Even in their undecorated form these are very rich and tasty brownies. Nevertheless, I wanted to make a batch which looked a bit special, so I added a decorative element, which – unsurprisingly – included more chocolate. It’s up to you how far you want to take this one, but I promise that whatever you do at the heart of it will be some lovely brownies.
Makes: 16 medium squares
Time: 25 – 30 min prep; 25 – 30 min baking + cooling. At least 30 min to decorate as shown.
Level: Mostly easy; the decoration needs care.
Need: A 20cm/8” square tin with reasonably deep sides
- 150g/5½oz butter
- 225g/8oz dark chocolate
- 1 tsp coffee powder (optional)
- 3 eggs
- 125g/4½oz light brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 75g/2½oz plain flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- 15g/½oz cocoa powder (optional)
- 100g/3½oz pecans roughly chopped
- 1 large pear (to give about 75g/2½oz) – cored, peeled and chopped into small pieces
To decorate as shown
- 75g/2½oz dark chocolate
- 25g/1oz butter
- 16 pecan halves or pieces
- Gold sprinkles
NB The amounts above gives more than enough to coat the top of the brownies, but you will need to double it at least to coat the sides as well.
1. Turn oven to 180°C / fan 160°C / 350°F / gas 4. Line the sides and bottom of the tin with baking parchment.
2. Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. When it has melted stir in the coffee powder (if using) then take off the heat and leave to cool for a few minutes.
NB A little coffee powder enhances the chocolate flavour
3. Meanwhile, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla in a separate bowl until double in size, pale and fluffy.
4. Sieve then fold the flour, salt and cocoa powder (if using) into the egg mixture. Stir in the pecans and chopped pear. Add the chocolate and butter and gently fold it all together.
5. Pour into the prepared tin and gently tap it on the work top to make sure it’s level and to disperse any air bubbles.
6. Bake for about 25 to 20 minutes, or until risen at the edges, but still squidgy in the middle.
7. For the decorating option, melt the chocolate and butter together over a bain marie and brush it over the top of the brownies. Add a pecan half to a corner of each square and then a small amount of sprinkles in the opposite corner.
NB If you intend coating the sides with chocolate, do this before the tops.
Click this link for more tasty traybake recipes. Further below are some that I think you’ll love too: