Brownies = (in England) a cult girls club, a bit like the the Famous Five, the Secret Seven (except lots more of them, with a uniform and without their own private island full of smugglers), or the Freemasons. By that, I mean secret handshakes etc. Look, check ’em out:
However, in the US, where my beloved dad lives with his fantastically American wife Kelley (“Paul, Paul, get the camera Paul!!), Brownies means something entirely different. It equates to a dirty, dirty chocolatey slab that’s deliberately designed to cause your arteries to block like the M6 before you’ve even eaten it. In England, ‘dirty’ means WRONG…. HELLA wrong, but GREAT! Well, ladies and gentlemen, I raise my glass to my American step-family. You guys know how to make puddings. However, if we’re going to go ‘chocolate’ here, let’s add more. We’ll add a flake to the top. Then we’ll microwave it, melt it and eat it. YEAH!
(Makes 6 fatties)
75g plain flour, 1 tbsp cocoa powder, 154g dark chocolate (broken into pieces), 112g ‘Best for Baking’ (from Asda) – if not add unsalted butter and 1/4 tsp salt, 5g instant coffee, 150g caster sugar, 45g light brown sugar (just use caster if you don’t have brown), 2.5 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla extract.
1) preheat oven to 180 degrees.
2) Line a smallish, deepish baking dish with butter then parchment paper. Use a loaf tin, or a small lasagne tin/dish.
3) Sieve flour, salt (if used) and cocoa into a bowl.
4) In another bowl, put the chocolate, butter and coffee. Set it over a hot saucepan of water. (Don’t let the bowl touch the water). Keep the heat just low enough to melt the choc/butter without boiling. When melted and smooth, add sugars. Whisk (preferably with an electric mixer) until combined. It will be quite runny. Remove from heat.
5) Add 2.5 eggs (tricky, I know!) and vanilla. Whisk again until combined.
6) Fold in flour carefully. Do not beat.
7) Pour batter into tin/dish. Bake for 30 mins. It will be quite gloopy when it comes out. This surprised and unnerved me! FORGET the rule of inserting a skewer and it coming out clean – it comes out covered in chocolate!! Let the Brownie mix cool, then turn onto a rack and peel away parchment.
8) Cut into slices. Add half a flake to the top of each and microwave for a few seconds.