As I mentioned a few posts ago, it was my birthday earlier this month. I wanted to bring something into work for it, as I love to continue my old Dutch tradition of ‘trakteren’. Growing up in Holland, whenever it was your birthday you’d bring treats in for everyone in your class at school. So to translate that into adult terms, rather than someone buying you a drink, you get a round in for everyone.
So what to make? Well it would’ve felt a bit weird to make my own birthday cake, so I wanted something a bit more low key. I also considered my millionaire shortbread as that always seems to go down well, but I’d already brought that into work fairly recently. The obvious solution really was brownies. Now as a perfectionist, I’ve always avoided brownies because of all baked goods, this is the one where people seem to have the highest standards. They have to be the right amount of gooey, the right level of chocolateyness, not too sickly… The list goes on.
So I tried to challenge my perfectionist tendencies, throw caution to the wind and just go for it. The result? Pretty good actually! The reviews were good as well, two separate colleagues later told me that they were the best brownies they’ve ever had and I also got some recipe requests! Now I can’t vouch for the quality of the brownies they’d eaten before mine, but I’m taking that to be a good sign! Another win from BBC Good Food, who humbly named this recipe ‘Best Ever Brownies‘. These apparently stay good in the fridge for 2 weeks or in the freezer for a month when kept in an airtight container, but I challenge anyone not to eat them by that time!
This brownie recipe is definitely a keeper.
- 185g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 185g good quality dark chocolate, broken into chunks
- 85g plain flour
- 40g cacao powder
- 3 eggs
- 275g caster sugar
- 50g milk chocolate, roughly chopped into small pieces
- 50g white chocolate, roughly chopped into small pieces
How to make it…
- Melt the butter and the dark chocolate either on the hob (in a glass bowl over a saucepan of hot water) or in the microwave. When fully melted and mixed together, leave aside to cool to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 160C/ gas mark 4 and line your tins (I used 2 loaf tins, or you could use a 20cm tray) with baking paper. Next, sieve the flour and the cacao powder into a mixing bowl.
- In a different mixing bowl, add the eggs and the sugar. Use an electric mixer (handheld is fine) to whisk these together at maximum speed. This should take up to 8 minutes, depending on how powerful your mixer is. You’ll know it’s done when the mixture doubles in size, becomes pale and becomes thick enough that moving the whisk over the top should leave a trail behind for a couple of seconds.
- Next, gently fold in the cooled chocolate mix using a rubber spatula. You’ll want to do this very gently to prevent the air from getting knocked out, so be patient. Folding in a figure 8 shape, plunging the spatula in at the bottom and top of the figure 8 and folding this over works well.
- Take your mixing bowl of dry ingredients and gently sieve over your chocolate mix, again using a gentle folding action. You don’t want to overmix, so er on the side of caution here. Finally, add the milk and white chocolate chunks stir these through.
- Pour the mix into your baking tin(s), level the top with a spatula and bake in the oven for around 25 minutes. If it wobbles in the middle, it needs to go back in for a little longer. The sides should be coming away slightly from the tin when its ready. Leave to cool completely in the tin, and then cut into squares to serve.
From BBC Good Food, ‘Best Ever Brownies‘ recipe
For more of my baking ideas, check out:
- Millionaire Shortbread
- Rose Apple Tarts
- Passion fruit Posset
- Cake in a Jar Gift
- Traditional Dutch Apple Cake
- The Jessica Cake – A Victoria Sponge with a Twist