I love brownies, always have, and always will. And what's not to like in a brownie? Deep, dark chocolate, crunchy (healthful) nuts, butter, eggs (organic), brown sugar...a melting square of fudgy goodness. Until now, my favourite recipe has been Nigel Slater's 24-carat one. Such gloriously decadent, dense, melt-in-the-mouth, chocolatey pieces. Nigella's aren't bad either. There are so many new recipes for me to try (I'm thinking Jamie Oliver's Fifteen brownies, Maida Heatter's Palm Beach brownies, one out of Olive magazine...) so why did my choice for today end up being Dorie Greenspan's classic ones? Well, I recently received her new book Baking from my home to yours, and as I started a diet not long afterwards, haven't had many opportunities to try anything out of this chunky, beautiful book. This weekend, my diet has faltered a bit, I have had bad PMS and felt in need of a chocolate fix/treat. So this was perfect, since one batch is not so monumental that it can't be polished off in a day (oops!) so that tomorrow being Monday, I can go back to my diet, as one would, Monday being the universal diet begin day (well, everyone knows that, right?)
I promised somewhere that I'd try Maida's recipe, which my friend Lisa swears by, but I had to break my promise as I didn't feel like making a huge amount of those tempting bits.
I used walnuts because I love them in brownies, though Nigel's are fine on their own. I used half marg because I was running out of good ole butter, I used golden caster and light brown sugars since that's what I buy (think healthy and caramel flavours), but I did have unsweetened choc (Lindt 99%). I only left out the espresso powder as I'm pretty sure I'd taste it, and wouldn't like it.
Would I make these again? You bet. The recipe is pretty straightforward. (Melt chocolate and butter, add sugar, then add eggs, then vanilla extract, then salt and flour. Add chopped nuts. Bake. Voilà.)
These are as melting as they come (well, I baked them for about 25 minutes only as I like my brownies on the gooey side). They are intensely chocolatey, sweet as they should, and although I think they have the perfect amount of fat, they're not likely to make your stomach turn after a small piece. And yes, they did disappear quickly. So double that batch if there are more of you than two big ones and a small one (you'd never believe a 20-months old would like something so full of cocoa, but she has the chocoholic gene).