This easy chocolate brownie recipe is perfect for when you have spare 20 minutes or so and want to make a desert really quickly.
The recipe is also great to make with children - you can't over mix it and you don't even need electric whisk to mix everything together. I often bake this recipe to serve at my bread baking workshops and since a lot of people asked me for the recipe, I've decided to share it here.
I come across this recipe in an old baking magazine about ten years ago and since then have slightly changed the ingredients to suit my taste. This is a really good base brownie recipe, if you fancy adding extra flavour, just do that! My favourite combinations include adding walnuts (about 200g), squishy dry prunes (as many as the mixture can take!) or dry cherries.
Although this is a really easy chocolate brownie recipe it's also the best one in the whole world! Challenge me if you like!
The key to perfection is to use a good quality chocolate, I use real french or german chocolate covertiture (the same one I'm making my handmade chocolates with), but as long as you use the best chocolate you can get your hands on, you will be absolutely fine.
To bring out the chocolate flavour, add one (or two!) teaspoons of instant coffee (decaff if you are baking for children) dissolved in drop of hot water. This makes a huge difference - your chocolate will taste extra chocolatey...
And the last tip I have for you is to take out the tin from the oven at the right time!
What sort of advice is that, I hear you say!
Well, here is how to tell: The top of the brownie tray will start to crack a little and firm up. The sides will start to peel off. You won't be able to test the brownies the normal way you do with other cakes (e.g. see if the skewer comes out clean, because it won't it, will be sticky and that's how it ment to be, but the trick is to know how sticky it should be!) Unlike other recipes, I always time this one and just take it out after 25 min. If the mixture looks 'too wet' I just put it back in for another 5-10 minutes.
At some point, you will just have to trust your instinct - what's the worse that can happen? If it's under baked, just put the brownie back in. If it's too dry, make a note to yourself for next time and overcompensate on the vanilla ice cream and marshmallows!
That reminds me the brownies are great as they are, but if you want to turn them into a special pudding, I recommend Vanilla & Rosemary ice-cream to go with it!
Easy chocolate brownie recipe
200g dark chocolate
175g unsalted butter
325g caster sugar
130g plain flour
1 teaspoon of coffee melted in tablespoon of hot water (optional)
icing sugar to decorate
33x23x5cm baking tray lined with greaseproof paper
Makes about 12 portions
First preheat your oven to 170C (325F) Gas 3. This is based on fan oven, so if you have an electric one, just make the temperature slightly higher (about 180-190C)
Chop or break your chocolate into small pieces. Put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let the base of the bowl touch the water). Leave until melted and smooth. Alternatively melt it slowly in microwave, which is what I normally do.
Remove from the heat and add sugar stirring well until incorporated. Add the flour and stir well. Finally, stir in the eggs and mix until thick and smooth. Make sure the mixture is not too hot before adding the eggs, otherwise they can curdle. Add the coffee extract (if using). Add any other other ingredients - such as nuts or dry fruit.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for about 30-35 minutes or until flaky on the top but still soft in the centre. Be careful not to overbake it, otherwise the edges will become hard and crunchy.
Leave to cool in the tin on a wire rack, before dusting with icing sugar to decorate.
This easy chocolate brownie recipe will last for up to 3 days or freeze some on a day of baking.
As ever I like to know how you get on, so leave me a comment bellow
EXTRA TIPS ON HOW TO MAKE THE BEST BROWNIE EVER
Do brownies ment to have a gooey texture?
Unlike other cakes, brownies ment to be quite gooey in texture and because of that, they might appear under baked when you take them out of your oven. But, don't worry! Your brownies will carry on baking for a little while longer as they are cooling in the baking tin.
Can I put underbaked brownies back in the oven?
The good news is that unlike other cakes, you can actually put your brownies back in the oven and carry on baking them if you think they are really underbaked. Just be careful how you do this as 5 extra minutes will be plenty. Your brownies will be done, when the sides appears slightly away from the baking tin and the top of the brownie mixture is cracked.
How long should I leave my brownies to cool down before cutting?
I usually leave mine to cool properly, about 30 minutes before slicing them into squares.
Can I make this brownie recipe with gluten free flour?
Yes, absolutely! There is only 130g of flour in this recipe and because the final product is quite dense and the flour doesn't need to work very hard in terms of creating fluffy cake sponge, you can easily replace it with your favourite gluten free flour. I often use pre-mixed cake gluten free flour (plain) or flours with low gluten such as rye or spelt. The only one I didn't get a great results with is coconut flour as it makes the whole mixture to crumble too much. You can always add a teaspoon of xantham gum to make sure your gluten free flour keeps everything 'sticking' together.