Watching a load of cookery shows the week before last appears to have had one primary effect on me – it lead to me thinking and dreaming about recipe ideas all last week. Primarily ones that involve chocolate. One of the ultimate chocolate baked goods for me is the brownie, and I am periodically gripped by a desire to search for my as-yet-unattained perfect brownie paradise (for another attempt, click here). When I was growing up my Mum would occasionally put macadamia nuts in the brownies she made – something I loved – and I think my brownie perfection would ideally need to include that key ingredient, which this recipe does not. But, if I have to, I’ll accept hazelnuts and chocolate chunks as a second-best substitute for macadamias…especially when the recipe basically involves everything being chucked in the bowl and whisked together (oh and a bit of butter melting). Brownie deliciousness in just over half an hour is always a good thing!
All the cup ingredients below are based on a 250 ml mug as equal to 1 cup, and I baked this in a tin measuring about 7 inches by 11 inches.
What you’ll need
1/2 cup butter
1 cup self-raising flour
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
100 grams chocolate, roughly chopped
1 cup hazelnuts
1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
What to do:
1. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5 (190º C or 375º F).
2. Melt the butter in a pan over a low heat and then set aside to cool slightly.
3. Sift the flour, salt, sugar and cocoa powder into a bowl, add the chocolate and hazelnuts, and then mix everything in the bowl together thoroughly.
4. Break the eggs into another bowl and add the vanilla extract to the eggs before whisking the eggs and vanilla together thoroughly.
5. Add the melted butter and beaten eggs to the bowl with the flour, salt, sugar, cocoa powder, chocolate and hazelnuts and mix everything together thoroughly with the whisk. If the butter is still warm, pour the beaten eggs into the opposite side of the bowl to the butter before mixing to avoid any egg cooking in the hot butter.
6. Pour the brownie mixture into a greased baking tray and bake in the middle of the pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes.
7. When done, remove the brownies from the oven and devour them warm straight from the pan, preferably with ice cream or cream leave to cool in the pan for a few minutes before slicing and removing from the pan to finish cooling on a cool rack.