Sunday, April 21, 2013

Miss Kitty Bakes: The best ever chocolate brownies

In my book there is nothing better or more comforting than a home baked chocolate brownie. If it's done well, it's sweet, rich and unctuously sticky. Perfect comfort food.

I came across this recipe on HomeMade Heart. The lovely Mummy is one of the best bakers I know and if she said it was the best brownie ever then I had no doubts. I trust her judgement completely.

The first time I made it, it was absolutely unbelievable. A few small modifications and I believe I have truly found brownie perfection. There seems to be a trick in the timing though - you want to have a set centre but not bake the sides too chewy. I think I have managed that by dropping the temperature at the 25 minute mark. I also add raspberries (because we have raspberry canes in out backyard and I often have bags in the freezer) and take out the walnuts. But sometimes I make it with walnuts and it's equally as delicious. Personal preference really!

If you try this recipe I'd be interested in your thoughts as to how it compares. It's not for the feint of heart. It's expensive (requiring 4 blocks of Lindt or Green and Blacks chocolate) and makes a vast amount of brownie - perfect for when you have visitors or for a dinner party dessert - and it does freeze well. If you are so inclined!

Miss Kitty's best ever chocolate brownies
(Recipe courtesy of HomeMade Heart via Nigella Lawson).

375g unsalted butter
375g high quality dark chocolate (I used Lindt 70 per cent this time and in the past have used Green and Blacks 70%. Callebaut or Belcolade would also work. You need something dark and bitter)
6 large eggs
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
500g caster sugar
225g plain flour
1 teaspoon of salt
350g chopped walnutsOR
2 cups of raspberries, frozen or fresh
A good handful chocolate chips - your choice

Line the base and sides of a 23cm x 33cm tin with baking paper.

Melt the butter and the chocolate together over low heat in a large heavy-based saucepan.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs together well with the sugar and vanilla.

Measure the flour and salt into another bowl.

When the chocolate mixture has smoothly melted, set aside to cool for a bit, then pour it into the eggs and sugar mixture, beat well, then tip in the flour and then the nuts (if you are using) and chocolate chips.  Beat well with a wooden spoon to combine, then fold in the raspberries gently (if using) and then scrape the lot into the prepared pan.

Nigella says to bake at 180 degrees for around 25 minutes, however  even with The Mummy's super-powerful oven, she needed nearly 40 minutes. I bake for 25 minutes at 180 then drop the temperature to 150 degrees and check every 5-10 minutes until the centre is set.

When the brownies are done, the top should be set, turned into a pale, smooth and glossy thin crust, while the middle will still be dense and goey - a cake tester should come out clean-ish around the edges, but still somewhat goopy in the middle (they will continue to cook and set as they cool down).

Allow the brownies to cool completely in the tin on top of a cooling rack.  If you lined the tin well with baking paper, you should be able to use it to carefully lift the entire slab of brownie out at once, then cut into squares on a board with a large knife. Serve with a restorative cup of tea, or - if you are feeling decadent, some good quality vanilla ice-cream for a delicious desert.


Sophie Lou said...

Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!! Will definitely try out this recipe! xxx

Anonymous said...

This is the brownie recipe I use! Definitely the best that I've come across. Not tried adding raspberries before though so that's something I'm gonna have to try out. Yours looks seriously yummy! xx

Sarah said...

WOW! they look and sound DELISH.. X

Amy said...

If this is the recipe from Nigella's "How to Be a Domestic Goddess", it's my fail-safe recipe for brownies too. My copy of Nigella's book is well marked at this page, and I've scribbled all over it (a habit I have with cookbooks) in order to reduce the recipe so I don't have quite so many! I halve most aspects and cut down the sugar content to a little less than half. I make these with peanut butter chips (half a packet) and OMG best thing ever. I also found the recipe timing/temp touch and go but I think this is largely dependant upon one's oven. There is a fine line with this recipe between uncooked brownie mix and perfectly fudgey brownies, and I have been known to cut into the tin to realise I've made an error of judgment and I need to whack it back in for a quick burst (which works, thankfully). When making this recipe I hover at the oven during the cooking process as it's a delicate moment!

Katy Paterson said...

These sound absolutely divine! Definitely saving this one! xx

The Mummy said...

These are so good. I can eat a dozen in a day, easily. I have made about 6 batches over the last month. They also work with dark chocolate chips (300g) instead of walnuts, which is handy if you need to take them somewhere nut-free (I first did this for the lovely women at T's occasional care). I will try with the raspberries soon!