Brownies… how not to start a New Years diet!

OK if you are planning on losing a bit of the extra weight you gained over the Christmas period than a brownie is probably not the way to go, but on New Year’s Eve I had a bit of a craving for some chocolate goodness, and brownies seemed to fit the bill perfectly.

Also, if I am honest, I had some chocolate left over from a cake I made at Christmas, and the brownies were a good way of using it up!

Easy Chocolate Brownies

I think this is my grandmother’s brownie recipe, or perhaps it is just one that my mother clipped from one of the millions of women’s magazines that she used to read when I was a child. Whatever the origin though this is a simple but delicious entry into the world of baking brownies.

  • Skill level: beginner
  • Preparation time: 20 mins
  • Cooking time: 40-45 mins

Ingredients

  • 150 g (5oz) butter
  • 125 g (4oz) dark cooking chocolate
  • 3 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 ½ cups (375 g /12 oz) caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 cup (125 g/4 oz) plain flour
  • ¼ cup (30 g/1 oz) cocoa powder
  • icing sugar to dust (optional)

Preparation Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Grease a 20 cm/8 in square tin with oil or melted butter, and line the bottom with baking paper extended over two sides to help you lift the brownies out.
  2. Bring a small pan of water to a simmer. Remove from the heat. Put the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl, place over the pan (try not to let the bowl sit in the water) and stir occasionally until smooth. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.
  3. Use a whisk to beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla together in a large bowl.
  4. Add the melted chocolate mixture and whisk together.
  5. Sift and combine the flour and cocoa powder, then combine with the other ingredients. It is important not to overbeat.
  6. Pour the mixture into the baking tin and bake for 40-45 minutes until the brownies are slightly risen and just firm in the middle.
  7. Leave the brownies to cool in the tin. Then using the paper lift them out and cut them. Dust with icing sugar if you wish.

Variations

  • For nut brownies add 1 cup of walnuts or pecans to the mixture.
  • For white chocolate brownies use white chocolate melts instead of the dark chocolate.
  • For marshmallow brownies add 1 cup of mini marshmallows to the mixture.

Serving Suggestion

I like to serve brownies broken up into bite-sized pieces with some vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce.

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