Chocolate brownies are much-loved North American fudgy cakes that are common everywhere now. The chocolatey squares are quick and easy to make. You will have to be patient though and wait for them to cool before cutting and tasting. I like to serve them with coffee or for dessert with fresh berries.
The brownies are best eaten on the day they are made but will keep for a few days. They freeze well too so it is handy to keep a few tucked away to bring out when a friend drops by.
I like to use a good quality Dutch processed cocoa powder in the brownies. You can add other ingredients to the brownie mixture if you wish, such as dried fruit, chocolate chips, fresh or frozen raspberries.
For Valentine’s Day I have added fresh raspberries (instead of the pecans or walnuts) to my basic brownie recipe. See the variation after the recipe.
Makes 16 squares.
- 125g butter
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted
- 1/2 cup plain flour
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup pecans or walnuts, roughly chopped
- 2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 150C fan or 170C regular. To bake the brownies, you need a 20cm square cake tin or similar-sized rectangular tin. Line the tin with a sheet of baking paper that comes up above the sides. This makes it easy to lift out when the brownie slab has cooled.
Melt the butter gently and stir in the cocoa; then leave to cool slightly.
Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and nuts in a bowl. Tip in the melted butter and cocoa mixture, the eggs and vanilla and quickly combine using a rubber spatula.
Spread the brownie mixture evenly in the tin with the spatula or your fingers. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until just firm and set when you press the surface with your fingers. Turn the pan in the oven halftime. Test with a toothpick in the centre, it should come out clean. Take care not to over-bake as they should remain moist.
Cool completely in the tin sitting on a rack. Lift out when cold and cut into squares or bars. Keep in an airtight container.
Chocolate brownies with raspberries variation
Use one 125g punnet of fresh raspberries and gently mix through the batter. Bake as above. Store the brownies in the fridge. Serve at room temperature with fresh raspberries.