Isn’t weird how everyone claims to have a great brownie? I mean there really needs to be a brownie competition to establish who actually is the go to for brownies. And if there is one, I now after 25 years feel confident enough to enter!
I am proud enough to say I can cook and bake very well, but I have always been embarrassed to admit how much I sucked at brownies. Part of me felt it was okay as everyone sells them, but then quarantine a couple of years ago got me thinking that I just need to master them so I can create epic flavours for you all. I am so happy to tell you that I have mastered the perfect brownie after a GAZILLION attempts and as long as you follow all my tips you won’t go wrong.
Makes: 1 tray
Photography: Safia Shakarchi
150g dark cooking chocolate, roughly chopped
35g cocoa powder
170g caster sugar
55g dark brown sugar
3 medium eggs
1 tsp sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling
0.5 tsp ground cardamom or 1 tsp vanilla extract
85g plain flour
Preheat your oven to 180°c and line a rectangular baking tin with two pieces of greaseproof paper (one going each way) so that you are able to pull the brownies out later.
Place 110g of your roughly chopped chocolate into a bowl with 25g of the cocoa powder.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat, until it is vigorously bubbling. Immediately pour the butter over the chocolate and cocoa powder mixture, and leave to sit for two minutes before whisking until silky smooth. It should have a very loose consistency. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.
In the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer with the whisk attachment, or using an electric whisk, combine both sugars with the eggs, cardamom and salt. Mix on a medium speed till your batter becomes thick, pale and doubles in size, about 4-5 minutes.
Once the egg mixture has reached the right stage, with the mixer still going, pour the melted chocolate in and continue whisking until incorporated.
At this stage your eggs have been whipped up super well and we don’t want to lose this. Sieve in the flour and the remaining cocoa powder, then add in 20g of the remaining chopped chocolate and fold in carefully until you can no longer see any flour. I do this in about 6 big folds, sometimes I see a bit of flour but when I pour the batter into the baking dish it mixes in.
Pour the batter into your prepared baking dish, sprinkle over the remaining 20g of chopped chocolate and place in the oven for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, remove from the oven and BANG the baking dish on your counter top 3 times, then sprinkle over the sea salt.
Place the tray back in the oven for another 10 minutes. At the end of this time I pull it out and stick a skewer in the edge to see if it’s clean. My oven is slow, so I put it in for a further 3 minutes – 23 minutes is perfect for me as I get a gooey centre, but you can add an extra 2-3 minutes if you like.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the baking dish for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely, or eat it hot with ice cream if you fancy!