The ultimate chocolate brownie?

I could make these blindfolded, 10 years in the catering world and a regular, relentless demand for these chocolate slabs of sin, has left the recipe engraved in my memory, possibly forever. Cupcakes may come and go but I don’t think a brownie is ever going to really disappear out of my life. Unsurprisingly there is always a little controversy as to what is the perfect chocolate brownie? Does it have nuts, is it  a soft buttery crumb or an intense fudge, should it have white chocolate drops, dark chocolate drops or raspberries? There is no  right or wrong – you make, and then ideally consume your ‘dream-case’ scenario – hence my brownies do not have nuts – they verge on the ‘gooey’ inside, yet have a rather extraordinary almost meringue like texture as a crust. I am regularly told they are ‘shop worthy’ (not sure if this is a compliment or crime) either way, I still love them. Back in the days of ‘Sugar & Spice’ I used to make them virtually everyday in vast quantities, now it is a one off  – Granny visiting, a pink or blue birthday, a picnic or just one of the ‘beautiful big boys’ coming for dinner.

On that basis, I believe a little bit of ‘chocolate-love’ should be shared, so here is the magic formula. Last word, they do come with a health warning : Very addictive, rather naughty – totally sinful! Try them – you’ll never look back, and as a last justification – given how expensive they are to buy, baking them, can almost be deemed as a ‘austerity measure’ in household management! Mrs.Beeton would be proud.

Chocolate Brownies

200 gms of good quality dark chocolate (min 70% cocoa solids)

200gms of butter

3 organic eggs

250 gms of golden caster sugar

1/2 teaspoon of Maldon sea salt

75gms of plain flour

1. Set the oven to 170 and line a tin (measuring approx 20cm x 30cm) with bakewell paper.

2. Put the 3 eggs, sugar, salt and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence in a Kenwood or other beating appliance and beat very fast for a good 5-8 minutes. You should have a wonderful thick, creamy, frothy mix!

3. Meanwhile melt the butter and chocolate together – I cheat and pop it in the microwave which is probably a dreadful crime, most serious chefs would advise melting it in a bowl above a saucepan of boiling water, either way – melt both together and mix so they are incorporated well.

4. Once the chocolate and butter have melted, add to the egg and sugar mixture folding in with a large metal spoon, now fold in the flour. Pour into the rectangular tin and bake for 20 minutes – check it – it should be slightly risen and have a glossy sheen across the crust and just beginning to crack, if not leave for another 5 minutes. It will carry on cooking once removed from the oven.

Just remember – gooey brownies are good – dry brownies are not! Consume, or as in our family ‘inhale’ (they really do go that fast), with love!


As a reminder ‘the pink and the blue’ are the ‘little people’ – my 1-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son.

The ‘beautiful big boys’ are my absurdly handsome and delightful stepsons.

Have a happy weekend and pray the sun that was shining at 5.30am (yes sadly that is when our day started with the little people’ continues to beam down.

About lardersaga

Joanna Preston is mother of the 'little people', 1 pink and 1 blue, and wife to saintly Mr.Patience! After a decade dedicated to cooking for others (Alps, Africa and founding 'Sugar & Spice') my attention is now solely in the home kitchen. We are a food obsessed family that adore growing, sourcing and cooking delectable feasts for friends and family!
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