Before I write about Rose and Woody’s recent stay with us in Devon, I’ve promised this recipe to so many people now that I thought I’d better get my act together and post it here for them. There’s no shortage of recipes for brownies on A Merrier World – in fact, I even started this blog when I was in the middle of a brownie-baking spree. But I haven’t yet written about this particular recipe, which has evolved to become our favourite-ever recipe for chocolate brownies and the one we turn to by default.
I’m not sure how this recipe started out in life. I have a collection of about seventy different brownie recipes (honestly!) that I baked, analysed and compared back in my brownie-obsession days of 2007. [Checking that date just now, I’ve realised that I completely missed my blog’s 4th birthday last month – sorry, blog!] Somewhere between then and now, a list of ingredients and a specific way of mixing the batter to create the sort of brownie we discovered we liked the most began to emerge from the chaos of notes and eventually took shape in the form of a tentative recipe scribbled in green ink on the back of an A5 envelope in 2009.
Since then, the recipe has been tweaked, baked in different-sized pans, doubled, halved again and generally refined until it reached its current incarnation.
I can’t promise that this will become anyone else’s favourite-absolute-best-ever recipe for chocolate brownies, but it certainly produces my children’s idea of brownie heaven.
Brownie Heaven Chocolate Brownies (by me and according to my children)
5 1/4 oz unsalted butter
7 1/2 oz castor sugar
5 1/4 oz light muscovado sugar
9 oz plain chocolate*
3 tbsp golden syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs (7 oz without shells)
5 1/4 oz plain flour**
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt***
3 tbsp cocoa powder
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C.
Grease and line a 9″ square pan (it’s helpful to leave a bit of parchment sticking up at two opposite ends as you can use these as handles to lift the brownie out of the pan when it’s cool).
Put the butter, sugars, chocolate, golden syrup and vanilla extract in a bowl and heat gently until melted and smooth, either in the microwave (stirring frequently to prevent burning) or in a double-boiler.
Break the eggs into a separate bowl and whisk until bubbly and frothy.
Put the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder in another separate, large bowl and whisk to combine.
(I’m not sure why this next bit works, but it does – I tried just dumping everything together any old way once and the brownies didn’t turn out half so well. If you’re not subject to such kitchen witchery as I am, feel free to just dump everything together) Pour the eggs onto the melted chocolate mixture, but don’t stir them in. Scrape this chocolate-with-the-eggs-sitting-on-top mixture onto the dry ingredients and fold everything together with a spatula until well combined and there are no floury pockets remaining.
Scrape into the prepared pan and bake in the centre of the oven for 25 to 30 mins (28 mins is best in my oven). Don’t bake it until a tester comes out clean – it’s a leap of faith, but the top will be crusty and the centre will be only just set when you need to take the thing out of the oven. If you bake it for too long, the brownies will be dry and yuk. If you don’t bake it for long enough, the brownies will be runny and yuk. This is probably the most important part of the whole brownie-heaven process.
Leave to cool in the pan, then lift out using those neat little handles you created and slice into squares (I make 25).