I am a retired professional chef, Catering Lecturer and Head of Cookery School at an FE college and my darling wife Di was classically trained as a chef is a very fine cook, but has never worked professionally in a commercial kitchen, she preferred front-of-house management but has worked for the last 20 years or so as a professional florist. There are however certain dishes that I have to admit, she prepares and cooks a million miles better than I could ever dream of doing and chocolate brownies is for sure one of them. So ….. I just politely step to one side and allow the brownie-meister to take control of our kitchen.
Every New Year’s Eve 2015/16, we headed off en famille to some dear friends who live in our village who have a huge house where we party in the new year with reckless abandon – it can certainly get quite ‘hectic’! We always take a few bottles of the obligatory Prosecco (I prefer CAVA myself), half a dozen bottles of vino collapso and a crate of beer and a couple of trays full of Di’s amazing chocolate brownies.
There are usually around 40 peeps there and every year it’s the same, lots of chatter, very loud music, loads of alcohol and many, many teenagers, most of who we have known since they were little’ns, all getting all rather grown up now, but still they love their annual NYE chocolate brownie fix. This year one pretty young lady, circa 17 years old, came up to Di and said “Those are the very best brownies I’ve tasted in my whole life – EVER – Five Star, totally Five Star!” Enough said methinks.
So, by now you may have got the drift that this is not my recipe, but the one that my darling uses on an annual basis. I have just converted it so that you can make it yourself, using your Thermomix.
- 100 g unsalted butter
- 175 g caster sugar
- 75 g dark brown muscovado sugar
- 125 g dark chocolate (min 70% cocoa solids)
- 1 tbsp golden syrup
- 2 eggs – free range
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 100 g plain flour – sifted
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder – sifted
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
Pre-heat your oven to 180oC
Lightly grease a 20x20cm or 20x30cm shallow square cake tin and line the base with baking parchment, allowing the edges of the paper to overlap the sides of the tin. The larger tin will give you a more shallow bake.
Break up the chocolate and place it into the mixing bowl and chop 5 sec / speed 7 Scrape down the sides of bowl with a silicone spatula.
Add the butter and melt 4 min / 70oC / speed 2
Add the sugars, golden syrup, eggs, vanilla extract, salt, flour, baking powder and cocoa powder mix together until well blended and smooth 1 min / speed 4. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula and allow to cool a little.
If you are going to use walnuts at this stage then do so now and mix 10 sec / Reverse / speed 4.
Spoon the mixture into your prepared cake tin and distribute the mix evenly with the back of a tablespoon or similar. Bake in the middle of your pre-heated oven at 180oC, for 25 minutes until the top is crisp and the edge of the cake is beginning to shrink away from the sides of your baking tin.
If you have a hot spot in your oven, you may want to turn the baking tin around 180 degrees half way through cooking.
When cooked, the inside of the cake mixture will still be quite stodgy and soft to the touch, but do not be tempted to cook for too much longer than is necessary or you will finish up with chocolate cake! So, place a small sharp knife into the core of the mixture. If it comes out really wet, give it a couple more minutes, otherwise remove the baking tin from your oven.
- I like to add around 150 g of broken walnut pieces. This is OK if you are cooking for your family, but otherwise be aware of those with a nut allergy.
- I usually turn the brownies out before cutting them by flipping the baking tin upside down on a cooking wire and then flipping them over again onto a marble slab ready for cutting.
- These brownies are absolutely beautiful served with a nice rocher of Vanilla Bean Ice Cream or of course, with a nicely chilled glass of Prosecco!
- If baking for young children, you may wish to use chocolate with around 50% cocoa solids – however, we find that yougsters will happily indulge on the darker chocolate version.
- These brownies can be well wrapped and frozen for up to two months in a zip-lock bag. Defrost them at room temperature for around two hours or preferably in your fridge overnight.