Brownies – and the content thereof – is a subject of much ongoing debate. A friend on Twitter recently asked for a good recipe and received a number of wildly differing recommendations. Some people vehemently argue the case for the use of 75% cocoa solids chocolate, others fight the corner for the addition of fruit or marshmallow. Hell, there are even some weirdoes out there who really push the brownie boundary with an apple-based variety. Madness.
This is all very well and good but, in my view, there’s nothing comparable to that bitter feeling of disappointment when you realise that the warm chocolate brownie with hot fudge sauce on the pudding menu is not a squidgy, gooey-bellied delight but a false promise of chocolate goodness containing dangerous little nut grenades. Let’s get this straight people, WHOLE OR CHOPPED NUTS HAVE NO PLACE IN A BROWNIE. There, I’ve said it. I will not hear any arguments to the contrary.
Here is my nice, safe, NO VISIBLE NUTS, recipe for a decent brownie…
- 225g dark chocolate (85% cocoa solids is best)
- 225g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 100g caster sugar
- 3 tsp Vanilla essence
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 150g fine ground almonds (this is a perfectly acceptable form of nuts, they are ground to within an inch of their lives. These are stealth nuts.)
- Preheat the oven to 170°C and line a square tin with baking paper
- Melt the chocolate and butter together in a saucepan
- Remove from the heat and tip in the sugar
- Stir mixture well and add in the vanilla
- Using a hand whisk (not an electric one), whisk in the beaten eggs
- Continue to whisk the mix for a further two minutes or so until the ingredients are well combined and the mixture is completely smooth
- Stir in the ground almonds
- Pour the mix into the baking tin and cook for 25-30 minutes.
When you remove your brownie from the oven the top should be crispy and cracked. When you cut into it (you’ll get about 12 generous squares out of this recipe) the middle should be dense, squishy and free from threatening little nuts. Hah!