One of my favourite comfort foods since coming to England is the classic chocolate brownie. Compared to some of Italy’s finer patisserie, the brownie may not be the prettiest, but its taste is surely to die for!
From the day I first tasted one I was haunted by the desire to find the version that was perfect for me. After all, since there are so many different variations: spices, nuts, types of chocolate (low/high cocoa) and sugar (demerera, muscovado, brown), the journey of discovery was always going to be long and delightful…
- 200g good quality plain chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa content)
- 150g unsalted butter, melted
- 250g light brown muscovado sugar
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 tablespoon good quality vanilla essence
- 60g plain flour
- 60g cocoa powder
- 100g roasted hazlenut or pecan pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground clove
- vanilla icing sugar and 1 tablespoon of cocoa to decorate
- Heat the oven to 180°C.
- Grease a brownie tin with some butter and cover with grease-proof paper. Make sure you’re able to remove the grease-proof paper along with the brownies after baking.
- Melt the chocolate by putting it into a heatproof bowl over a pan of steaming water and stir gently until melted.
- Melt the butter, add the sugar and beat until you get a fluffy consistency.
- Add the vanilla essence and the eggs to the mix, one at the time.
- Gently add the melted chocolate then sift the cocoa and flour into the mixture and mix in.
- Chop the pecan nuts roughly and add them in followed by a pinch of ground clove.
- Transfer the mix onto the baking tray ensuring that it’s evenly spread and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until softly set.
- Remove the tin from the oven and leave to cool. Remove the grease-proof paper with the brownies from the tin and cut into squares.
- Sprinkle vanilla icing sugar and cocoa for decoration.
- Finally add a scoop of vanilla ice-cream and serve.