Saturday, 25 June 2011

Kate's Cakes and Bakes: Top Bakes: the Best Ever Chocolate Brownie



The Chocolate Brownie.

'Ahhhhhhh-mmmmmmmmmm'.

That's the noise I make when the irresistible, gooey, decadent Brownie comes to mind. Any good cake shop, any successful baking recipe book and any decent Farmer's Market cake stall will sell you one or show you how to make one.

It seemed an obvious choice for the second in the occasional mini-series that is Kate's Cakes and Bakes- Top Bakes. 

Let me tell you about my favourite type of Brownie. I'm not a fan of nuts in my Brownies. Conventional Brownie-lovers may protest, clamoring to tell me that the nuts provide a welcome contrast to the rich, dense chocolate. But, in my world, the nuts just get in the way. A great Brownie provides the biggest, richest, fudgiest hit of chocolate you could get. Unless you throw yourself into a great big vat of the stuff at Cadbury's World that is. But I suspect they may frown upon such activity on the grounds of health and safety and the like.

The recipe I turn to time, time and time again is by Nigel Slater, who describes his recipe like so:

'The crust is thin and lightly crisp, the centre poised between chocolate cake and the texture of a peat bog. The flavour is intense. This isn't just gastroporn, this is positively pay-per-view. '

The one key thing here is that these bad boys need 70% cocoa solid chocolate. Accept no imitations.

Chocolate Brownies
(by Nigel Slater, Observer, June 2004)

Ingredients
300g golden caster sugar
250g butter
250g chocolate (70 per cent cocoa solids)
3 large eggs plus 1 extra egg yolk
60g flour
60g finest quality cocoa powder
½ tsp baking powder


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/Gas Mark 4.
2. Line the bottom of a baking tin, about 23cm x 23cm, with baking parchment
3. Put the sugar and butter into the bowl of a food mixer and beat for several minutes till white and fluffy
4. Meanwhile, break the chocolate into pieces, set 50g of it aside and melt the rest in a bowl suspended over, but not touching, a pan of simmering water. As soon as the chocolate has melted remove it from the heat. 
5. Chop the remaining 50g into gravel-sized pieces
6. Break the eggs into a small bowl and beat them lightly with a fork
7. Sift together the flour, cocoa and baking powder and mix in a pinch of salt
8. With the food mixer running slowly, introduce the beaten egg a little at a time, speeding up in between additions
9. Remove the bowl from the mixer to the work surface, then mix in the melted and the chopped chocolate with a large metal spoon
10. Lastly, fold in the flour and cocoa, gently and firmly, without knocking any of the air out
11. Scrape the mixture into the prepared cake tin, smooth the top and bake for 30 minutes




Baker's notes...

  • To check the Brownies are baked, pierce the centre of the cake with a fork - it should come out sticky, but not with raw mixture attached to it. If it does, then return the brownie to the oven for three more minutes. But be well careful not to overcook.
  • Allow the Brownies to cool in the tin before removing. They will also solidify a little on cooling.
  • The Brownies will last 2-3 days in an airtight container...
  • ...2-3 days?? Not with me around. That'll be 2-3 hours then.

9 comments:

  1. "positively pay-per-view":)
    I see why they won't last 2-3 days.

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  2. They look so good that I'd give them about 2-3 minutes!!!!!!

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  3. Oooh, yum! I've heard other people rave about Nigel Slater's chocolate brownies too. Might have to try them...

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  4. Oh wow, that's quite a description! I'm always on the look out for the "ultimate" brownie so may have to give this a go. I personally don't mind if there are nuts inside, just as long as there's ooey gooey chunks of chocolate! The best I've come across so far is the recipe for the frosted brownie in the first Hummingbird Bakery book (but without the frosting)

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  5. I'm not so keen on nuts either - except for brownies made with ground almonds. You can never have enough brownie recipes...the gooier the better.

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  6. I would definately 150% recommend these Brownies- I'd post some to you all, except they inevitably got gobbled up in one greedy chocolate-hitting sitting!

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  7. I have made these before and they were soo delicious. Looking at your pictures makes me want to make them again! x

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Thank you very much for your comment- I appreciate every single one of them!