Really good brownies

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Nigel Slater’s brownie recipe is, in his words, “just a 24-carat brownie, as dense and fudgy as Glastonbury Festival mud.” Who would resist? I, for one, couldn’t. Though I rarely make chocolate dessert — a whole year might go by — and never choose the chocolate option on a restaurant menu.

It’s not, as I sometimes explain for simplicity’s sake, because I don’t like it much. The truth is that, in matters of chocolate, I am embarrassingly picky. While most fruity cakes, tarts, and crumbles make me happy, chocolate doesn’t often hit the mark. It’s not as simple as dark or milk, cake or mousse, it’s a subtle dance in proportions: the shade, the butter, the nuts; it’s entirely subjective. For me, the perfect chocolate confection lies somewhere between a pecan blondie and a sombre, flour-less, nutty chocolate cake.

Which swept me right into the lap of this deep dark, spot-on fudgy brownie. It could be the only chocolate dessert I make all year.

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Very slightly adapted from Nigel Slater’s The Kitchen Diaries

I substituted “60 g of finest-quality cocoa powder” with an equal amount of additional regular chocolate (and so reduced the sugar very slightly). I also added pecans, of course.

2 cups (260 g) sugar

1 cup and 2 Tbsps (250 g) butter (more to butter the pan)

11 ounces (310 g) dark chocolate (70%)

3 eggs plus 1 yolk

1/2 cup (60 g) flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

1 cup pecans or walnuts, roughly chopped (optional)

Take the butter out of the refrigerator to soften at room temperature.

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a baking tin, approximately 9″ (23 cm) square, with parchment paper. Butter the paper and the sides of the pan.

Prepare a pan of simmering water. Break the chocolate into pieces and set aside about 2 ounces (50 g). Melt the chocolate (except the 2 ounces) in a bowl sitting atop, but not in, the simmering water. Once melted, remove the chocolate from the heat and set aside to cool. Chop the remaining 2 ounces of chocolate into chip size pieces.

In a large bowl, beat the sugar and softened butter thoroughly, until very light and creamy.

Break the eggs into a small bowl and whisk briefly with a spoon. Add the eggs to the sugar/butter mixture, little by little, stirring thoroughly in between.

Add the melted and the chopped chocolate.

Mix in the flour sifted together with the baking powder and a pinch of salt. Do not overstir, stop as soon as all the flour has disappeared.

Finally fold in the pecans, carefully with as few large strokes as possible.

Scrape the batter into the prepared baking tin, smooth the top, and slide into the oven to bake for approximately 30. Test for doneness with the point of a sharp knife that should come out wet but without raw batter attached. Return to the oven for a few minutes if necessary until done. **The brownies will continue to solidify a bit once they are out of the oven, careful not to overcook!**

Let cool for at least an hour before cutting.

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15 Responses to “Really good brownies”

  1. Hippie Chic Says:

    Sorry I would like to follow your recipe but what I have for the chocolate is 3, 4 oz each 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate. Would that work and for the Droste Cocoa Powder Dutch Processed with Alkali. What amounts would I use…. Thank you. I am going to take what ever advice that you give me…

  2. Hippie Chic Says:

    Hi there again, could you tell me how much Cocoa I need to use and how much Chocolate. I would like to make it the way you did. Thank you soooo much.

    • valerie Says:

      Hi and thank you for your comment! The original recipe calls for 60g cocoa powder and 250g dark chocolate, in my recipe I only used chocolate (and therefore increased the quantity to 310g). I used the dark chocolate I had on hand, which I believe was from Jacques Torres though any high quality 70% dark chocolate would work well. If you decided to use cocoa powder, in the past I’ve liked Scharffenberger unsweetened cocoa powder. Hope this helps and don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any other questions! Best, Valerie

      • Hippie Chic Says:

        Hi there, Thank you soooo much for responding back, I have 3. 4oz bars of baking chocolate, not sure of would equal 250 grams. and if I use to cocoa is 60 grams 1 cup. Was thinking of using the Chocolate and the cocoa. So I should follow the recipe you posted right. But not use the amount of chocolate you posted in the recipe. But use the amount of sugar you do have posted. Just wanting to make this recipe so it turns out correct and Delicious :) Thank you so much for all your help..

  3. Hippie Chic Says:

    Hi there, These look sooooo good!! I am Hooked on Dark Chocolate. Thank you for posting the recipe. I have a few questions hope you can Help… What Kind of Dark Chocolate do you use just wondering if I may have to order it… And what Kind of Cocoa Powder do you use or do you order it.. Thank you and as soon as I hear back from you I plan to give these a try.. I do know what you put in to any recipe Can make all the difference:) Thank you again.

  4. boxofspice Says:

    These look absolutely delicious. Am off to go make them!

  5. kimberly.ann Says:

    YUM. Can’t wait to try out your version of a classic favorite!

  6. Jessica Says:

    I’ve been craving a fudgy, gooey brownie all week. These look particularly decadent and delicious!

  7. Oui, Chef Says:

    One can never have too many good brownie recipes…thanks for another.

  8. Tehzeen Says:

    my mouth is drooling!! will have give it a try this we with the kidsxx

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