Making chocolate brownies

Here we have our first attempt at a filming a recipe. It’s an insight into my baking, where I tend to make up the recipe as I go. Apologies in advance for the confusion this causes – you can use the written recipe below for clarification!

The benefit of an entire life with baking as my major pastime is that making up the recipe usually works out pretty well.   I shared this particular brownie at two events and people kept coming back for more and raving about it, so I think it’s not just me that likes it!

But please give it a go for yourself! They are fudgy but also a little bit cakey, exactly the way I think brownies should be.  I am aware the debate rages on this!

The recipe is obviously for an enormous quantity, but you can divide it to make it to go into a tin smaller than my giant roasting tin. If you’re using good, readily available chocolate, like Green & Blacks, the chocolate alone for this quantity (1.1kg) could cost £22. Keep an eye out for multibuy deals on the chocolate bars to help (right now Waitrose has 2 for £3 on Green & Blacks and Sainsbury’s has 1/3 off), but remember this quantity makes enough for more than 20 decent sized pieces of brownie that would cost more than £2 each from most London bakeries and coffee shops. If you’re cutting them up it would make a sizeable little package of brownies for between 4 and 6 people which works out around £5 each for a homemade gift that should take you more than an hour to make and clean up after.

Ingredients

  • 800g dark chocolate (buttons or chopped) – approx. 70% cocoa content
  • 600g unsalted butter (sorry about the confusion in the video!)
  • 10 medium eggs
  • 300g white granulated or caster sugar
  • 300g brown sugar (I used dark brown sugar)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 100g plain flour
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 300g White chocolate chunks or buttons

A few notes on the ingredients:

  • Only use dark chocolate that has no more ingredients than: cocoa mass, cocoa butter, sugar, vanilla and soy/sunflower lecithin. If it has fewer, that’s fine.
  • Rock salt will be ok, but table salt will taint the flavour of the brownie
  • The same goes for vanilla essence, if that’s what you have in the cupboard, I recommend next time you’re at the shops replacing it with vanilla extract.
  • The white chocolate should only have cocoa butter, sugar, vanilla and milk (powder or crumb).

Chocolate Brownie by Jennifer Earle of Chocolate Ecstasy Tours

Method

Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl over (but not touching) simmering water in a saucepan. Put the butter in first to avoid risk of burning the chocolate. It will take a little while (at least five minutes) to melt, don’t try and rush it because you don’t want it to burn! Remove from the heat before all the lumps are gone.

Separate the eggs (I do it one at a time) and mix with the sugars.  If you don’t have a stand alone mixer you can use a hand mixer. If you’re feeling like burning some calories, just a handbeater or spoon.  It’s best if they are really well mixed.

Whilst the eggs are beating and the chocolate is melting, grease the tin and line it with baking paper (cutting slits in the four corners helps to avoid folds that the brownie can get caught in).

Add the salt and vanilla extract.

Add the melted chocolate and butter to the egg and sugar mixture and beat for a further minute. It’s best to do half at a time if you’re making a large quantity.

Add the flour and cocoa powder and stir gently by hand to combine.

Tip in the white chocolate (or substitute for milk or dark chunks or raisins or cranberries if preffered) and stir by hand just enough to mix through.

Pour the whole mixture into the lined tin.

This quantity took 35 minutes to bake at 160C in a fan oven (not the 25 minutes I guessed!), half the mixture would take between 18 and 25 minutes and even less of the mixture will take less again. It will always take at least 15 minutes to bake.  It’s done when it starts cracking around the edges and it isn’t wobbling if you gently nudge the tin. If you’re not watching the whole video, just fast forward to the very end to see the tin coming out of the oven.

The longer you can leave it in the tin after it’s cooked, the better. Overnight is best.

Once cooled, cut into pieces and serve, or wrap to give as gifts.  The brownies get better with time, for at least 7 days, provided they are kept in an airtight container.

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Comments

  1. Look really good! I’ve tried something similar using different strength cocoa content and chocolate orange combinations. That works wonderfully too.

  2. Tom says:

    very informative, they do actually look extremely tasty. I like to throw some cranberries or raspberries into mine, though I like to dry them first. Just adds a bit of colour and texture.

  3. Jennifer Earle Jen says:

    Thanks Bob and Tom! Sorry for the delay – I never got notified and as you can see have been a bit absent! The blog will start again soon!

    I LOVE raspberries in brownies too. Drying them a bit is an excellent idea. Otherwise it can really throw off the baking time because they leach so much extra liquid into the batter.

  4. Sandra says:

    Lovely brownie recipe – thanks very much!
    For anyone with kids who love baking with chocolate, I just wanted to share I tip. I found this kids games website recently http://www.mygames4girls.com/-chocolate-/ there are lots of free chocolate games, but they double up as great recipes! There are plenty of brownie recipes there, and I find they make baking just that little bit more engaging for little ones!
    Thanks again for the recipe, I love this chocolatey blog!

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