I love the simplicity of a good brownie, and the way you can throw other delights into the mix like fruit, chocolate chunks. oreos, caramel, the list could go on. But my favourite way to have brownies is pure and simple, nothing added (especially not nuts - they just don't enhance a brownie in my humble opinion). Just good and gooey is the way I like them.
This recipe takes all of 15 minutes to whip up, which is such a small amount of time to make something so delicious. I used to think that it was absolutely necessary to use 70% cocoa solids chocolate in brownies, and was a bit of a purist in this respect. But, somewhere along the lines, I changed, probably when the cost of chocolate rocketed, and I discovered you could buy bars of chocolate from Lidl for 35p that works perfectly well.
200g dark chocolate
100g unsalted butter
250g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
60g plain (all purpose) flour
1) Pre-heat oven to 160C / Gas Mark 3 / 325F
2) Grease and line an 8" square brownie tin
3) Place the butter and chocolate in a glass bowl and melt, either in a microwave, or over a bowl of simmering water.
4) Meanwhile, whisk the sugar and eggs together in a mixing bowl until pale and frothy.
5) Once the chocolate has melted, remove from the heat and leave to cool for a few minutes before adding to the eggs and sugar mixture and beating until well combined.
6) Beat in the vanilla extract/
7) Add the cocoa and flour (no need to sieve) and mix until everything is combined and you have a lovely chocolatey mixture.
8) Pour into your prepared tin and bake for 20 - 25 minutes, or until the surface of the brownie is beautifully cracked and starting to become firm.
9) Place on a wire rack to cool, but leave the brownies in the tin. Once cool, cut into the perfect size pieces - you choose whether you prefer bite-sized or giant-sized slabs.