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.