There’s no such thing as the ultimate brownie. Somewhere, sometime, somehow, someone may well make an even better one. BUT, in the meantime, right here, right now is this very yummy, very squidgy and very delicious offering.
Makes: 16 medium squares
Time: About an hour + cooling
Level: Quite easy
Use: A 20cm (8”) square tin
- 175g/6oz unsalted butter, cubed
- 175g/6oz dark chocolate, roughly chopped
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 200g/7oz light brown sugar
- 60g/2oz plain flour (GF flour can be used)
- ½ tsp xanthan gum powder (only if using GF flour)
- 25g/1oz cocoa powder
- 1 tsp coffee powder or granules (optional – to enhance the chocolate flavour)
- 75g/2½oz ground almonds
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 – 3 Tbsp milk
- 125g/4½oz dark or milk chocolate – chips or smallish chunks.
For the decorating option
- 60g/2oz dark chocolate
- 20g/¾oz butter
- 20ml/¾fl oz Amoretti liqueur (or use 1 tsp almond extract)
- 16 whole almonds (or a scattering of flaked almonds)
1. Heat oven to 180°C / 160°C fan / 350°F /gas 4. Line the tin with baking parchment*.
2. Melt together the butter and chocolate, either in a bain marie or use short bursts in a microwave, stirring regularly. Leave to cool a little.
3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, almond extract and sugar together until thick enough to leave a trail. Gently fold in the cooled melted chocolate then sift in the flour, xanthan gum powder (if using) and cocoa powder. Then add in the coffee powder, ground almonds and salt. Finally, stir in the milk and chocolate chunks.
4. Pour the brownie batter into the lined tin, place in the centre of the oven and bake for 30-35 mins. Leave to cool in the tin for at least 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool fully.
5. You could just cut the slab and serve the brownies as they are, However, if you want to add a ganache it may be worth inverting the slab to use the flatter surface.
6. For the ganache, melt together the chocolate, butter and liqueur (or almond extract) and pour or brush it onto the top of the uncut brownie slab. Working quickly, before the chocolate sets, place the almonds so that there will be one in the centre of each brownie when cut. (Or sprinkle over the flaked almonds.)
7. Use a sharp serrated knife to cut the block. (If the ganache has not set, a few minutes in the fridge should help.)
*Until recently, I’ve always buttered or greased the tin before adding the parchment paper. All I do now is simply wet the tin with a little water before inserting the parchment. It always adheres easily and, providing there’s no unlined tin showing, the bake will not stick. Furthermore, it makes washing the tin a whole lot easier. Give it a try and let me know what you think.
Gallery 1 – The mixtures
Gallery 2 – Decorating
I hope you make and enjoy these lovely brownies. Click this link for more tasty traybake recipes. Two very tasty chocolate favourites are my Coffee and Cream Brownies and my Orange and Blueberry Blondies. Both are super.
Please have a look at the rest of my site for lots of other great sweet and savoury recipes. If you’d like to make a comment or ask a question please do, via the contact page.