Brownies — a classic, undoubtedly, but deceptively difficult to get right. There are a lot of rich chocolate cakes knocking around masquerading as the real deal. They’re very nice, but they aren’t brownies. A gooey, very-almost-liquid interior finished with a cracked, shiny top is the order of the day here — lifted out of the oven tantilisingly close to being raw and perfectly squidgy once cooled.
So why Glastonbury brownies? This recipe is from Nigel Slater who has a glorious knack for describing his culinary creations. Although Nigel calls these his ‘very good chocolate brownies’, and they are, it’s his subtitle that has stuck (pun intended?) with me — ‘a 24-carat brownie as dense and fudgy as Glastonbury mud’. Yes please.
N.B. This recipe is fairly forgiving — 70% cocoa solids are delicious, but it works just as well with Asda’s own brand plain baking chocolate. The caster sugar can be replaced with bog standard table sugar, and a mix of brown sugars you have to hand if need be, or if you’d prefer it.
- 300g golden caster sugar
- 250g butter
- 250g plain or dark chocolate
- (Optional) 50g white chocolate
- 3 large eggs plus 1 extra egg yolk
- 60g flour
- 60g cocoa powder
- ½ tsp baking powder
- Preheat the oven to 180c, 160c fan or gas mark 4 and line a 23cm by 23cm baking tin with grease proof paper
- Using a handheld mixer (or a stand mixer if you’re lucky) beat the sugar and butter together for a few minutes until light and fluffy — keep going until it’s creamy
- Set 50g of the dark chocolate aside, then melt the rest however you like (I find bain-maries a faff, and luckily one of my mother’s life lessons was how to melt chocolate safely in a microwave. It burns easily, but the key is checking the chocolate often, and stopping when there are still some chunks unmelted — stir to melt the rest.)
- Chop the remaining dark chocolate (and white chocolate if using)
- Break three eggs into a small bowl and add the egg yolk before beating lightly with a fork
- Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and a pinch of salt.
- With the mixer running, gradually add the egg and beat well after each addition
- Fold in the melted chocolate, then the chopped chocolate, with a large spoon
- Finally fold in the flour mix without knocking the air out (gently but firmly)
- Scrape into the tin, smoothing the top
- Bake for about 30 minutes. It’s worth checking at 25 minutes, and then again every 3 minutes – you want a skewer to come out slightly sticky with some moist crumbs, just not completely coated in raw mixture. Remember the brownie will keep solidifying as it cools, so err on the wet side.
- Serves 12, or one after a bad day
Listening to Twist and Shout by The Beatles, Respect by Aretha Franklin and Your Song by Rita Ora.
© Rebecca Daley and ohtogoawandering, 2017.