Basic (yet utterly delicious) brownies
I strongly believe that every person (male or female) should have a go-to brownie recipe. This is a good way to make friends and subtly seduce potential lovers, because if the object of your attention doesn’t like chocolate, you should not be friends (and certainly not anything more than friends!) with them in the first place.
Obviously, in my various baking adventures over the years, I have tried many many recipes in search of the perfect brownie (and chocolate chip cookie – but that will come later). Unsweetened chocolate, cocoa powder, bittersweet chocolate, a combo of any of those three…you name it, I’ve tried it. Imagine my surprise when this super basic recipe sneakily overtook them all. My favourite thing about it is that it uses ingredients that I literally always have at home, so you can make them on a whim. I don’t always have unsweetened blocks of chocolate or even cocoa powder lying around, but a bag of semisweet chocolate chips is a staple of my kitchen.
The other great thing about this recipe is that you can customize it to your liking! I always add extra chocolate chips, but my favourite (gloriously sinful) thing to do is add about 5 chopped up Tim Tams. You poor Americans probably won’t be able to find Tim Tams that easily (although I hear they do sell them at Target), but you could easily add Oreos and that would be amazing too. My flatmates have adapted the recipe as their own as well and they like to add white chocolate chips in addition to the dark chocolate chips and aforementioned Tim Tams. I am adamantly against white chocolate in principle but must admit that this version tastes delicious.
Basically – you can’t go wrong with this recipe. Go wild with the add-ins. Make some new friends to share them with, if you don’t accidentally eat most of the pan yourself.
Basic (yet utterly delicious) brownies (adapted from Butter)
Can make anywhere from 16 to 25, depending on how small you cut them
300g semisweet chocolate (11 oz)
60g unsalted butter (4 tbsp, 2 oz)
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp plain flour (60g, 1.75 oz)
1/2 cup chocolate chips, optional (use dark, milk, or white, or a mixture!) – and here is where you can go wild by adding about half a cup of crushed Oreos, Tim Tams, or any other random thing you might fancy (Andes mints? Your favourite packaged biscuit? Use your imagination)
Preheat to oven to 180 C / 350 F and line a 8 inch square pan or 9 inch round springform tin with foil or parchment paper (I prefer parchment paper). Melt the chocolate and butter together in a double boiler, in a simple pot on the stove, or in the microwave. You don’t actually need to be all fancy here. A microwave works, just make sure the mixture is melted and smooth.
Stir in the sugar, salt and vanilla. Add the eggs and mix in until completely incorporated. Stir in the flour and then any additional add-ins.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Lick the bowl. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a skewer comes out with moist crumbs. The key with brownies is to not overbake them, so if the skewer is mostly clean, you are probably fine!
Melting the chocolate and butter
Adding sugar, vanilla, and salt
Then the eggs…
Spreading the batter in the pan
Test cut of the finished product – insides look good!
I always package up baked goods in foil to give them to people – simple and keeps them fresh
One more important note about these – of course they are delicious super warm and straight out of the oven. But if you pop them in the fridge to solidfy just a bit they are then even better. And they are absolutely amazing the next day as well. Yes, I love this recipe.