The Best Brownies

Hi everyone! Before I start this post properly I’d just like to say a big well done to everyone who got their A level results and GCSE results in the past two weeks! My sister was among the terrified sixth formers waiting to desperately log on to UCAS to find out whether she’d got into uni or not, something I remember all too well! I’m very happy to say that she got great results and got into her first choice! I do want to quickly say to any of you reading who may not have got the results they were hoping for that it’s OK and that you’ll love whichever uni you end up going to when you get there! Don’t lose confidence, keep your head held high and don’t give up on your goals.

So, cheesy bit of this post over, the A-level commotion got me thinking about the first recipe I baked in my new flat, for my new flatmates at Lancaster uni, which was my favourite brownie recipe. Brownies are super easy to make and aren’t that expensive, and I happen to have what I believe to be the best brownie recipe I’ve ever found! I’m yet to meet anyone that doesn’t love these brownies, including my brother who’s quite selective about which puddings he likes (strange boy!). So, although this recipe has only been given to a select few (I like to call them ‘the chosen ones’) before, here I am publishing it for all of you. The thing I love most about these brownies is the fudgy centre and gooey quality to them- they’re quite rich which makes them good for sharing as they cut into slightly smaller pieces (if you want to share, no judging if you don’t!).

The Best Brownies:
The recipe for these brownies comes from a cookbook called ‘Divine: Heavenly chocolate recipes’ which is an amazing recipe book produced by Divine chocolate (a brilliant Fairtrade chocolate brand). I’m a big supporter of Fairtrade, so when I got this book I had high hopes, and it didn’t disappoint! There’s even some savoury chocolate recipes in there for you brave ones…
http://www.divinechocolate.com/uk/shop/chocolate-for-baking/heavenly-chocolate-recipes-heart

Baking time: 20 mins
Production time: 15/20 mins
Cost: £3.11

Ingredients:
200g Dark chocolate (unsurprisingly Divine’s dark chocolate is really good for this, but that’s not the chocolate I used to calculate the price- sorry!)
100g Butter, softened
250g Caster Sugar
4 Eggs
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Essence
60g Plain Flour
60g Cocoa Powder

This recipe fits into a 20.5 x 25.5cm baking tin, which needs to be greased and lined with greaseproof paper.

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
2. Melt the chocolate (it says in the recipe to do it over a bowl of water but I just melt it in the microwave). When it’s smooth and completely melted, put it on one side until needed.
3. Beat the butter and sugar until fluffy, then add the vanilla essence. At this point, it’ll look a bit runny- don’t panic!
4. Add the cooled melted chocolate and mix in thoroughly (this is the bit where it starts to look a bit more appetising). Add the flour and cocoa powder to the mixture and gently stir in.
5. When all the ingredients are completely combined, spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and spread the mixture evenly (using the back of a metal spoon seems to work best for that).
6. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. It should be firm to touch but still be a bit fudgy. If they’re done, they’ll have a thin chocolate-y crust on the top which is lighter then the middle. Take them out of the oven and leave to cool, as the chocolate will continue to cook a bit when you’ve taken them out of the oven.

Handy Hints:
Accompaniments- These go great with ice cream, or cream if you’re more into cream on its own. They’re great if you eat them slightly warm with ice cream (if they’re not fresh, stick them in the microwave for about 10 seconds).
After Eight Brownies- A great addition to these is to make minty brownies. You’ll need a box of After Eights as well as the normal recipe ingredients. All you need to do to make these is alter the bit where you put them in the tin. Instead of adding all the mixture to the tin, add half and smooth it down. Then line up the mints in lines on top of this layer of brownie and add the rest of the brownie mixture on top, making sure that you cover all the mints.
Chocolate chips- These taste great with some chocolate chips, I tend to add white chocolate ones, but make sure they’re cut into small pieces as these brownies are quite thin.
Portions- These cut into about 20/25 pieces.

I’m very sorry I don’t have a picture of these- the last time I made them they got eaten before I could snap a picture! Next time I make them I’ll add a picture to this page!

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