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Best Brownie Recipe

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by Kat Parr Mackintosh (subscribe)
Young and coffee in varying degrees, Kat also says stuff @ThoroughlyMode
Published March 29th 2011
Most of the time my girlfriend, Lara, is the one I turn to for support in a crisis of any kind. We see eye to eye on many important issues. But not, unfortunately on whose doorstep the award for the world's best brownie should go.

I'm a bits of nuts and chunks of chocolate kind of a girl, while she's more a fudge-y, stick to the top of your mouth sort.

Luckily our friendship is strong enough to get past this. And to help heal the wounds we've been trialling using the same base recipe and just adding something or taking something away to taste. In my case that means throwing some extra nuts, dried fruit and chunks of dark chocolate into the mix, and in her case it means taking away some of the heat. In our experiments on which recipes can take this tinkering best we've discovered one on the Jamie Oliver website, which is our current joint-adjustable-favourite.

Mmmm. Brownies by Flickr user jeffreyw
Mmmm. Brownies by Flickr user jeffreyw


For the basic recipe, a.k.a. Lara style, you need:
200g of 70% cocoa dark chocolate
90g cocoa powder
65g plain flour
360g caster sugar
4 large eggs
250g unsalted butter

In my version I like to add additional chunks of chocolate – buds, coated raisins, I'll try anything once – and nuts or dried fruit. I'm personally a big fan of pecans, so I'll drop in 75gs of them, along with some dried cranberries if I have some. Jamie recommends dried sour cherries (75gs) and/ or the zest of one orange, but I think you can do better than that if you're adventurous.

Step One: Preheat your oven to 180°C and line a baking tin with greaseproof paper.

Step Two: Sift the flour and cocoa powder so that they're light and smooth, then add in the caster sugar and baking powder.

Step Three: Beat up your eggs.

Step Four: Get a going, or a pot of water simmering on the stove with a large bowl resting over it – don't use a metal one, you'll regret it. Melt the butter into the bowl and then break up the chocolate into it and melt it all together until it's very smooth.

Note: If you're augmenting the recipe now's the time to value add your extras. Nuts and dried fruits should go in – and on occasion Lara will add a marshmallow or three - but chocolate and other melt-ables should wait until the next step.

Step Five: Which is adding the hot chocolate mix and the flour and sugar mix and stirring it well. Once it's mixed add the eggs and keep stirring until it's smooth. Add your other melt-ables now.

Step Six: Pour the mix into a baking tray and let the air bubbles pop out of it by dropping it on the counter a few times – gently of course. Then pop it into the oven.

Step Seven: This is the other point where our recipes diverge. Lara takes her tray out after 20 minutes to find the middle very gooey. I leave mine in for another five so that the middle is soft and the chunks of chocolate have melted, but so that it's still a 'slice' type of result. Lara's comes out quite deliciously desserty.

Step Eight: When the tin is slightly cooler, cut your giant brownie into squares or rectangles.

'Lara's Best Brownies' are best served warm with ice cream, mine can be packed in lunch boxes or served as afternoon tea.

Try my version with chips of chocolate coated honeycomb for something really decadent.
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Why? Because only YOU can make your own perfect brownie
When: Bad days are made better by brownie baking
Where: In your own kitchen
Cost: Go for good quality choc and nuts and it will still be cheaper than shop bought
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