Sunday, 20 February 2011

Best Ever Chocolate Brownies -

Since Costco has stopped selling my favourite brownie mix (see previous post), I have been on the hunt for a new favourite. I tried the recipe from the Green and Black's cookbook which was really good but I'd heard so many good things (thanks to 'Lazylol' who commented on the G&B brownies) about a recipe from BBC Good Food which claimed to be the 'best ever'. So on this rainy depressing Saturday in February, I tried it out. Obviously it's been a few weeks since the Green and Black's brownies so it's hard to make a direct comparison but I think these may just have the edge. 
These brownies are made slightly differently to the usual method. I usually just melt the chocolate/butter and then mix everything together with a wooden spoon. But these require a little more attention, whisking the eggs and sugar together with an electric mixer and then sifting the flour, folding the chocolate etc. But they are worth the wait. However, they should come with a warning, they're extremely rich. With other brownie mixes, I could, if left to my own devices, probably eat rather a lot before feeling a bit sick and sugar-rushey. But with these, I had a headache after just a small square! I think it's the large amount of dark chocolate with a lot of cocoa and then having chocolate chunks in the mix too. But they were definitely a hit with the rest of the family. They have a great crispy top with such a fudgey centre, yet they were firm enough to cut and serve (a fault with the old costco mix, you literally had to eat it with a spoon from the tin). I like my brownies to be almost under baked, but if you want yours a bit more cakey then leave them in the oven for a bit longer.

Also, before I post the recipe, a little tip on lining the tin. My boyfriend lined the tin today and he made a really cool net of baking paper with slits in the corners so it could easily lift out of the tin (see the photo for a better understanding). He did it by having the paper overlapping each side of the tin by about 2 inches, then fold all of the edges in evenly to make a square the size of the tin then unfold and cut every other slit. 

The recipe - I've really condensed this recipe as the one on the BBC good food site is so ridiculously over complicated that it's confusing! I mean, it's a brownie mix for god's sake! So I've made it simple:

Ingredients -
185g unsalted butter
185g dark chocolate (I used half Sainsbury's cooking chocolate and half G&B 70%)
85g plain flour
40g cocoa powder
50g white chocolate, chopped into small chunks
50g milk chocolate, chopped into small chunks
3 large eggs
275g golden caster sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 160c (fan oven). Line a tin with baking paper. 
2. Put the butter and dark chocolate into a microwavable bowl and melt on a low heat for a minute before stirring, then if not fully melted, continue. Leave to cool to room-temperature.
3. Meanwhile, chop the white and milk chocolate into chunks. Then break the eggs into a bowl and tip in the sugar. Using an electric mixer on the maximum speed, whisk until the eggs look thick and creamy and have nearly doubled in size.
4. Then pour the chocolate mix over the egg mix and gently fold with a spatula until the 2 mixtures combine. Try not to knock out too much of the air.
5. Then sift the cocoa and flour mixture into the chocolate/eggs and fold in gently until all incorporated. Don't over fold. Then stir in the chocolate chunks and pour into the tin. Place in the middle of the oven and cook for about 25-35 minutes. This will depend on your oven, I usually put a timer on for 18 minutes and then check it every couple of minutes after. I use a skewer to test if it is ready. You want it to still have a slight wobble and a tiny bit of chocolate still on the skewer as it will continue cooking for a few minutes after coming out of the oven. It should have a shiny, papery crust with the sides just beginning to come away from the tin.
6. Leave the brownie in the tin to cool and then lift the baking paper up to get the whole brownie out to serve. I cut it into 4 x 4 squares, but you could easily cut these in half again due to their richness. Keep in an airtight tin. 

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