(Yes, I know the date stamp below says "Wednesday", but as I type this on Wednesday morning it is still Tuesday evening in California, so I figure this squeaks under the wire.)
Everywhere I've worked in the UK, it's traditional for the birthday girl/boy to bring cakes into the office to celebrate their birthday. Breaking with the shop-bought norm, a couple of weeks ago I decided I'd bake chocolate brownies, which is what I took into the office on Monday. They went down a treat!
In the end, I had to make two batches on Sunday.The first batch were too gooey - our combi oven is on its last legs (we've ordered a replacement) and didn't hold its temperature well, so I got the timing wrong for it. For the second batch, I used a proper oven - the fan oven on the stove - and they turned out perfectly.
Chocolate Brownie Recipe - makes 16 - 20
110g dark chocolate (I used 50% stuff from Lidl)
225g self-raising flour (or 225g plain flour plus 2 teaspoons baking powder)
40g cocoa powder
275g soft dark muscovardo sugar
4 eggs, beaten
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Melt the chocolate and the butter together in a medium sized saucepan, over a low heat. (Or use a large bowl suspended over a saucepan filled with boiling water.)
- Stir in the sugar and keep stirring until combined.
- Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the eggs.
- Add the cocoa and flour (plus baking powder if using). Whisk until all ingredients are combined and there are no lumps.
- Line a large rectangular baking dish with silicon baking paper (I think mine is 30cm by 20cm and 2cm deep). Pour in the mixture. It may not spread all the way to the edge. Don't worry about that.
- Bake at 180C for 15-20 minutes. If you stick it with a knitting needle, the needle should be slightly sticky but not covered in goo. Turn out onto a cake rack and allow to cool.
- Once cool, cut into 16 or 20 squares. Store in an airtight container.
Mixing - I mixed this by hand using a balloon whisk.
Flour - I used what I have in stock, which is wholemeal chapatti-bread flour and added baking powder.
Eggs - The second time I made this yesterday, I only had 3 eggs. Turned out slightly stiffer and a fraction smaller but otherwise fine.
Time - takes 5 minutes to measure all the ingredients. Another 5-10 minutes to melt the chocolate and butter and combine everything into a batter.
Doubling up - The first time I made this recipe, four months ago, I made a double quantity. It works well but you get a lot of brownies.