No joke. These are the best brownies in the whole world. Fact.
If you don’t believe me, you can ask my friends, family and work colleagues. Any excuse I have, I make these brownies. For birthday parties (piled high and dotted with candles), Christmas parties (sprinkled with icing sugar snow or dotted with white chocolate chunks), work events, thank you gifts; literally anything. Everyone always loves them.
I can’t really take the credit for their amazingness though, as they’re from Nigella Lawson‘s cookbook ‘How to be a Domestic Goddess’. Once you’ve made them, you’ll realise how easy they are and you’ll be whipping them up at every occasion you get the chance to.
I change the process slightly from her book, just to have one less bowl to wash up. Plus, I never add the nuts (I hate a nutty brownie), but aside from that everything stands as per Nigella’s instructions.
There is no cocoa powder in sight, only deep dark chocolate, which stands up perfectly against the amount of sugar thats added. Don’t you dare make these with milk chocolate; way too sweet.
I hope you enjoy these little squares of goodness as much as I do and that they become a staple in your home too!
This is the full recipe, but I often just do half quantities if I’m making for a small number of people.
375g soft unsalted butter (Peru – mantequilla sin sal)
375g dark chocolate (I use 70% normally)
6 large eggs
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract (in Peru it’s most common to find vanilla ‘essence’ so I skip adding this unless I have ‘extract’ or can find it)
500g caster sugar (Peru – azúcar blanca)
225g plain flour (Peru – harina sin preparar)
1 teaspoon salt (very important to enhance the chocolate flavour)
Optional: 300g chopped walnuts (or any other mix ins you fancy – chopped white chocolate and even broken oreos have been a success for me in the past)
- Preheat oven to 180C (this temperature works for me with fan) or gas mark 4 and line your brownie tin (Nigella recommends a tin the size of 33 x 23 x 5 and 1/2 cm and line using foil, parchment or Bake-O-Glide). Note: My parchment of choice is an environmentally friendly one I always have from England and you can find it here.
- Melt the chocolate and butter together in a heavy based pan. Do not leave it while it’s melting. You do not want your chocolate or butter to burn! Leave aside to cool a little.
- Beat together the sugar, eggs and vanilla extract, just until thoroughly mixed. You can also sieve the flour into a bowl and add the salt, but I do this step at the end to avoid the extra bowl!
Add the sugar and egg mixture into the chocolate and butter mixture and beat together until combined. Now this is when I sieve the flour and add the salt directly into the mixture, but if you did yours into a bowl first, you can add that now. Beat to combine all the ingredients together into a smooth mixture.
- Add any nuts or mix ins you like and stir to combine. Or if they are larger or to be added to the top, you can do this once the mixture is in the pan instead.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared baking tin and make sure all the mixture is scraped out of the saucepan. You don’t want to miss a drop!
- Bake for around 25 minutes. I always check at 20 but normally 25 minutes is perfect. It’s ready when the top has dried to be a little paler than the rest and it cracks and speckles a little. The middle should be fudgy and gooey, so doing the ‘is-the-cake-cooked’ test with a skewer won’t work here! They do continue to cook as they cool so try not to overcook in the oven.
- Leave to cool. Then cut into squares and serve beautifully…. or just devour!