Crunchy-topped, rich and chocolately, with gorgeously gooey centres, the only thing that stops these brownies from being wickedly naughty, is the walnuts. Yup, they’re really good for you.
125g (about 4½ ounces) unsalted butter, cut into large cubes
125g (about 4½ ounces) dark chocolate, broken into squares
2 medium (size 6) free-range eggs, at room temperature
220g (about 7½ ounces) caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
60gm (about 2 ounces) plain (US all-purpose) flour
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
Prepare an 18cm (7”) by 5cm (2”) square cake tin by lining with baking (parchment) paper. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
1 Put butter and chocolate in a small saucepan and melt carefully over a very low heat, stirring from time to time. Remove pan from heat and cool mixture.
2 Beat eggs briefly in a bowl with an electric beater to break them up, then with machine running, gradually beat in the sugar. Continue beating until the mixture is thick and creamy and pale in colour, and leaves a ribbon-like trail when dribbled off the upheld beaters.
4 Pour into prepared tin. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until browned and a little crusty on top. Cool in the tin for 15 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Cool, peel off paper and cut into squares with a serrated knife. Store airtight.
It goes without saying that walnuts need to be fresh – rancid or bitter walnuts are devoid of goodness and will ruin the brownies. Use pecans in place of walnuts if you prefer. Use a good brand of chocolate with around 72% cocoa. And don’t overbake the brownies; keep the centre moist and cakey, or even a little gooey!
Photography Aaron McLean http://www.aaronmclean.com