Updated on 17 July, 2012
The internet is chock-a-block full of various recipes for chocolate brownies and you may be overwhelmed by the choice. Sometimes you're in a place where you just have to cook a brownie with the ingredients that are available to you. The more you search, the more varieties, methods and ingredient quantities you will discover are recommended and you may eventually come to the realisation that sometimes it is just a case of using commonsense: stir up a reasonable cake batter and just cook it. So do feel free to experiment, and if you find your dream recipe, please add a conversation to this Entry along with your top tips.
As well as two different brownie recipes we've also added a scrumptious and totally indulgent chocolate fudge cake, perfect for those moments when you really need a chocolate hit.
Simple Chocolate Brownies
- 300g or 10oz plain chocolate, at least 50% cocoa solids
- 150g or 5oz butter, cut into pieces
- 4 large eggs
- 75g or 3oz SR1 flour
- 50g or 2oz good quality cocoa powder
- 75g or 3oz demerara sugar
- half teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
Heat your oven to 180°C (Gas Mark 4 or 350°F), and prepare a tray 23cm by 23cm with cooking parchment at the bottom and sides.
Melt 200g of the chocolate bar in a bowl which is carefully placed in a pan of near boiling water, being careful not to splash water into the chocolate. When it is melted, take the bowl out of the pan, add the chopped pieces of butter, and stir until the butter has melted as well. If the butter is very cold you may have to replace the bowl in the pan of hot water.
Bash the remaining chocolate into pieces, and set aside.
In a larger mixing bowl, stir together the flour, the sugar and the cocoa powder, and when well mixed stir in the eggs, and beat until the batter is nice and smooth.
Stir the chocolate and butter mixture together to ensure that is is smooth as well, and then scrape all of this mixture into the other bowl, and stir well. Use a spatula to get all the mixture out of the bowl.Then carefully sprinkle the bicarb over the batter and stir it in as well
Quickly pour the whole mixture into your prepared baking tray, and then sprinkle the broken chocolate pieces evenly over the top. Place into your oven, on the top shelf.
Bake for thirty minutes, depending on your oven, until the top looks and feels firm, and a skewer comes out clean when you test the middle of the cake. The top of the cake will crack apart, but this is normal.
Be careful not to overcook this cake, as it should be moist in the middle when served, and it will also keep cooking for a while after you take it from the oven.
If you only have plain flour, add a half teaspoonful of baking powder. If your butter is unsalted, add a pinch of salt.
When cool, cut into squares, and then store in the fridge.
This is delicious served with crème fraiche.
Brownie Recipe without Chocolate
For a truly mouth-watering, luxurious tasting treat, you'll scarcely find anything better! Most brownie recipes use bakers' unsweetened chocolate. This one, however, uses cocoa powder and the results are very good indeed. Do try to get hold of good organic cocoa powder: it makes a big difference to the finished result.
Brownies should be moist and chewy. It's important not to overcook them - they'll firm up a little when cool.
- 100g or 4oz butter, plus extra for greasing the tin
- 40g or 1½oz cocoa powder
- 2 large eggs
- 225g or 8oz caster (confectioner's) sugar
- 1tsp (5ml) vanilla essence2
- 50g or 2oz SR flour, sifted
- 100g or 4oz chopped walnuts (pecans are also nice)
- 50g or 2oz raisins (optional)
Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4 (350°F/180°C). Grease a shallow 8inch (20cm) square cake tin and line with greased grease-proof paper.
Melt the butter gently in a small saucepan, then stir in the cocoa powder until blended in. Set aside.
Use a medium-sized bowl (you can also use a bowl with an electric whisk for this if you like, but be very gentle once the nuts are in) to beat the eggs and caster sugar together until light and then add in the cocoa mixture. Stir in the vanilla essence or extract and then mix in the flour. Add the nuts and raisins (if used) and then spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin.
Bake in the centre of the oven for about 35 minutes. Allow to cool before cutting into 2inch (5cm) squares, then transfer the squares to a rack to finish cooling.
Wait for the compliments! They won't be long in coming.
Chocolate Fudge Cake
We've included this wonderful and relatively easy chocolate fudge cake recipe here although it is not a true brownie. This confection has been tried and tested by h2g2 Researchers and is simply too good not to share with you.
For the Cake
- 200g or 8oz lightly salted butter (unsalted will do)
- 200g or 8oz plain chocolate
- 100ml double cream
- 3 eggs
- 150g or 6oz muscovado sugar
- 100g or 4oz self raising flour
For the Icing:
- 200g or 8oz plain chocolate
- 3tbsp golden syrup
- 50g or 2oz unsalted butter
- 70g or 3oz icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/gas 3 and line an 8 inch (20cm) square cake tin with baking paper.
Put the butter, the chocolate and the cream into a heatproof bowl, then heat over a pan of boiling water, or in a microwave until all the butter and chocolate has melted.
Beat the eggs with the sugar in a separate bowl until they get slightly bubbly, stir in the melted chocolate mixture from the other bowl and then fold in the flour.
Bake in the centre of the oven for approximately 30 minutes or until a knife comes out clean, to show that the centre of the cake is cooked.
Allow the cake to cool in the tin.
To Make the Icing
Put the chocolate, syrup, butter and icing sugar into a small heavy-bottomed sauce pan and place on a low heat. Stir gently until the chocolate melts and the mixture looks glossy. It will thicken when cooling.
If the icing becomes too thick, simply heat in the microwave for a minute.
Pour the icing over the cake, while in the baking tin; when it has set you can cut the cake into small squares for serving.