Eat: Beautiful Brownies

After a hugely busy and slightly draining day in the office, the last thing I wanted to do was come home and fulfill my promise to bake brownies for my colleagues, but I'm so glad I did. Despite needing to go and buy everything, including the electric whisk and brownie tin, it's been a very worthwhile exercise, and licking the bowl has been my greatest pleasure this week! Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, you've saved me from hitting the gin!

The top picture shows the finished result (they're seriously the best brownies I've tasted) and the bottom picture shows the mixture just before it's baked: I was sorely tempted just to stick my face into the goo and eat my way out.

If you fancy being nice to your colleagues, friends or family, or just want to gorge yourself on chocolately goodness, you could do a lot worse than these! Enjoy!

Cocoa brownies - makes 16.

170g butter

200g caster sugar

100g light muscovado sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

100g cocoa powder

50g plain flour

¼ tsp salt

100g walnut halves or chopped chocolate (optional)

Heat the oven to 170C/325F/gas mark 3. Lightly grease a 22cm x 22cm x 5cm brownie tin and line with two strips of baking parchment. Let the strips hang over the sides of the tin by about 8cm – this'll make the brownies easier to remove when they're cooked.
Place the butter in a medium-size saucepan and melt it over a medium heat until it turns golden brown and smells slightly sweet and nutty. Set aside to cool.

In a mixing bowl, and using an electric hand mixer, beat together the sugars and eggs until very thick and glossy – when you lift up the beaters, a ribbon of batter should stay on the surface of the mixture for several seconds. Beat in the vanilla and the browned butter.
Sift together the cocoa, flour and salt into a separate bowl. Gently fold this into the batter with a spatula, being careful not to overmix. Fold in the walnuts or chocolate chunks, if using, and scrape into the prepared tin with a spatula.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out of the middle of the brownies with a few moist crumbs attached. Place the tin on a rack and let the brownies cool completely. Lift them out of the tin with the parchment and cut into 16 squares.


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