaf of recipes and notes on top of the fridge bears witness to my latest obsession.

Is my search finally over?

Chocolate Brownie
Chocolate Brownies

50g/2oz/1/4 cup butter
2 large eggs
225g/8oz/1 cup caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
75g/3oz/3/4 cup plain flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/350 degrees F. Grease and line the bottom of an 8″ square cake pan.

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Remove from the heat just before the last pieces have melted.

Put the eggs and sugar in a large bowl. Whisk by hand for a few minutes only, just until the mixture is frothy, thick and creamy. Stir in the melted butter and vanilla extract.

Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Fold gently into the buttery egg mixture, just until there are no dry ingredients remaining.

Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake in the centre of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes. The top should be firm and springy, but some moist crumbs should cling to a toothpick when inserted in the middle.

Cool in pan on a wire rack, then turn out and cut into squares.

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