Many myths surround the origin of the devilishly delicious dessert we call the Brownie. Some say a baker added melted chocolate to their biscuit batter; others say it was a lady by the name of Fanny Farmer, who adapted her cookie recipe to be made in a rectangular baking tray. Unfortunately, the mystery behind the ingenious inventor remains unsolved; all we can say is that whoever they are, they deserve an award for their immense contribution to human happiness.
- Bitter-sweet (dark) chocolate, 245g
- Unsalted butter, 200g (room temperature)
- Eggs, 4 large (slightly beaten)
- Castor Sugar, 175g
- Light, soft brown sugar, 125g
- All-purpose flour, 115g
- Vanilla extract, 2 teaspoons
- A pinch of salt
- Pecans, walnuts or hazelnuts, 145g (slightly toasted and very coarsely chopped)
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Butter a 23 x 30-cm baking pan, fit the bottom with a piece of parchment paper, grease the paper with butter, and then dust the inside of the pan with flour; tap out the excess and set the pan aside.
- Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over simmering water (ensure that the bowl is not touching the water). Alternatively, you can melt the ingredients in a microwave, bakers choice.
- Remove the chocolate from the heat and leave it on the counter to cool slightly. The chocolate should be warm when you mix it with the other ingredients. When slightly cooled, whisk in the sugars.
- Next add the eggs and vanilla extract, followed by the flour, the salt and the nuts. Gently fold the ingredients into each other – taking care not to aerate the batter too much.
- Pour the batter into the baking pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 30-40 minutes. At this point, the top of the cake will be cooked and crusted but if you insert a knife into the middle it should come out wet.
- Remove from the oven and transfer the baking pan to a cooling rack. Allow the brownies to cool for 20 to 30 minutes.