• Juliette Wills

Chewy Chocolate Brownies

Updated: May 23

Just so you know, ‘Chewy’ isn’t short for ‘Chewbacca’ in this recipe. You won’t end up with massive, hairy brownies. Mind you, I’d love to see a giant brownie in the shape of Chewbacca, so if anyone fancies giving it a go, do report back.

I’ve got a confession to make. It’s about chocolate, and the fact that I don’t really like most of it. There’s obviously some genetic mishap going on because I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like chocolate, but there you go. I do enjoy a Terry’s Dark Chocolate Orange in my Christmas stocking (but eaten from the fridge or even the freezer, never at room temperature) and I make these brownies and a fancy chocolate and Amaretto torte thing (recipe coming soon) when we have people over for dinner but that’s it. In a restaurant I’d never choose a chocolate-based dessert and the idea of eating, say, chocolate fondant with salted caramel on top actually makes me want to barf through my eyeballs. Sticky toffee pudding? Stick it up your bum, no thanks. These brownies, however, are an exception, and that’s why I’m sharing my recipe with you having kept it to myself for years. I prefer to use dark chocolate chips for these, but you can use whatever you want – dark, milk or even white chocolate chips. Obviously the lighter the chocolate the sweeter they will be. They turn out lovely and gooey in the middle and if you get to eat the ones at the side of the tin – mmm, cake sides – you’ll get a bit of crunch thrown in. Now, this recipe might seem a bit long on the ingredients front, and it’s true, there are much simpler recipes out there but this is my tried-and-tested winner. It actually came about because I ran out of butter and had to substitute it for sunflower oil, and also because I ran out of flour (I really don’t know why I bother) and had some ground almonds in the cupboard. I’m going to do another pared-down version soon so if they work out, I’ll post that recipe for you, too. OK, here goes:

Preparation Time: 20 minutes (if you’re me, about an hour) Cooking Time: 20-25 minutes INGREDIENTS

150g demerera sugar

100g light soft brown sugar OR 125g golden caster sugar

125g dark muscovado sugar

You could also use light brown sugar on its own if it's all you have

2 large or 3 medium free range eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

75g cacao powder (not sweetened cocoa powder)

2 tablespoons sunflower oil

70g unsalted butter, softened

50g plain flour, sifted (you can also use self-raising if it’s all you have)

½ teaspoon baking powder

15g ground almonds

¼ teaspoon salt

20g chocolate chips

20g hazelnuts, walnuts or pecans cut roughly in half

METHOD 1. Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees fan

2. Grease and line a 20cm square tin 3. Get ready to make a mess 4. Whisk the butter and sugar until fluffy

5. Beat the eggs and stir into the mixture

6. Add the vanilla extract

7. Stir in the cacao powder and vegetable oil

8. Fold in the flour, baking powder and salt

9. Fold in the chocolate chips and chopped nuts

10. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Test after 20 minutes with a skewer. If it comes out clean, they’re ready. They should be springy to the touch

This is the hard bit. You’ve got to leave them alone for 15 minutes to cool. Seriously. I know you can’t wait. Be strong.

Turn out of the tin when cool and cut into squares. Demolish three and instantly regret it, then go on Facebook to say you’ve just eaten three brownies without drawing breath and now feel sick and won’t ever get your favourite jeans on again. Wait for ‘I know the feeling hun I’m the same don’t know what’s wrong with me ATM!’ comments, then ‘like’ each one.

Put the kettle on, make a cup of tea, eat another one. Hide the rest of them in a Tupperware box in the washing machine, or share them with your loved ones if they deserve them. Your call.

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