A very good chocolate brownie

Food & drink
An exceedingly good cake – chocolate brownies with pecans

There’s nothing quite like a good chocolate brownie.

It’s not quite a cake, not quite a biscuit, but more of an indulgence than either.  A good chocolate brownie recipe is one of those things every cook should have up his or her sleeve.

This recipe is excellent, a straightforward brownie recipe with an extra flourish that lifts it above the mundane.

Start by melting 225g of dark chocolate in a bowl set over a simmering pan of water.  The quality of the chocolate is paramount, and it should have at least 70% cocoa content.

Leave the chocolate to melt, gently.  Don’t stir it, just keep the flame low and let it melt.

Sift 110g of plain flour, 70g of cocoa powder, and half a teaspoon each of salt and baking powder together into a large bowl and set aside.

Very good chocolate brownie

In another bowl, beat together 225g of softened butter and 200g of caster sugar until light and coffee coloured, before slowly mixing in two beaten eggs and another two extra yolks.

Fold in the flour and cocoa and mix in 120g of halved pecan nuts.

Tip the mixture out into a square cake tin, 20cm by 20cm, and bake for sixteen minutes at 160c.

The normal test for cake doneness does not apply here.  The point of  a chocolate brownie is that it should be soft and gooey in the middle, slightly undercooked.  Test the brownies with the point of a knife – if the blade comes out with some bits stuck to it, but the cake mix isn’t raw, it’s done.

Very good chocolate brownie

Leave to cool completely before turning out and cutting into twelve massive or twenty-four sensible pieces.

The ‘leaving to cool’ part can be difficult.  After she’d finished with the spoon, Lara checked the brownies every five minutes for an hour before pulling up a chair and declaring that she’d ‘just watch them for a bit’.

She still had to wait until after teatime to try one, though…

This recipe is from Canteen: Great British Food, which is just a complete joy of a cookbook.

Very good chocolate brownie