I’ve heard it said that brownies mostly come in one of three kinds – cakey, chewy or fudgy. My husband is more of a cakey-brownie person. I fall somewhere between chewy and fudgy, although ultimately, a brownie is a brownie and I’m certainly not going not going to quibble if offered a cakey one. In a rash moment of folly a number of months ago I decided to try come up with my own brownie recipe. I must admit to having peeked at other recipe ingredient lists and methods and I’m nowhere near completion. Starting such a project with nothing but a memory of good brownies and a yearning for more has led to some interesting results. Some were just too disastrous to chronicle, but so far, five index cards with brownie recipes (marked trial 1, trial 2, trial 3 etc) have made it into my recipe box. I got stuck on trial 4 for quite a long time but there was always a nagging doubt in my mind that its awesome taste may have been down to the crushed chocolate buttons and hazelnuts that I added rather than pure brownie goodness. Trial 5 followed not long after getting back from South Africa, where we were over Christmas, and where we had the most awesome brownies of a most fudgy variety. Sadly, trial 5 has not fallen into the fudgy camp I hoped it would but it is a pretty respectable chewy brownie, so I thought I’d share it today. As usual most of the time with my recipes, all the ‘cup’ measurements below are based on a 250 ml mug.
What you’ll need:
1 cup of margarine or butter (butter is probably nicer but I only had marg when I made these
200 gram bar of milk chocolate (I bought a 230 gram bar of Cadbury’s milk chocolate and ate made arrangements to get the required 200g)
9 rounded dessertspoons of cocoa powder (I know – pretty excessive)
2 teaspoons of vanilla essence
2 cups brown sugar (I used dark brown because it was all I had but any brown sugar, dark or light, should be fine)
1 cup self-raising flour
What to do:
1. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5 and grease a pan (my pan is about 9 x 12 inches).
2. Melt the cup of margarine or butter in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat when melted.
3. Roughly chop the chocolate and add it to the melted marg. Stir until the chocolate has melted. If it isn’t melting into the marg, put it over a low heat for a couple of minutes, stirring the whole time. Take the pan off the stove once the chocolate has melted, if you didn’t do so at the end of the last step.
4. Add five dessertspoons of cocoa powder to the melted marg/chocolate and stir vigorously until it is thoroughly mixed in – make sure there are no little lumps of cocoa powder. And try not to eat too much of it at this stage…
5. Crack the eggs into a new bowl and beat well. Then add the vanilla essence and beat a little bit more.
6. Add the brown sugar to the eggs and mix thoroughly.
7. Pour the melted chocolate/marg mixture into the egg mixture and fold in thoroughly.
8. Sift and fold the flour, salt and remaining four dessertspoons of cocoa powder into the mixture.
9. Pour (interpret that in the loosest possible way – the batter is way too sticky to pour) the mixture into the greased pan and spread into the corners. Bake for 25-30 minutes until done.
10. Take the brownies out the oven and cool brownies. Cut into sizes that are just small enough to justify having two… or three …. Or wait about five minutes before giving into temptation and cutting them almost straight away so that one can enjoy hot brownies and cream. Yum!