Chocolate Brownies | Dani Valent

Chocolate Brownies

Looking for brownie points? This is a rich, chewy classic brownie with a perfect crackled top

World Chocolate Day is this Sunday. Experts advise that you eat a LOT of chocolate all week as training. In fact, it’s best to get 30 minutes of medium-intensity chocolate eating in every day of your life. It sounds hard, but you’d be amazed how eating chocolate can just become part of your life. For example, if you choose to eat chocolate walking up the stairs instead of taking the lift, you can usually get a lot more in. It’s the little things! Like these brownies.

The recipe is based on a classic from Joan Campbell, an influential Australian food editor who worked across Vogue titles, including Vogue Entertaining. She died in 2008.

A great brownie must be chewy, moist and rich, with a bright crackling top. A brownie is not about lift, it’s about lusciousness.

Makes: 16 pieces
Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 200 grams (7 oz) caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 125 grams (4.4 oz) dark chocolate
  • 125 grams (4.4 oz) butter
  • 40 grams (1.4 oz) plain flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste or essence
  • small handful roasted, unsalted hazelnuts or other nuts

Traditional Method

1. Preheat oven to 180°C (360°F). Line a 20cm (8 in) square tin with baking paper. Melt the butter and chocolate in small saucepan over low heat, stirring to combine. Set aside to cool.

2. Whisk eggs and sugar until thick and foamy.

3. Add cooled chocolate mixture and vanilla and combine.

4. Add the flour and combine until smooth. Transfer into the tin, scatter over the nuts and bake for 30 minutes, or until top is deep brown and just starting to crack. Brownie should still feel slightly soft to the touch. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling.

Cut into pieces with a sharp knife. Store in an airtight container for up to four days if not eating immediately (who are we kidding!).

Thermomix Method

1. Preheat oven to 180°C (360°F). Line a 20cm (8 in) square tin with baking paper. Place caster sugar and eggs in mixing bowl and whip 1 min/speed 4. Transfer into a bowl and set aside. Scrape mixing bowl out well but there’s no need to wash it.

2. Place chocolate and butter in mixing bowl and melt 4 min/60°C (140°F)/speed 1.

3. Add vanilla and flour. Mix 10 sec/speed 2.

4. Return egg mixture to mixing bowl and combine 20 sec/speed 3.5. Ensure mixture is fully combined. If necessary, scrape down and mix a further 10 sec/speed 3.

5. Transfer into the tin, scatter over the nuts and bake for 30 minutes, or until top is deep brown and just starting to crack. Brownie should still feel slightly soft to the touch. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling.

Cut into pieces with a sharp knife. Store in an airtight container for up to four days if not eating immediately (who are we kidding!).

Tips

  • Use the best quality dark chocolate you can.
  • You can use gluten-free flour for this recipe.
  • Hazelnuts, walnuts and macadamias are my favourite nuts for this brownie. The nuts can also be stirred through the mixture before turning into the tin.
  • Add a pinch of chilli powder for a spicy variation.
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