Many people seek the perfect brownie. These gorgeous, gooey hunks may not be perfect, but they’re pretty darn close. Rich, dark, tasty, chewy and moist are all very applicable.
Makes: 16 medium size pieces
Time: Just under an hour including decorating, excluding cooling
Level: Fairly easy
Use: A 20cm (8”) square tin, ideally non-stick. (Could be loose-bottomed, but not essential)
- 175g/6oz unsalted butter cubed, plus extra to grease the tin
- 175g/6oz dark chocolate, roughly chopped
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract and/or 1 tsp almond extract
- 200g/7oz light brown sugar or muscovado
- 60g/2oz plain flour
- 60g/2oz ground almonds
- 30g/1oz cocoa powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 100g/3.5oz chocolate chips (Optional – I forgot to put these in once, but it was still rich and lovely, so it’s up to you)
- 75g/2.5oz glace cherries, chopped into quarters and tossed in flour
- 30g/1oz – 50g/1.75oz chocolate
- 25g/1oz butter
- 8 glace cherries, halved
- 32 toasted almond flakes
1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Butter the tin and line the bottom and sides 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. Beat the eggs, vanilla/almond extract and sugar together until thick enough to leave a trail – probably 7 – 10 minutes using a hand held mixer. Gently fold into the cooled melted chocolate, followed by the flour, ground almonds, cocoa and salt. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips (if using) and the quartered cherries.
4. Pour the brownie batter into the lined tin and level it. Place in the centre of the oven and bake for 25-30 mins. Leave to cool in the tin for at least 10 minutes.
5. There may be a flaky layer on top, which is quite usual. If so it would be worth carefully inverting the whole slab next. Make sure it’s firm before doing this.
6. To decorate, melt the chocolate and butter together and pour or brush it onto the top of the uncut brownie slab. Working quickly, before the chocolate sets, place 16 cherry halves evenly in a 4 x 4 pattern (assuming this is how you will cut the slab) Add two pieces of flaked almond next to each cherry piece.
7. Leave in the fridge for about 30 minutes then cut into 16 pieces. Dust with icing sugar if you want, but it’s not essential (see pictures below without and with icing sugar.)
Tips: Stick toothpicks in the sides at 2” intervals as a cutting guide. Use a sharp, narrow bladed knife. Lightly oil the blade for a clean as-crumb-free-as-possible cut.
Click this link for more tasty traybake recipes. If brownies and blondies are what you love then here’s two that I recommend you try: my Coffee and Cream Brownies and my Orange and Blueberry Blondies.
Or have a look at my site for lots of other great recipes, savoury as well as sweet. If you’d like to make a comment or ask a question please do, via the contact page.