I know I have written about chocolate brownie recipes, with everything but the kitchen sink in them, but sometimes a Chocolatey chocolate brownies, is what you need, the rich dark decadent and intense flavour of chocolate brownies, without nuts. The sort of Chocolatey chocolate brownies that can only be achieved by a good organic cocoa and also chocolate. The sort of Chocolatey chocolate brownies that intensify in flavour if you leave them in a tin for a day or two. At least I suspect that they would if they were left in the tin long enough, which they never are, in my house they are lucky if they get to go cold.
Why I like Chocolatey chocolate brownies
Like wine, chocolate has a complex layers of flavour, it is are bitter, sour, astringent, fruity, figgy, raisiny, nutty, smokey, floral flavour which is the essence of the cocoa beans. When chocolate beans are made into cocoa, it eradicates only some of these layers of flavour. Usually the fruity,bitter, sour and astringent qualities of chocolate are taken out, which is why I like to add fresh flavour as well, especially dark chocolate.
This recipe also doubles up as a hot pudding for a cold winter’s day, it is wonderful hot with ice cream over it, but use a coffee or vanilla ice cream as a rich chocolate one detracts from the flavour of the brownie. Even I have to admit that too many conflicting flavours of chocolate can be a bad thing. The centre of this brownie is as rich and dark as the mud of the Mississippi, but the crust is actually quite light. It only uses a little flour to stop it from falling in itself. I like to add coffee ice cream and single cream, because as the ice cream melts it mixes with the cream in rivulets, and then I am in brownie recipe heaven.
The quality of the chocolate is important here, the cocoa should be organic Green and Black’s is good but the chocolate should have a high cocoa solid content, cheap baking chocolate won’t cut it here. I quite like to make it with chocolate over 85% cocoa fat, but the family say that is quite bitter and they won’t eat it, so horror of horrors, someone has to bite to bite the bullet and eat them and it always me! A high fat cocoa solid chocolate should be over 70%.
I like to bake my brownies in a glass pyres dish, but any roasting or baking tin will do, but if it is not non stick them put aluminium foil inside and put the brownies in that.
300g caster sugar
250g chocolate (at least 70 per cent cocoa solids)
3 large organic eggs plus an extra egg yolk
60g good quality organic cocoa powder
½ tsp baking powder
You will need a baking tray about 20cm x 20cm.
Heat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4.
Grease the baking tray with butter. Put the sugar and butter into the bowl of a food mixer and cream them together for several minutes until they are pale and fluffy.
Put a bowl over a pan of hot water, but make sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water, or the chocolate will go grainy when it melts. Keep 50g aside and break the rest into small pieces and leave it in the bowl over the water. leave it for five minutes and stir, as soon as it has melted remove it from the heat. Break the remaining 50g into chunks the size of large plump raisins.
Beat the eggs lightly in a small bowl. Sieve together the flour, cocoa and baking powder to remove the lumps and make it light and airy, add a pinch of rock salt to intensify the flavour of the chocolate. Add the eggs to the creamed butter and sugar a little at a time, it will curdle if you add it all at once. Once the egg has all been incorporates, fold in the melted chocolate and the chopped chocolate. Gently fold in the flour and cocoa, do this slowly and do not overwork, as you need to be sure not to knock the air out of the flour mixture.
Pour into the prepared dish or baking tin and shake on the work top, to flatten the top slightly. Bake for about thirty minutes, the chocolate brownies are ready when the edge is pulling slightly away from the dish, but the centre still looks soft and squiggly. If you are not sure insert a metal skewer in the centre and it should emerge slightly wet, but not with raw mixture sticking to it.
Brownies continue to cook and solidify in the tin when cooling so make sure that it is not overcooked. If it is not quite ready then return it to the oven but check every two to three minutes.