I really like this Chocolate Brownie recipe. The end result is densely chocolate, moist and good. The ingredients and the method is ever so simple and you can’t go wrong with it¹. I’ve even forgotten to add eggs to it once and it was just extra gooey and went wonderfully well with icecream. I found the recipe in my Usborne First Cookbook, which I bought when I was in primary school. Now, when I think about it, it is my first ever cookbook. So, the newer editions (which Amazon tells me there’s a few) may not have this recipe. Anyhow, my mistake was not making them until I was about twenty. By this point, I had passed from a nine-year old who disliked brownies (in the ’80s British brownies were more like a boring chocolate cake) to a twenty-year old who had spent a year in the US and wanted to recreate that dense chocolate experience. The brownies were an instant hit and I gained a reputation as a Chocolate Brownie Queen. This is the recipe that I go back to all the time, even though I’m on an Ultimate Chocolate Brownie Recipe Hunt.
What I love about this recipe is that it is a fantastically easy basic brownie recipe and I’ll often add things to suit the ocassion. I’ve listed a few that I’ve tried below.
Ingredients for Dark Chocolate Brownies adapted from Usborne First Cookbook.
- 4oz/100g dark chocolate
- 4oz/100g butter
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 2 beaten eggs
- 4oz/100g plain flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 6oz/160g caster sugar
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 or 2 tbsp of milk if the mixture is too firm.
And the secret ingredient? Well, this is when you make it your own and add in something extra. Here’s a starter for 5:
- My favourite – a 200g packet of maltesers/revels etc.
- 50g of roughly chopped walnuts/pecans/brazil nuts etc.
- 100g celebrations
- 2 tbsp Baileys or any Irish Cream liquor.
- Zest of one orange and 1 tsp of mixed spices and 1 tsp of cinnamon.
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Line a square baking dish with baking paper. The dish be between 20 – 25cm.
Top Tip: I’ve found that stoneware, pyrex or ceramic dishes produce better results that a baking tin.
2. Melt the chocolate and butter together in a heatproof bowl in the microwave.
3. As the chocolate and butter is being zapped in the microwave, measure out the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder into another bowl. Sift the flour if you want to, but it’s not necessary.
4. Add the vanilla extract and sugar to the chocolate melted goodness and mix well.
5. Add the beaten eggs and keep mixing to combine it all. Don’t worry – they won’t scramble.
6. Gradually add in the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder so that the whole mixture is well combined.
7. Let your imagination go wild and add in your extra ingredients. In the top photo I used maltesers and hazlenuts.
8. Bake in oven for 20 mins. The secret is to take them out when the top is firm to touch but still wobbles when you shake it.
The verdict? Yummmm…. simple and delicious. I really like the brownie that it produces.
Happy Hogmanay 2010.
¹However, I did get it wrong. Once. Very badly. I added in cointreau, orange zest and mixed spices, which lent it a lovely Christmassy feel. It would totally have worked, except I had run out of some ingredients so I substituted:
flour with wholemeal flour
eggs with vinegar and bicarbonate of soda
As I took it out the oven, the bubbling mistake was unrecognizable as a brownie, in looks or taste. A complete disaster in the brownie front but as I explained away the disaster and said it tasted a bit like a Christmas flapjack, it all went. What a laugh! But – don’t repeat my disaster. Some ingredients are irreplaceable.
4 thoughts on “My Favourite Chocolate Brownies: Chocolate Brownie Hunt”
I’ll definitely try this next time I feel the need to make brownies.
I still treasure my Good Housekeeping Kids’ Cook Book which I got when I was 10 and 1001 classic recipes when I was 13, which has 3 brownie recipes. One of the best choc brownie recipes I use I found online…http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2006/06/dulce-de-leche/ and Nigel Slater has some great versions too.
Happy new year! x
I’ve just had a peek at David Lebovitz’s recipe and Mmm… I like what he says that man can live on brownies alone, especially if they are fortified with dulce de leche. I’ll have to try it out – thanks for sending it onto me.
and I share the sentiment about kids cook books. they are totally underrated for their great recipes.
Thank you thank you so so much! you have made my year 🙂 i had usborne First Cook Book too and I loved the brownies. I was so sad when I lost the book 10 years ago I use to have loads of fun using it and at collage my mates always got me to make them but it just vanished! I’ve always remembered what the book looks like but never could remember the tital but today it came to me. I’m just going to rush off to the coop right now cant wait. Every brownies Ive made since have been rubbish compared to these. Thank you so much for sharing and making some childhood memories come flooding back 🙂
Hi Vicki – thanks for sharing your memories of the cookbook and hope that you enjoyed the brownies too.